Annex -1 : Synergy of Medical & Social Models

Towards Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment for Students with
Disabilities : Perspectives of Addis Ababa University
Tirussew Teferra & Elina Lehtomaki
Addis Ababa University & Ministry of Education
The Conference on the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities 1999-2009 was hosted
in Addis Ababa . A paper on poverty and human rights, presented by prominent World
Bank disability advisor stressed that “unless disabled people are brought into the
development stream, it will be impossible to cut poverty in half by 2015 (Heumann, 2005).
The Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy of Ethiopia (2005) also
indicates that education is the key sector in poverty reduction. Could institutions of higher
learning show the way forward to other educational institutions by designing more
inclusive policies and providing support for students with disabilities?
The rights of citizens to equal access to publicly funded services and the support that shall
be given to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities is clearly stipulated in the
Constitution (FDRE 1995, article 41 sub articles no.5 and no. 50). The Education and
Training Policy (1994) further states that attempt shall be made to enable persons with
disabilities learn in accordance to their potential and needs (sub article, 2.2.3). In view of
these constitutional rights and policy direction, there is a long way to go to address the
needs of persons with disabilities not only institutions of higher education but also in all
walks of life in the country.
This study argues that the present scenario of most higher learning institutions marginalize
learners with disabilities either by blocking their admission or by not providing the
necessary back-up support during their study years. In this study, an attempt is made to
highlight the nature of problems faced by students with disabilities in Addis Ababa
University and the efforts made to address the issues . The extent of the inclusiveness of
the campus and the teaching-learning environment is assessed in terms of pedagogical,
psychosocial, technological as well as architectural considerations. Discussions on
pedagogical innovations, which can accommodate the needs of vulnerable learners,
particularly those with disabilities will be deliberated.
In conclusion, the paper reflects on key intervention strategies towards creating an
inclusive learning environment in institutions of higher education in Ethiopia, which are
believed to assist in fostering students' mental health and promote quality education.
1. Introduction
Inclusive education as a development approach aims at an educational system that is open
to all learners, regardless of poverty, gender, ethnic backgrounds, language, learning
difficulties and impairments. An inclusive education promotes active learning in all
students by identifying barriers to learning and removing or reducing them. According to
the joint position paper ILO, UNESCO and WHO (WHO,2004), the education sector is
responsible for providing quality education for all .
Data pertaining to the incidence and prevalence of persons with disabilities are
fragmentary, incomplete and sometimes misleading. The 1995 focused-baseline survey of
the persons with disabilities in Ethiopia, which is the first of its type in the country,
revealed that the prevalence of disability is about 2.95% (Tirussew et al.).The finding of
this study further revealed that among persons with disabilities (PwDs) : 41.2% persons
with motor disorders (those who showed inability to walk, to sit, to eat and drink); 30.4
% persons with visual impairment ( the weak sighted and the blind); 14.9% persons with
hearing impairment (the hard of hearing and the deaf), 6.5% persons with intellectual
disability ( with mild, moderate and profound mental retardation), 2.4% persons with
speech and language impairments, 2.4 % persons with behavioral problems and 2 %
persons with multiple disabilities. The social status of PwDs is adversely affected by
the wrong conception of causes and cures of disabling factors and disability as well as
the perception of its consequences. Stereotypes have a powerful ability to limit the range
of thinking, perception of activity of people in the subtle ways. As such, they not only
diminish the targeted group but the person who holds and apply them as well
(Grass,2004). As a matter of course, the birth of a child with a disability has been
recorded as a source of shame and conflict among parents (Tirussew, 2005).
Generally, PwDs in Ethiopia are perceived as “ weak”, “hopeless”, “ dependent”, and
“unable to learn” and “subject of charity”. The misconceptions of causal attribution
added to the misunderstandings of the capabilities of persons with disabilities have
contributed to the low social and economic statues of PwDs (Tirussew,2005) . The
PwDs belong to one of the poorest of the poor segments of society. Their exclusion from
accessing or having equal opportunity to basic social and economic opportunities
(education, health, and employment) is aggravating their already desperate situation,
making them more “hopeless” and voiceless.
Figure 1: Poverty & Disability
Source : Joint Project Proposal of St Marry College of Canada & AAU( 2005)
Every attempt shall be made to enable PwDs to become full participants and equal
beneficiaries in society and attain sustainable development. It is only through the
concerted efforts of the government, the general public and other concerned bodies that
can break the long standing vicious circle between disability and poverty in Ethiopia..
2. Theoretical Framework
System theories (for example ecological, interactive and transactional) share the view
that all facets of the individual and the environment are important and that development
is a complex process in which outcomes are determined through the active interaction of
these facets. What is more, system theories, rather than focusing on one element like
emotion, cognition, or learning, tend to attempt to understand developmental change in
its entirety, that is, the whole child and the whole environment (Bronfenbrenner, 1979;
Sameroff, & Fiese, 2000). It is the grasp of these theoretical framework which leads to
the understanding that learning and behavior problems are not the result of the individual
factors or the environmental factors but the interplay of the two factors. The transaction
between the individual factors (genotype) and the environmental factors (environ type)
acting upon each other in a dynamic and reciprocating manner determine the behavior
possessed by the individual (phenotype) (Sameroff, & Fiese, 2000). It is important to note
that unlike the transactional view, the interaction system theory considers factors related
to the individual’s functioning as separate and discrete entities, each impacting one
another in an unidirectional manner. The interactional view is mechanistic, while the
second view, transactional, is contextual and organistic in nature (Altaman & Rogoff,
1987). The new model of international Classification of Functioning (2002) considers
disability as a complex phenomena that is both a problem at the level of a person’s
body , and a complex and primarily a social phenomena. Disability is always an
interaction between features of the person and features of the overall context in which
the person lives, but some aspects of disability are almost internal to the person, while
another aspect is almost entirely external. The schema (See Annex -1) depicts how body
functions , environmental and individual factors interact to determine the degree of
activities and range of participation of the PwDs.
Accordingly, approaches for the remediation of deficits in learning, development, or
physical health are shifting away from the search for causes within the individual and
toward specifying the condition under which different individuals can learn and progress
(Wixson & Lipson, 1986). This model is most useful for examining inclusion because it
considers the individual, the environment, and the interaction between the two. It also
shifts the focus away from the search for causes of problems in individuals and their
environments and toward defining the conditions that will lead to individual progress
(Kochhar, West & Tymans, 2000). Under this model, the family, the school, the
community and the society at large share the responsibility to provide the conditions to
help the individual maximize his or her potential. That is, creating an inclusive and
receptive setting which can enable the individual to mobilize his or her potential to the
maximum possible which is believed to lead towards independent living and a better life.
The tendency to consider disability as a medical or biological issue presupposes that
problems lie exclusively within the individual and solutions consist of attempts of
changing the individual (Ratska, 1989). This view has been sharply challenged by an
alternative view which stresses that development proceeds through reciprocal interactions
between children and environments so that both the individual and their settings undergo
change. In a transactional model, changes in the child's settings (for example family,
educational and related environments) may radically alter interaction patterns with
significant implications for child development and learning (Mitchell & Brown, 1991). In
this model, development is seen as a product of continuous dynamic interactions of the
child and the experience provided by his or her family and social context (Meisels &
Shonkoff, 1990). In the same vein , children’s learning difficulties at school are
considered not as emanating from within the child but from the transaction between
personal and school factors. The regular school itself is viewed as a major source of
learning difficulties. Inappropriate curriculum, content, teaching methods insensitive
handling and an over-competitive school ethos could contribute to the failure to meet the
individual needs of particular children, and these may result in failure for the child with
disabilities. This would encourage one to assign such children to segregated education
(Meijer et al., 1995). According to Ainscow (1997), there is an increasing recognition
that difficulties encountered by young people in their general development are likely to
arise as much from the disadvantageous circumstances as from individual characteristics.
The ecological systems perspective elaborates the nature of obstacles faced at different
levels in a society as well as respective strategies for their removal (Caesson, 1995). All
these understandings on child development and learning are the basis for the drift in the
direction of inclusive education.
Inclusive education requires a shift of emphasis on the task of persons providing
educational services to make sure that the educational settings were adjusted to
accommodate the special educational needs rather than trying to make the children with
disabilities fit into the given educational setting (Claesson, 1995; Evans, 1998). The
question, therefore, needs to be reformulated by asking what is wrong with the school
rather than what is wrong with the child. This implies framing the question towards how
schooling can be improved in order to help all children to learn successfully (Ainscow,
By the change of attitude against differential treatment of education on the basis of
differences in people will likely be seen in a positive perspective. Inclusiveness calls for a
respect of difference and celebration of diversity. Indeed, it is a focus on creating
environments responsive to the differing developmental capacities, needs and potentials
of all children. Inclusive education means a shift in services from simply trying to fit the
child into “normal settings”; it is a supplemental support for their disabilities or special
needs and promotes the child's overall development in an optimal setting (Evans, 1998).
Therefore, the task becomes one of developing the school in response to a pupils’
diversity. This has to include a consideration of overall organization, curriculum and
classroom practice, support for learning and staff development (Ainscow, 1997). It does
not mean that we should cease to identify and refer to the special needs of the learners, or
to provide particular kinds of support when and where needed. It does mean that we
should cease perceiving learners as all being similar because they have the same
diagnostic label.
Therefore, the need to work out the necessary modifications and adaptations of
educational materials, teaching methodologies, facilities, equipment and environmental
conditions so that the child’s specific educational needs can best be served is essential in
an inclusive setting. The special support children with disabilities require in the
classroom may range from minor modifications such as altering seating arrangements to
major adaptations and considerable assistance such as using sign language interpreter for
deaf children (Ysseldyk & Algozzine, 1995).
4. Situation of Students with disabilities at Addis Ababa University
In Ethiopia, PwDs are highly under-represented in the school system going down to less
than 1% of the school age population. With regard to the rate of participation in higher
learning institutions is extremely trifling or almost non-existent. Most of those who have
the opportunity for higher learning are placed and served at Addis Ababa University. It is
also important to note that AAU is among the Sub-Sahara African universities known
by its tradition in providing access and support particularly for students with visual
impairment in its programs . However, reports in the different national associations of the
PwDs indicate that there are still some higher education institutions that completely deny
access for those with visual and hearing impairments. This is a critical human rights
issue, which needs to be addressed by the relevant institutions and the Ethiopian
The following discussion is based on the data generated from the survey done in Addis
Ababa University in 1989 as well as well as consultations with professionals from the
Dean of Students and discussions with the representatives of the association of students
with disabilities at Addis Ababa University. The data was on educational and
psychosocial problems of
students with disabilities (SwDs) at AAU. It was noted that
there were improvements in terms of the establishment of association for students with
disabilities at the University as well as an increase in the financial support for blind
students. Moreover, the University has committed itself to establish a center to enable
SwDs to have access to assistive technology as well as conduct research and training in
education and disability . This academic year there are about 100 students with visual, 90
students with motor and 3 with hearing impairments. However, it is still difficult to be
sure about the actual number of students with disabilities at Addis Ababa University.
Participants of the Study
The students included in the study were 34 blind students (completely blind) and 17
were students with motor disorders and (with leg paralysis, impairment of feet, spinal
problems, broken ribs and folded hands). They were pursuing their studies in the
following six departments: History, Sociology and Social Administration, Library
Science, Management and Public Administration, Philosophy and Political Science and
International Relations. Fifty percent of the participants indicated that they were assigned
to the respective departments on the basis of their choice while the remaining were not.
Students with motor disabilities have a broader chance for joining different academic
departments than blind students. Their academic status in Cumulative Grade Point
Average (CGPA) was as follows: 1.75-1.9 (9%), 2.0-2.5(55%) and 2.70 – 3.0 (24%)
(Tirussew, 1989).
Educational Problems
The major educational challenges faced by SwDs at AAU were:
lack of adequate
educational background, shortage of instructional materials, text and reference books
(written in Braille or recorded cassettes), insensitive instruction, teachers’ negative
attitude, rigid curriculum and the nature of the course (some courses require fieldwork
and a lot of reading). Further more, the students expressed that the academic competition
has been more frustrating for them than the non-disabled students. Some have been
victims of such circumstances were reported to be o academic dismissal others to
dropping-out from their studies. In the focus-group discussion, students expressed their
concern about the choice of field of study to different departments. According to their
opinion the good will of the heads of the departments or faculties is very critical. For
instance, in spite of the interest shown by blind students to join some departments are still
closed in Addis Ababa University (Tirussew,1989).
Psychosocial situations
Instructor –Student Relationship
A limited instructor –teacher interaction was observed both inside and outside the
classroom. Unlike non-disabled students, students with disabilities have serious problem
to have contact with their instructors because of the physical barriers to get access to their
offices. As a result most of them forced to miss important consultation hours with their
teachers. Generally, appreciating the assets and recognizing the liabilities of the learners
on the part of the instructors usually makes the students to feel at ease, be interactive and
comfortable. However, in an open-ended item one of the blind students form the
College of Social Sciences explained the severity and disabling nature of instructorstudent relations as follows (Tirussew, 1994):
“As it is in most cases known in any academic endeavour, the relation of
instructors with their students should be reflected as a father and a son.
This helps students to be successful in their academic life. But, the
situation is contrary for the blind students of this campus. That is some
instructors are based on the existence of blind students in this campus.
Particularly my department instructors (the name of the department
omitted) can be taken as good examples for such unwanted shortcoming.
So, administrative measures or a piece of advice should be given to such
In relation to the same issue Garwood (1983) quoting the prominent psychologist and
educator, Carl Rogers, on his view of education states:
Better courses, better coverage, better teaching machines will never
resolve our dilemma in a basic way. Only persons acting like persons in
their relationships with their students can even being to make a dent on
this most urgent problem of modern education.
In fact a warm and an understanding interpersonal teacher-student relationship enriches
and promotes the learning-teaching processes. It is particularly critical to work effectively
with students of different abilities and satisfy their special educational needs.
Student-Student Relationship
With regard to student-student relationship mixed feelings, both positive and negative
have been observed. Some SwDs
declared that no-disabled students are friendly,
considerate and helpful for them. Whereas, others confess that they do not have any sort
of relationship with non-disabled students. There is usually the tendency among SwDs
to stick to each other and their interpersonal relation with others is very limited. The
prevalence of loneliness and difficulty of dating is one of problem identified by students
with disabilities (Tirussew, 1994). Despite continuing efforts to enhance human potential,
the probability remains that negative or unfavorable attitudes continue to exist as a social
psychological obstacle. The key idea of some approaches to counteract negative
impressions engendered by labels is to expose the public to information, semantic
formulations (employing humanizing terms), and experiences that will provide a broader
set of positive expectations (Wright, 1983).
Concerns about Employment Opportunities
Most students with disabilities revealed that they start to seriously worry about
employment opportunities after graduation (Tirussew, 1989). This is the next major
anticipated challenge for students with disabilities. Studies confirm that graduates with
disabilities faced serious difficulties in the process of getting employment opportunities
even when they have the required training and qualifications. One of the major problems
identified by both genders in the process of getting employment is the overarching
reluctance of the employers to hire a candidate with disability. It is common to be
disqualified when an employing agency or organization discovers that the applicant has
certain disabilities regardless of eligibility for the job (Tirussew, 2005).
Facilities & Services
Students with disabilities, particularly students with motor disabilities have no access to
toilets in the dormitories, classrooms buildings and anywhere in the campus. It is
daunting to note that there are several SwDs who have never taken shower in the campus
during their whole years of stay. One of the respondents, in narrating the hurdles and the
inconveniences that he has encountered states that (Tirussew 1994):
“If you are really interested in solving our problems…the special care
should cover all aspects of life of the individual, not only while attending
classes also concerning the dormitory specially the use of bathroom. I
myself, for example, have never washed my body in this campus, since I
have joined the University and never to do so under such condition. It is
not comfortable for us at all.”
It is a dehumanizing experience and a serious violation of basic human right and an
embarrassment to the institution.
Dormitories, dinning halls, libraries and classroom buildings are all important buildings
should be accessible to all students to live, to learn and to work. It is unfortunate that
these buildings are not accessible to SwDs,
particularly for students with motor
disabilities using crunch and wheel chairs. The Main Library in the Sidist Kilo campus
has a long standing tradition of providing service in its Braille collection and Special
Reading-Room for blind students. However, students with motor disabilities disclosed
that there is no special arrangement made to accommodate their needs. Accordingly, most
of the subjects expressed the need for special services.
With regard to this, one of the students with motor disabilities stated the following
(Tirussew, 1994) :
students mostly have problems to sit and stay reading in the
library for a long time because of the nature of their disabilities. Some
have spinal problem, which does not allow them to sit on chairs and work
for a long time. They rather prefer to work or study lying on their beds. So
it is better to device a mechanism so that the students can borrow the
necessary reference materials specially those reserved in the circulationdesk. So that they are allowed to check-them-out form the library and red
lying on their beds.”
Regarding the type of service rendered in the dormitories both groups declared special
arrangement is made to get rooms in the first ground to ease accessibility. On the other
hand, most students suffer in the classroom buildings, as there are no special
considerations made to cater for the needs of students with disabilities. One can imagine
how manageable it would be for a student who uses wheel chair or crunch and whose
classes are conducted in the third or fourth floor. What is more, the new classroom
buildings as well as those under construction have still accessibility problems like the old
With regard to the service in the dinning halls, except being relieved from queuing,
there is no special consideration made for these students with disabilities. However,
students especially those with motor disabilities argue that they need special
consideration for the extra energy they discharge in moving from place to place using
prosthetics, orthotics as well as wheelchairs. One of the students stated that (Tirussew
“…’crippled’ especially who us walking sticks are always doing hard jobs
with their walking difficulty, they need meals better than the present
quality, which can provide them vitality and energy.”
The details of the barriers of adjustment and effective functioning for students with
visual and motor impairments at AAU are presented in organograms in Annex-2 and
Annex-3 respectively.
Current Provisions at AAU
An attempt was made to explore the type of back-up support given to the SwDs at AAU.
There is a long-standing tradition for supporting blind students though providing Braille
paper, tape recorders and cassettes. Besides, blind students receive Birr 120 monthly as
pocket money and Birr 400 for preparing and writing senior essays. These days,
computer training is also given for blind students. However, other students with
disabilities such as those low vision, the deaf, the hard of hearing as well as those with
motor disorders. It was in the recent summer that students with motor disabilities have
started to gain special attention and got the opportunity to stay their vacation in
campus for the first time. As most of the SwDs are coming from low income families as
well as from boarding schools or institutions, they would prefer to spend the summervacation in the University. It is encouraging to note that the University has planned to
extend its support to all SwDs which may include the deaf, the hard of hearing, the weak
sighted (low vision), those with motor disorders and others.
Situational Analysis of AAU
Addis Ababa University does not have any standing policy on admission of SwDs . At the point of
entry, AAU has neither information about the disability profiles of students and their special
educational needs nor the mechanism their identification . Consequently, the statistics of the
SwDs at Addis Ababa University has always been fragmented and incomplete. The University has
been clear only on the number of blind students in the campus. Furthermore, record keeping and
follow-up in the academic and psychological adjustment of SwDs at the University is poor or
The financial and material assistance at the University was totally channeled to only blind
students. They have also been beneficiaries special counseling service Unit organized under the
Dean of Students’ Office. Students with other types of disabilities have never been obtained
special assistance like that of the blind . Studies unveil that there are students with severe motor
disorders, hearing impairment and other forms of hidden disabilities that are badly in need of
special assistance (Tirussew, 1994). Generally, the problems faced by SwDs at AAU can be
highlighted in the following five broad areas:
a) Admission
There is no scheme of identifying the different profiles and needs of students with
disabilities at the time of admission. Further more, the choice of students with
disabilities to study different fields has been highly limited to few departments and
most are closed to them and admission depends on the good will of the respective
b) Educational Problems
This includes attitudinal barriers (instructors bias and inconsiderateness), lack of
learning-teaching devices, and materials (Braille, talking books, large prints, lenses,
readers, hearing aids, sign language interpreters etc.), inclusiveness and flexibility in
the curriculum, teaching methodology, examination as well as lack of special
assistance during exam time.
c) Psychosocial Problems
There is a limitation in social relations between students with disabilities and nondisabled students at AAU. Consequently, psychological reactions such as feelings of
rejection, loneliness and depression are observed among some students with
disabilities. The peer support is also very minimal . Further more, anxiety and
worries of employment after graduation are frequently reported by students with
d) Architectural Barriers
This includes accessibility of buildings (dormitories, dinning halls, classrooms,
libraries, offices, recreation centers, play grounds, pathways etc.) and difficulties
related to facilities & fixtures. Students with disabilities particularly those with motor
disorders such as wheelchair and crunch users as well as those with other forms of
physical problems are unable to use the existing facilities and fixtures set-up for
typically developing persons. These may include toilets, showers, wash rooms,
computers, public phones, tables, chairs etc.
e) Economic Problems
This is the need of financial assistance to cover expenses such as
payment for those who
assist them in reading, taking notes, washing clothes and other services, purchasing assistive
devices or equipment as well as for medication . They have also a need for a place to stay
during the Summer Vacation as most of them come from boarding institutions or low
income families.
5. Creating an Inclusive Environment in Institutions of Higher Learning
Higher Education Institutions can learn a lesson from the long history of Addis Ababa
University’s experience. Still, in spite of its long experience, Addis Ababa University has
a long way to go to create an inclusive learning environment, which can address the
needs of all students. Inclusion is a process of addressing and responding to the diversity
of needs of learner (UNESCO, 2003). It requires a lot of adjustment as one goes along
with the changes in the curriculum, mode of educational delivery and the whole
educational scenario in the country. The key to increasing successful inclusive
experiences is recognizing the need to facilitate teaching and learning techniques, which
consider every student in the class. This is the pedagogical challenge facing educators
when teaching students with mixed abilities together. There is no justifiable reason for
denying anyone the opportunity to benefit from the learning-teaching processes.
Education is the most important prerequisite for self-determination for people with
disabilities, the same is true for the non-disabled person (Mather, 1992).
The prospects for academic success depends not only how well students are taught in the
classroom but also by a number of factors including effective support service which is
very critical particularly for students with disabilities. The nature of special support
rendered, availability of adapted facilities and adjustable fixtures and accessible services
affect not only their academic achievement but also the pattern of their personality
adjustment. Therefore, specific issues raised by SwDs at AAU are all more or less
relevant to other higher learning institutions in the country. The Higher Education
Proclamation (Federal Negarit Gazeta , 351/2003) article 33, sub article 1, clearly states
that students with disabilities shall during their stay in the institution , get special
support to pursue their education effectively. In article 10, sub- article 3, the
Proclamation further points out that if it need be deaf students may be given sign
language interpreter service during their studies in higher learning institutions. That is, all
higher education institutions shall open their doors for all students without any
discrimination or exclusion. It has also to be underlined that admission of SwDs is not
enough by itself; SwDs should receive the right reception, understanding and support to
optimally function and develop in their academic pursuits.
The learning style of PwDs is different from non-disabled students as far as the
particularities of their learning conditions are concerned. In the educational context,
many teachers continue to offer programs assuming that everyone can operate best
through printed matter (but what about those with visual disabilities, those with less
obvious learning difficulties, those with motor impairment who can read but not
manipulate pages. Others may think that learning occurs best through listening to an
instructor (what about those who have hearing problems?). There is also an assumption
that everyone is treated equally and fairly if given the same amount of time for
examinations or to prepare and submit assignments using precisely the same presentation
criteria (O’ Cannor, 1992). Clearly, our increased understanding of variability in
preferred learning and teaching, understanding of appropriate learning modalities of
students with variable functional abilities, is challenging us to become more flexible and
insightful in our pedagogical practices (Joyce & Weil, 1992).
The quality of education is evaluated in participation and a sense of achievement in the
groups with whom they receive education, thus enabling them to achieve increasing
independence, participation and a sense of achievement in the groups with whom they
receive education, thus enabling them to achieve increasing independence, participate in
decision making about choice of educational programs and thereby learn the skill of self
advocacy (Stokols & 1992, Razka, 1989). Indeed, the educational system itself will
benefit from making the necessary modifications to accommodate the need of students
with disabilities (O’ Cannor, 1992).
Wherever students with disabilities are being
educated alongside non-disabled students those responsible for educational provision
must develop a clearly stated plan which specifies the steps to be taken and the precise
resources which will be required to ensure that the special needs of the individual will be
fully met. Placing a student with a disability in an inclusive stetting is only the first step
but not an end in itself (UNESCO, 1979). The receptiveness of the educational system,
teachers’ personal attitudes, routines and teaching habits are often very real obstacles to
major changes. In such cases, the educational convenience of students should be given
priority over administrative convenience in service system decisions (Rye & Skjorten,
Inclusion can be linked to a reform of the education system as a whole. In countries like
the United Kingdom , Spain and South Africa inclusive education has been at the core of
a wider reform, which has been directed at enhancing the system’s effectiveness. It is
further considered as an essential precondition of bringing about quality education for all
students (UNESCO, 2003). Inclusion is considered as a dynamic approach of responding
positively to students diversity and of seeing individual differences not as problems, but
as opportunities for enriching learning (UNESCO, 2005).
Specific Cross-cutting Interventions
In order to effect the changes needed for creating an inclusive environment in the higher
education institutions in the country,
the following interventions shall be considered as part of the process towards the
inclusive movement:
a) Incorporate articles that recognize and legislate that SwDs or special needs have the right
to pursue their education with their non-disabled peers and commit to make the
necessary arrangements to accommodate the needs of SwDs and protect them from any
form of discriminatory treatment in the Senate legislation or otherwise,
b) Develop a mechanism to identify profile of needs the student at the point of admission or
c) Raise the aware of instructors about the needs of students with disabilities and their
learning styles,
d) Increase the supply of disability-specific instructional materials,
e) Introduce disability-specific adaptive technology,
f) Give special consideration on departmental choices or placement for SwDs ,
g) Make the curriculum and teaching methodology accommodate the needs of all students,
h) Prepare projects and examinations that accommodate the needs of SwDs as well as
adjust the time allotment for the same,
i) Determine the assistants needed for students with disabilities,
j) Modify and make buildings and services accessible for all students), and
fix the user friendly facilities and fixtures for SwDs.
Finally, in order to protect, enforce and realize the rights of SwDs and
address the
barriers to participation and active learning, there is a need to set-up a body in the
respective institutions. The mission of the body shall be facilitating the creation of
inclusive environment, which can assist in mobilizing the potentials of students with
disabilities and promote their academic success and overall well-being. The body shall
also ensure that SwDs have equal share from the institution as well as influence policy on
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Annex -1 : Synergy of Medical & Social Models
Health Condition
Body structures &
( limitation)
Source : World Health Organization, ICF , 2002
Annex -2: Educational, Social, Architectural & Economical Barrier
Bind Students
Path ways
Worries of
Student Student
Annex 3 : Architectural, Social and Economical Barriers
Students with Motor Disorders
Dining hall
Recreation centers
KEY: AFA= Absence of Financial Assistance
LPTJ= Lack of Part Time Job
IFA= Inadequacy of Financial Assistance
ENV= Environment
EDU= Education
WEMP= Worries about Employment
LIRE= Limited Relationship
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