PARTICIPANTS in the sixth annual Disability Rights Conference agreed that giving inclusive education was not only about the responsibility to deliver content, but also the manner in which the content was delivered.
They were speaking during the twoday conference, hosted by the University of Pretoria at the St George Hotel, Irene.
The University of Limpopo’s Sandra Makwembere delivered her presentation on the selfishness of able-bodiedness, particularly in the context of the higher education institutions.
She described how attitude was the greatest challenge to how disabled students were treated. Lecturers needed to break the culture of silence created to oppress students and learn to address students with disabilities without perpetuating existing inequalities. They must also be trained on what to do when they had students with disabilities in their class and not assume that any student with a disability would have a different ability level. “Looking at where the discussion of disability is at you can see there has been a shift in understanding what disability is. You have this reflecting in scholarly works and even how media portrays these.”
Workshops were held on conducting effective advocacy on inclusive education, inclusive education teacher training, why it was not working, and what could be done. | MatlhatsI Dibakwane