DIS­ABIL­ITY RIGHTS

Pretoria News - - METRO -

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

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