Ann Heelan, executive director of AHEAD (Association for Higher Education Access and Disability), recently had an excellent piece in The Irish Times.
A key point in the article states:
” Children with disabilities can learn as much as other children when given the right tools and the right learning environment. Technology can make a significant difference and resources, such as electronic textbooks and voice-activated software, would enable the child to keep up with the work of the class independently. ”
This point is often overlooked when parents and educators make decisions about a child’s education. Furthermore, the child is exposed to technology from an early age, and may develop the exact skills that employers need.
As Heelan notes,
” The economic reality of hi-tech jobs in a fast-changing world means that employers need problem solvers, creative thinkers and technical experts. Many children with disabilities … are great outside-the-box thinkers – they see the world differently. They think laterally and make great leaps in understanding, seeing links and connectedness others do not see. Many are highly motivated, having had to negotiate an unwelcoming world.”
Giving these children a chance in the first place, can be all that’s needed. Then they have more chance to gain key social and life skills for future use.