However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.
- Stephen Hawking
At the onset of each school session, it’s always fun to unwrap each child’s personality. Children too are excited to participate in discussions in their new classrooms, but have you ever thought what goes in the mind of a child with special needs? Are we, as teachers and academicians, welcoming the differently abled with open arms?
People tend to forget that a person with disabilities is just another human being with desires, talents, skills – like everyone else. Everybody, regardless of their ability, has something to give to the world. We should never forget that!
Sometimes a little help from peers and families works the best. While education is recognized as a pathway of moving out of poverty, there is very little focus on how children with disabilities can be effectively included in the education system. Every parent wants their child to be happy and accepted by their peers, have a healthy life and education. Allowing a child with special needs to interact and learn with other students in school improves their academic performance, their personality, and they tend to exceed expectations.
Education is every child’s right, not a privilege. As a society, we should embrace inclusive education, and encourage children with disabilities to participate in everyday activities, build friendships and get access to opportunities. Once specially abled children receive proper opportunities, they can get involved in shaping the society and achieving laurels for the country, and their families can escape or avoid the trap of poverty. Inclusive education is one of the fundamental ways to welcome diversity amongst all learners. It promotes the idea that “having a disability of any kind should never stop anybody from conquering the world.”
When the specially abled are accepted and educated the way others are, they can turn their life around and achieve true, tangible success.
Although progress has been made in the education sector, India still faces challenges in addressing the educational needs of children with disabilities. Together with governments, educators, donors and other partners, we can help to close gap and achieve education for all.