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Studying together

03.11.2008   

The first project for inclusive education has been launched in Ukraine.  This will enable children with special needs to study together with other children..

The joint Ukrainian – Canadian project “Inclusive education for children with special needs in Ukraine” is to begin in two pilot cities – Simferopol and Lviv. The project is financed by the Canadian Government.

The necessary conditions will be created, including ramps and disabled toilets. Assistant teachers will accompany students with special needs during the lessons, and the children will be provided with transparent and special textbooks (for example, where books in Braille are needed) and other educational equipment.

The project is being carried out by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies and the Ukrainian Foundation “Step by Step”.  It will run for two years in schools No. 95 in Lviv and No. 3 in Simferopol.  According to the Executive Director Olha Krasyukova-Ens, the Canadians initially planned to run such initiatives in five schools over four cities. However they decided it was better not to spread their efforts too thin and to concentrate on two schools.

This project which is a first for Ukraine involves three components: educational, legislative and that of social development.

An analysis will first be made of all legislation concerning people with disabilities and an approach developed on how to apply this at the local level.

The second level will involve work with teachers and school heads to overcome barriers presently obstructing inclusive education.  Olha Krasyukova-Ens explains: “Teachers need to understand that disability is not that the child is different, but that the school doesn’t have a ramp, whereas the child could study according to the same programme.” New study programmes and courses for future teachers will be developed. Help will be provided by the Canadian Grant McKeon College which has many specialists on inclusive education.

In each of the two regions civic organizations will be involved and inclusive centres will be organized with their assistance. In these centres all information on the subject will be available for parents of children with special needs, teachers and civil servants.

From material at www.novynar.com.ua

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