Health International Life

Step By Step Inclusive Education Program Helps Ukrainian Children With Disabilities

by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby

Helping to educate people with disabilities is one of the greatest challenges that many individuals face, in particular are parents who have children with disabilities.

The same challenge is experienced in Papua New Guinea.

An organisation in Papua New Guinea, the Cheshire Disability Services, has recognised the importance of looking after the welfare of the disabled and has stepped into educating them to give them hope.

Like Papua New Guinea, Ukraine has taken this milestone to educating its citizens living with disabilities, especially children.

The country through support from USAIDS, has established the Inclusive Resource Centre in Vinnytsia, the capital of Ukraine, and has adopted the ‘Step by Step Inclusive Education’ program to help the disabled.

The program was implemented by the Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation and was designed to provide easier access to education plus other important services for children with special needs.

Objectives of the program includes

  • Improving level of support for the children with special needs
  • Raising awareness of parents of children with special needs
  • Strengthening the capacity of teachers working with the children and 
  • To increase the level of competence of local departments of education on inclusive education

Given these objectives, Ukrainian parents who believe in the power in numbers, have created connection amongst each other to help improve the education access for their children with special needs.

The combined efforts from the parents and the work of the IRC, has resulted in a breakthrough that has shown positive momentum for both the parents, the children with special needs and the centre.

18 autistic children have received admission to various schools for 2015-2016 school years.

This has now encouraged more parents who have children with special needs to combine and work towards advocating for the rights of their children.

Plans are now in place to develop proposals for the parents, and establish network partnerships with other NGO’s, pre-schools and schools for the children and the parents.

The success of the program was made possible with the support from UNAID’s Step By Step Inclusive Education Project.

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