Talking Books: Inclusive Education Materials available for Persons with Disabilities

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By Lillian Sopera Keneqa – EMTV News, Port Moresby What has been described as a milestone achievement is now available on Google Play for anyone with an android phone to download. Education for persons with disabilities has just moved on to a whole new level. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Second Secretary Development Co-operation for Education, Eloise Saif, said, “For the first time a collection of standard based curriculum early grade readers have been converted into electronic books using the PNG sign language and will be available to all children in PNG to access.” She added, “This is a milestone achievement in the development of inclusive education materials in PNG because the books are made available through an electronic application called the Bloom Reader.” The Summer Institute of Linguistics PNG (SIL-PNG) has been inventing ‘talking books’ since 2015. In 2017, the Rapid Improving Standards in Elementary or the RISE program started. Since then Save the Children, Callan Services for Persons with Disabilities National Unit and Summer Institute of Linguistics PNG have worked together to improve the quality of early grade education for 4-8 year olds in East Sepik Province, Eastern Highlands Province, and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, in which SIL-PNG was tasked to deliver. The three organisations then teamed up to make talking books available for persons with disabilities, specifically those who are hearing impaired. Callan Services National Unit Director, Br. Kevin Ryan said “It is very creative. It’s brought together a whole range of knowledge and skills and abilities, and I think will have a very long positive effect on early childhood education.” It is the hope of the RISE program that inclusive education resources, like sign language, talking books, will further support children with disabilities to learn in PNG schools. https://youtu.be/HxYK3kwbqYU  ]]>

Lillian Keneqa

Lillian Keneqa (pronounced KE-NE-YA) has a degree in Journalism & Public Relations , with a Minor in English Communication from the University of Papua New Guinea. She joined the News Department as a Journalist in December, 2017. When Lillian is not Journaling, she enjoys photography, graphic designing and traveling.

Lillian Keneqa