Saturday, September 5, 2009

Teaching children with disabilities can be a rewarding experience.

Researchers have found that the mentally impaired learn by a process that is much different from that of a person who is not disabled. Normally developing people learn by reacting to their environment. They learn through sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell. In the mentally impaired, brain damage makes them unable to do this.

Along with a dull sensory perception, these children have limited use of logic and reasoning. When there is not logic, reasoning, or thought building process involved they will probably do very well.

Another adjustment will be the language that the teacher uses. They must be very conscious of what they are saying. The intellectually impaired students learning abilities will depend on how much of what is being said is understood.

A mentally handicapped child should not be expected to wait with their questions. Their learning must be immediate and spontaneous. A disabled child must practice even minor tasks before they can do them well. Teachers should let them distribute papers, supplies, and books. They should then reward students who have completed the tasks given to them. Nothing should go unrecognized.

The success of teaching the intellectually impaired is totally reliant on the ability of the teacher. The teacher must have patience and respect for human need, plus a love for the student who is "different."

Story telling is one of the worlds oldest forms of expression. Most mentally handicapped children love to hear stories. They help to bring alive their imaginations. Stories will help to mold ideas.

Whatever a teacher tells the trainable child, he/she will accept as true. The child cannot determine between what is real and what is a story.

Those who are teaching the intellectually impaired should use a great deal of visual aids which XO laptop did in the School for the Handicapped HLA Compound, Ibadan, Nigeria. Talking alone will not give a clear picture to the mentally handicapped. Children can cut figures from magazines to make their own visual stories.

The teacher needs to pick the crafts for the intellectually impaired very carefully. Each one should serve a purpose. Each one should be reinforcement to the lesson that is being taught.

Twenty years ago there were virtually no classes for the intellectually impaired. Today, educators recognize this a long needed thing and are opening their arms and their hearts to these children. It is an open door that will change lives forever. Parents and families of the mentally impaired will be forever strengthened just knowing that One Laptop Per Child Association US cares for their children.

Children with Disabilities and Non Disabilities Learning Process

We did not identify the gap between learning process of children with disabilities and non children with disabilities until after day to evaluation of XO training. We found out that the children with disabilities are not understanding the training with the fact that their teachers are their to translate through sign language to them what happening in the class of XO laptop training.

What most of them can operate when we asked them to practice on XO was game activity called Maze. OLPCorp team met and we decided to separate them from children with no disability by creating another class for the children with disabilities and start all over again.

Friday, August 28, 2009

XO Laptops in the Hands of the Children

The globally renowned One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC), mission is to create affordable opportunities for children of the developing world developed rugged, low-cost, low-power, internet ready laptops enriched with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. The primary aim is to improve learning and technology adoption as well as engendering computer usage in children as a first step towards fostering technological development on a national level.

This mission was accomplished in the School the Handicapped HLA Compound Agodi Gate, Ibadan, Nigeria on 3rd of August 2009 with the beginning of the children training on how to use XO laptop which I called "XO LAPTOP APPRECIATION" training. Some of these children are holding a computer for first time in their lives, and this marked the beginning of learning and technology adoption for development of new African future leaders.

All children are equal under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We put all the children with disabilities together with their non disabilities friends from community to learn from each other. The first day was fun all through because the day was dedicated to all game activities in XO laptop, how to on and shotdown, fixing of battery to the laptop and familiarization to the keyboard.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lauching of XO at the School for the Hadicapped, Ibadan.

One of the grace God showered the day was a cool weather
and brighter day like a morning start. Though it is a rainy season but a single water did not mistakenly drop from heaven on this day, Wednesday 15th of July. The special adviser to Oyo State Governor on Physical Challenged matters, Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi graced and chaired the occasion. While delivering his chairman opening speech the blind barrister advised all parents present to value their physically-challenged children ans see them as special gifts from God. He said this an event organized for the physically-challenged at the School for the Handicapped, HLA compound Agodi Gate, Ibadan.

In his address, Barrister Adekanmbi urged parents not to misuse the opportunity given to their children by One Laptop Per Child Association US by selling the laptops to offset their debts; but to allow the children to enjoy the benefits given them. He presented a copy of XO to one of the beneficiaries.

Deputy Director of Specail Education in Oyo State Primary Education Board (SPEB) also buttressed barrister's points, and also presented a copy of XO laptop to one the beneficiaries.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The begining of Teachers's Training

It was not easy as we all thought it was going to be before we started teachers's at the School for the Handicapped HLA Compound, Agodi Gate Ibadan. I can now realized there is large gap between adult education and children education. We tried all our possible best to train the teachers how to use XO laptop but most of them did not get it. I understand today is their first time learning computer ever, I am looking forward for improvement in the days ahead.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

University of Ibadan OLPCorps Team Capacity Training

After returning from Rwanda, the first activity we embarked on was the training of University of Ibadan OLPCorps Team on how to use XO laptop.

Three days was dedicated to the training of the team members on how to use the XO though some of them are already family with the XO but still find the training interesting.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Visit to the Special Assistant to the Oyo State Governor on Disabilites

As part of effort to mobilize the stakeholders in educational sector and disabilities to support One Laptop Per Child project in the School for The Handicapped Agodi Gate Ibadan Oyo State, Nigeria. OLPCorps Team paid a visit to the Special Assistant to the Oyo State Governor on Disabilities, Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi a blind trained lawyer in his office.

While commending the effort of the OLPCorps Team, he said he is really happy about the project targeted the children with disabilities and
programmes targeted at empowering people with disabilities have been limited. He said further that Information Technology is the only way out for people with disabilities like sending mail on the internet, receiving phone calls and sending text messages, working on a computer e.t.c. without the Information Technology knowledge the people with disabilities most especial blind can not do anything.

He promised Government support and wish us a succesful project implemation .

We presented him a copy of XO laptop and he promised to show the state Governor Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala.