Universal Design for Learning III:
Creating Inclusive Environments
image credit: Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire.
We train healthcare workers, parents and teachers in the Early Identification and Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and child developmental disabilities, Intervention Methods and the need and strategies for Inclusion of these children in our schools and societies. Early identification is key in managing or even reversing such developmental disorders, but unfortunately even basic knowledge is often lacking in developing countries. With a focus on health-workers, teachers and parents, we provide much-needed assessment tools and training for identification, diagnosis and management of developmental disabilities.
Our dynamic partnership with the University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences in Ghana allows us to reach doctors, nurses and medical students from across the country with our annual Autism Training Workshop which covers diagnosis and intervention methods for autism as well as for learning, speech and other developmental disabilities. The partnership has expanded to include parents and teachers and has now involved the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital Pediatrics Dept., the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) Neurology Clinic, the parent organization Autism Action Ghana, the University of Cape Coast College of Education, and the Ghana Education Service (GES) Special Education Division among others.
Training in Senegal begun with the Centre d'Aminata M'Baye and has now included various special needs Centers in the country. The practical workshops have been held at different times in conjunction with the government of Senegal, with participating hospitals, and at the University of Dakar. They have included health professionals from Mauritania, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We will be expanding our training reach and effectiveness even further by soon employing the use of the pervasive mobile technology in Africa. Webinars, WhatsApp, Facebook forums and chat sessions will enhance our current in-person training. We believe that children with autism and other developmental disabilities in Africa, like everywhere else, deserve the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential.