How information, communications and technology (ICT) can be used in the most effective way for education of people with disabilities is high on the political agendas of all countries, to enable them live independently and make them participate fully in all aspects of life, S. Parween, Assistant Professor in Special Education, Faculty of Disability Management and Special Education, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, said here on Friday.

Speaking at a conference on “Empowering Persons with Disability through Information and Communication Technologies” organised by the GRD School of Social Work of Dr. G.R. Damodaran College of Science, for social work students and persons with disabilities, she emphasised the fact that ICT and assistive devices could make a world of difference to the independence of persons with disabilities.

“In almost every country, inclusive education has emerged as one of the most dominant issues in the education of students with special education needs. As States and schools work to implement the education reforms as required by the ‘No Child Left Behind Act 2001’ of the U.S., they must also ensure that all the students are included, in particular, those with disabilities,” Ms. Parween said.

Opportunities

Earlier, inaugurating the conference, K. Murali, Director, Deaf Leaders-India, explained in sign language about the various employment opportunities that were available for people with disabilities.

Vocational training offered in schools and other organisations, supplemented by skill, would ensure that they were absorbed in private companies, government sector, self-help groups, BPOs, or could establish themselves in self-employed businesses.

He explained about various assistive technologies that would empower persons with disabilities.

Ms. Parween also urged students to develop open-access, low-cost everyday technologies for children with special needs, conduct research on usability of technologies, etc.

T. Santha, Principal-in-charge of the college, presided over the inauguration.

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