Child’s Rights Research
The Centre for AAC is currently working in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Jonkoping in Sweden on a project sponsored by the World Health Organization concerning children’s rights in South Africa. Specifically, the project examines whether the rights of children with disabilities in this country are being met in terms of access to basic resources (e.g., food, water) as well as to medicine, specialized supports (e.g., communication boards, eyeglasses), and education. Four different cultural groups have been targeted, Zulu, Xitsonga, English, and Afrikaans, with questions being asked to both the parent participants and to the children with disabilities themselves. Data collection will be completed by the end of May 2012 and an article will be submitted for publication by year’s end.
Research article: A comparison of teachers’ attitudes of
learners with ADHD and LNFS
If you were a teacher of primary school learners, who would you rather accommodate in your inclusive classroom, a learner with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or a learner with little to no functional speech (LNFS)? We asked a large sample of teachers in Kimberly-area schools their attitudes toward these two learners with very distinct barriers to learning in a research article that recently was accepted for publication in the International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education. Overwhelming, it was found that the teachers favoured including the learner with ADHD over the learner with LNFS, this despite the fact that they rated the learner with ADHD as more disruptive and more impolite in the classroom. We suggested that teachers probably reacted to the learner with LNFS with “fear of the unknown.” That is, it was easier to deal with the learner who was disruptive in class than the learner who may or may not be able to communicate easily. We concluded that there is a need for teachers to receive more pre-service training about how to accommodate a diverse body of learners, particularly those with more severe communication disabilities.