Educating children with special needs- Role of Technology.

Children with special needs include those who need technology platforms, and Digital content to be fully compliant to accessibility standards. So that education delivered using such technology platform and tools are inclusive, and provide a level playing ground for the disadvantaged children too.

The physically disadvantaged learners may have different types of disabilities: hearing, speech, vision, and Psycho-motor too. Specialised technology tools are available to help normalise such disabilities, and provide equity in education at all levels: from school education to polytechnics to Higher Education.

It is not only about physically disadvantaged learners, many of us who lead normal lives, and many children who appear quite normal may have special needs due to mild disorders like dyslexia, Attention deficit disorder, slow learners. There are technology tools available to diagnose such special needs, including cognitive deficits. Many times these are very subtle and minor. Scientifically proven techniques and specially developed diagnosis tools can be used for early detection, and remediation.

Remediation of such special needs, when identified early, can be almost completely remedied. The biggest challenge is that the parents accepting that their child needs special attention and remediation in various forms, sometimes including counselling. In certain societies/communities, it is seen as a taboo, and hence remediation is denied, thus letting a learner not able to develop to his or her full potential.

Most good schools recognise the need to have special needs educators and partnership with organizations and experts in the area of cognition, behaviour, and other disorders that I mentioned earlier. In most cases they are mild and the first step to remediation, is willing to be diagnosed, and subsequent acceptance. Hence provide personalised attention to ensure they quickly attain the normal.

Sometimes there are psychological challenges a learner may face, due to parenting, socio-economic challenges, family issues etc. In most such cases, we see children demonstrating rebel tendencies, and potentially even disrupt classes, and the peer group of learners. With willingness and cooperation of the parent(in case of a single parent) or parents, it is possible to overcome such challenges. In certain countries Psychological assessments are still seen as offensive, unfortunately may lead to under developed talent in the individual students.

Technology tools play a big role in assessments of special needs and the intensity of it. It is today a necessity that Education Technology complies to accommodate some these special needs that are frequently discussed.

Good parenting skills, combined with effective counselling and Empathatic support from the Educators can neutralize such issues. Technology has a significant role in assessment and diagnostics. Education technology platforms of today are designed and developed to be accommodative and inclusive for learners with known, or even undisclosed, but subtle disabilities.

Specially in the current period of the nCOVID19 crisis, it is far more challenging to any of the above face2face, and there is this new space and a new opportunity to think and design new technologies that are able to accomplish some of the requirements without having to do it face2face.

This is a different perspective to Education technology and technology tools used for assessments and remediation of certain special needs.

About the author

D Sudhanva is the founder and CEO at Excelsoft Technologies, a globally renowned eLearning Solutions Company. With a focus on transforming education across the world, Sudhanva has steered Excelsoft to be a thought leader in Education Technology with robust products delivering innovative solutions.