This week in class we went over the concept of Inclusive Education. The literature that we went over to prepare for this session included looking at the UN G3ICT Model Policy for Inclusive ICT’s in Education for PWDs. This piece focuses on how UN member states can make education more accessible to persons with disabilities. Within this document is a chapter related directly to policy actions and objections at three different levels of an inclusive education system. An interesting feature to these actions and objectives is that they are not technology specific, this was done with the intention of making sure that the actions and objectives do not become less relevant as technology progresses. I found this section of the document most intriguing because of the highlighted steps that can be seen in the image below:
Oftentimes as initiators of change we forget that before diving into pushing for a certain policy we need to take a step back and review the current situation. I think that this document does a great job of explaining the need to take these steps and then provides critical questions to be asked at each stage in relation persons with disabilities. I think that a similar approach should be taken when writing out our final capstone projects, I am excited to be able to use this as a guide as I work on my project for the rest of the semester.
In class we also had the opportunity to talk about the importance of inclusive education models and how they align with several of the UN SDG”s. Professor Cogburn had the opportunity to speak about a project that he had worked on for several years with the Nippon foundation. His efforts eventually led to the creation of the first masters degree in disability management that can be completed online. It was exciting to see that American University was part of these efforts and in some ways is a trailblazer in creating inclusive education. I think that it is also important to emphasize why it is so critical that this degree could be completed online and how it relates to another concept we talked about in class called universal design. When someone mentions that a product or service has been made with a universal design it means that it is made with the intention of granting equal access to said product/ service to everyone regardless of capability. In order for us as a society to be more inclusive we need to start designing everything with the concept in mind.