Recommendations for adaptation of distance learning for children with disabilities

How to adapt learning for children with disabilities

UNICEF
Školske torbe
VKljajo/UNICEF
12 May 2020

UNICEF CO Croatia, in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Croatia, is actively participating in providing a response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in Croatia, including the support to the Ministry of Science and Education.

UNICEF CO Croatia supported the continuity of education for primary and secondary school children in Croatia by enabling the use of UNICEF’s own digital educational content in the implementation of distance learning.

Education systems all around the world are currently facing one of the biggest challenges of this pandemic – organizing and securing a continuity of education. UNICEF has an extensive, global experience in providing accessible and quality education in such situations, especially when it comes to vulnerable groups of children, such as children with disabilities. In the process of adapting and improving distance learning, UNICEF is inviting all stakeholders to consider the recommendations that will enable the inclusion and quality monitoring of distance learning for the most vulnerable pupils and students.

 

Recommendations for virtual and TV presentations:

  • use a cursor in a contrasting color (e.g. red, green or yellow) so that visually impaired children can see it clearly;
  • use a larger cursor so that visually impaired children can see it clearly;
  • use the biggest font as possible so that visually impaired children can see it clearly;
  • put keywords in additional contrast with the background (e.g. use the option of bolding the letters, but also the option of coloring the background or underlining the text), so that visually impaired children can see it clearly;
  • verbally explain visual content in detail, so that visually impaired children can imagine and understand as realistically as possible;
  • read the links to virtual content out loud, so that visually impaired students can write them down (e.g. it is not enough to just give a "click on the link" instruction);
  • slow your speech down, speak slowly, so that children with hearing impairments can follow well;
  • enable the adaptation of content for children with hearing impairments, with the help of sign language or additional subtitles;
  • provide clear and unambiguous sound in video lessons, so that children with hearing impairments can successfully follow them.

 

Additional recommendations:

  • ensure that children with combined disabilities (e.g. visual impairment and motor difficulties) have access to virtual classrooms that are adaptable (e.g. possibility to enlarge the text, download published content, etc.), or provide instructions on how this can be implemented in virtual classrooms if such options exist;
  • allow the interpretation of school reading content/books through film adaptations.