ONLINE SUPPORT TO LEARNING FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
Skopje, 27 April 2020 – An online service providing support to children with disabilities in learning and development was launched today in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and in partnership with the organization promoting assistive technology Open the Windows.
“Since the school closures, UNICEF has been supporting the Government with distance learning to ensure continuity and help parents, caregivers and children access remote education resources and support.” said Patrizia Di Giovanni, UNICEF Representative. “Children with disabilities need an extra support, an individualised approach and modified lessons to continue learning at home. We must ensure their parents still have a network to count on and that children with disabilities have access to innovative services that stimulate their development and continuous learning.”
As the support networks that parents relied on аrе temporarily not available because of the measures against COVID—19 pandemic crisis, many parents of children with disabilities have been thrown into full-time roles of teachers and caregivers, coaches and therapists.
To fill this gap, the online support service through its special educators and speech therapists, will support parents in designing an individualized plan for online support with their children. The service will provide support based on person-centered approach in four different areas: early stimulation development, use of computers and internet, speech therapy and advices and counseling for all caregivers in the home.
“The platform will make it easier for children with disabilities to attend classes, organize their free time, or improve their computer skills. The platform is also an asset for parents who can learn how to make use of computer as a tool to stimulate their child’s development through play. The most important thing is that the online support will be tailored to the personal needs of each child," said Sanela Skrijelj, additional Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy.
This service is available for all children with disabilities. Parents and caregivers can register their child for individualised support in learning on the following numbers: 072/275 211 and 078/282 662 for support in Macedonian, 071/989 822 for support in Albanian, every working day from 9:00 to 17:00.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.mk.