27 Jan 2011

The Classroom for Blind Babies is Going to Happen

Today we have good news from Ethiopia: the classroom for blind babies will be a reality.  The children will be in the kindergarten, close to the kitchen, the washroom and the bathrooms.  The five year olds who currently use this space will move to a room that until now has been used as a multiuse classroom.  We have to build a new room to accommodate the children who won’t have space to sleep their siesta in this multiuse room.  The siesta is obligatory for all infants according the Ethiopian Law of Education.

We estimate that the classroom for the blind babies will be up and running in about four months, as soon as we have constructed the new room and equipped the classroom.  However, before it is inaugurated, we want to make sure that their carers will be very special and that someone goes there to give them the appropriate training.

The blind children will be between 1 and 3 years old.  Once they have spent a year in this new classroom we are expecting that the older children will be incorporated, up to a maximum of two per class, with children of their own age, and that this will continue in the same way in the following years.  Our objective is to have all blind children fully integrated in classes with other children by the time they finish at Abugida.

This is an important challenge for us.  It is an important step on the road to integrating disabled children in a country where it has not been possible due to a lack of resources, the overcrowding in schools and the discrimination towards the disabled.

Yesterday morning Barry returned from his trip to Ethiopia and it seems that everything went well with the rest of the projects.  We shall keep you informed.

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