Making digital learning accessible for learners who are deaf or hard of hearing
In 2018, The Ministry of Education developed a Sector Policy for Learners and Trainees with Disabilities. The policy defines special needs education as, “education which provides appropriate modification in curriculum delivery methods, educational resources, medium of communication or the learning environment to cater for individual differences in learning.”
In Kenya, children with disabilities continue to face immense barriers in accessing education. For example, in some cultures, when a child is born with disability, it is falsely believed that they have been cursed and are often hidden in their homes. As a result, they remain invisible and marginalized in the society. Children with hearing impairment especially are often excluded from communicating with their peers and other members of society even though Kenyan Sign Language has been recognized as an official language in the Kenyan Constitution of 2010.
The Government of Kenya embarked on the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) in 2013 with the aim to equip all primary schools in Kenya with computer tablets and increase digital literacy of learners. The Aga Khan Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya, has a unit for hearing impairment catering for 153 learners. The school received 89 laptops. “One of our challenges has been the fact that we had not yet received content for learners with hearing impairment. We thought that we had been forgotten. We are glad to see you here today,” says the headteacher.