Sat | Jul 20, 2019

Morris: Give children with disabilities equal opportunities

Published:Thursday | June 27, 2019 | 12:28 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Senator Floyd Morris
Senator Floyd Morris

WESTERN BUREAU:

Senator Floyd Morris, director of the Centre for Disability Studies at The University of the West Indies (UWI), is calling for the establishment of an international education order that will see governments worldwide providing equal-education rights and opportunities for children with disabilities.

Morris, who is visually impaired, made the call while addressing yesterday’s UWI-Division of International Special Education and Services’ International Special Education Conference in Montego Bay.

“It is the view of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that persons with disabilities must be included in the general education system, and I want to take this opportunity to call for a new international education order for persons with disabilities,” said Morris. “This international education order must see governments placing greater emphasis on the education of children with disabilities because if you want persons with disabilities to be empowered and transformed, education must play a fundamental role.”

He added that part of the change must begin at teacher-training institutions.

“We, therefore, must see every single teacher that is coming out of teacher-training colleges being equipped and trained with the necessary skill sets to deal with children with disabilities in the classroom. We must see an urgent effort by governments across the world to ensure that all educational institutions are accessible to persons with disabilities, and not just physical access to the building, but access to modern technology so persons with disabilities can link and liaise with their non-disabled counterparts in the classroom,” said Morris.

Morris also referenced the Disabilities Act of 2014, which, upon implementation, will protect disabled persons from being disadvantaged by educational institutes.

“In very short order you’re going to see that legislation fully rolled out. So educators, make sure you put your house in order because we’re coming to make sure that persons with disabilities are fully included in the education system,” he warned.

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