Accessible and inclusive support across the world: an update on D&A International

5th March 2021 by Ellie Thompson

Since Diversity & Ability first visited Mauritius in November 2019, we’ve been hard at work with the Global Rainbow Foundation and Commonwealth of Learning to create a course designed to educate practitioners on Disability Needs Assessments and Assistive Technologies.

We are proud to say that our Pilot is now live, with 41 participants taking part in the course which offers blended learning through a mixture of e-learning modules and live interactive webinars. When participants complete the course they will have learned more about Needs Assessments and Assistive Technology, as well as practical applications for supporting diverse learners in both education and the workplace.

Why is the course so important?

Inclusive and accessible education.

Mauritius is making higher education free for all its citizens. It’s important that we ensure this includes disabled and neurodiverse individuals, too. Our course works directly with those supporting diverse learners to ensure there are no barriers to prevent them from accessing the same high quality education as their non-disabled peers.

Sustainable Development Goals

By enabling people in Mauritius to ensure they are best placed to support the social, economic and educational needs of those they work with, the course contributes to Mauritius’s progression to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Quality Education, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Reduced Inequalities.

Striving for a more accessible and inclusive digital world

With a focus on assistive technology and digital adaptations, the course supports D&A’s global mission to make assistive technology a part of all of our daily lives. Assistive technology can open doors, enable people, and help alleviate poverty and social exclusion.

So far, the course has been a great success. Angel Anne-lise Charlot Colomès, a project coordinator at the Global Rainbow Foundation, has reflected on her experience with the course so far:

“I find it very interesting and rewarding. It encourages me to question my own perceptions about the disability sector in Mauritius.. It is such an enriching course that presents new working materials. These will allow me to better [support] beneficiaries I work with and adequately respond to their distinctive needs.”

Dr Mairette Newman, an Education Specialist from Commonwealth of Learning, also praised the course: “As a fully online course, it is a flexible, convenient way for disability practiotioners from the island of Mauritius to learn from some of the best disability experts in the world… It minimizes barriers and makes online learning more accessible not only for those who experience challenges but for all learners. This course is an exemplar of the design we would all like to see in courses.”

We’re looking forward to continuing to watch our participants develop through the online course and continue to enhance their learning on inclusive support.

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