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We are special since we love specially, feel uniquely and revel in seeing others cheerful.

Education is a fundamental human right and it is recognized worldwide that all individuals with special needs/disabilities have a right to an inclusive education (IE). This is a critical pawn in achieving reasonable or more meaningful access to, full participation for everyone including persons with disabilities and special needs. The term “Special Needs” typically refers to a group of disabilities or conditions that can have an impact on a person’s everyday life. These disabilities can be physical, intellectual, developmental, behavioural and emotional or may require additional support in order for the person to manoeuvre through personal, social, and professional lives.

There are various kinds of special needs, and each individual’s needs are unique. Some physical disabilities may impact mobility- for example, cerebral palsy or spinal bifida. An intellectual disability or learning disability such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD/ADD) can affect a person’s cognitive abilities such as their ability to reason, learn and communicate. Emotional disabilities, such as depression, Bipolar, and anxiety among others, can impact a person’s behaviour and mental health.

The perspectives of people with disabilities and special needs arguably would best be presented through qualitative research as this approach thoroughly examines the personal, social, cultural and political phenomenon. Although this approach prioritizes context and meaning when studying human experiences, participants’ voices and experiences would be greatly outstanding.

It is important to remember that individuals with special needs are just like anyone else; they have passions, interests, abilities, challenges and strengths. However, they may need additional support in order to fully realize their special potential. This can be in the form of; accommodations at school or work such as flexible schedules, modified job or class tasks or accessibility features, one-on-one tutoring, assistive devices like screen readers, hearing aids, speech-to-text software etc. or therapies and intervention services such as speech therapy, occupational and behavioural therapy among others.

It is also necessary to notice that creating an inclusive school or learning institution and community for persons with disabilities stretches beyond the art of accommodating and supporting them but also valuing and celebrating their diversity. This can be achieved through; educating the community and families/school staff about the different categories of special needs and how they can impact the individual and families, using inclusive and person-first language such as “person with autism” rather than autistic person, respecting individuals’ preferences and needs such as using assistive devices, advocating for equal access and resources for persons with special needs among others.

In a nutshell, individuals with special needs are an essential and valuable part of our society. They are unique, with a varying wealth of knowledge, skills, talents, interests and experiences that add tremendous diversity, resourcefulness and creative energy to our society. By creating inclusive and supportive communities, we can aid these special persons to thrive and reach their full potential. Remember to be an ally, educate yourself, and celebrate diversity in all its forms.


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