Disability in Middle Childhood and Adolescence

Authors: Natasha Graham, Linda Schultz, Sophie Mitra, Daniel Mont

Abstract:

There is a need for a multisectoral approach to address the complex interactions between child and adolescent development and physical and mental health, focusing in particular on their relationship with education. Children with disabilities account for a large proportion of children who do not complete a primary education, the gateway to participating fully in society, securing a livelihood, and capitalizing on the opportunities society offers. Barriers to education may involve inaccessible facilities, teacher capacity, curriculum design, or environmental barriers. Inclusive education rests on the belief that all children can learn and should have access to a curriculum and necessary adaptations to ensure meaningful educational attainment. Case studies document real-world efforts in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to address disability in education, including (1) the provision of free eyeglasses for visually impaired children; (2) the development of the standardized measures of disability; (3) disability-inclusive school health and nutrition programs; (4) early childhood monitoring to screen for disability; (5) providing inclusive education for autism spectrum disorders; and (6) targeting HIV prevention and sexual health education for young people with hearing loss.