The project by Cerebral Palsy Turkey aims to ensure that students with special needs continue to have access to education through accessible and tailored remote learning tools and methods.
One of the main areas, affected by the Covid-19 crisis, undoubtedly is education. As a result, there has been an urgent and widespread need for distance learning like never before. During this transformation from in-class to distance learning, the main focus has been on students from mainstream schools without developmental disabilities. Thus, the Covid-19 crisis has impacted the learning opportunities of disadvantaged groups such as children with special education needs (SEN), putting them further at risk.
In formal education, what separates students with SEN from other students also separates them from others in distance learning. The methods, approaches, targeted gains, duration of distance learning classes for students with SEN should differ from the mainstream distance learning transformation. For the students with SEN, formal education is not only necessary for literacy and knowledge, but also for passing on crucial life skills through individualized educational planning.
Our school, Metin Sabancı Private Special Education School, has been trying to digitalize some of its services through a specifically designed software over the last few years. In the framework of special education, individualized educational planning is a core element, and the follow-up and personal developmental history of each student are indispensable factors. In addition to these factors, which could have been achieved by digital tools, the pandemic crisis has forced us to continue the education process by using a fully digitalized and new approach.
Metin Sabancı Private Special Education School aims to ensure that its students with special needs continue to benefit from their right to education through accessible and tailored distance learning tools and methods. In order to do that, we work on enriching and completing our designed software to be a substitute teacher for our students in cases where distance learning is the only alternative.
Metin Sabancı Private Special Education School being one of the only few private special education schools in Turkey, the lessons learned and achievements of this project will be inspiring and vital for the other special education schools.
Currently, our team of special education teachers are working with an IT Company to adopt our specifically designed software for distance learning. We have already evaluated the needs of the parents of our students for distance learning and they have been taken into consideration.