Education for People with Disabilities

In Sri Lanka there are no standard facilities provided in regard to general education especially for handicapped children. They have to study like normal students. There are no nurseries, primary or secondary schools especially for orthopaedically disabled. But schools for the hearing impaired and visually handicapped were started in year 1912. Therefore severely handicapped (orthopedic) children find no easy way of study.

Also as a result of this group of disabled suffer by way of conveyance to normal schools and educational institutions. No lodging facilities are found close to these schools for them to stay. No special apparatus, accessible desks, educational aids are provided for this orthopaedically disabled. Therefore number of educated physically (orthopaedically) disabled persons is very low, and this amounts to discrimination.

When we talk about social attitudes towards this group, the situation is very pathetic. This situation is aggravated due to the religions belief that a person may be disabled as a result of some sin that he/she had committed during his/her previous birth. Because orthopaedically disabled person have the sight, they are able to witness the way a non-disabled person looks on them, and because the orthopaedically disabled people can hear they are aware of what the non-disabled people say about them. These looks and works automatically make orthopaedically disabled persons to feel disgusted with the society and the world.

When we are talking about building and architectural barriers orthopaedically disabled have been deprived of their access to them. As a result of above facts guardians of the orthopaedically handicapped persons are too reluctant to take them about in society. But very few accessibility facilities have been adopted at the Ministry of Social Welfare. As a result of our fellow members having orthopedic disability in their childhood are confined to their homes.

All these facts in mean that on the whole the movement of the orthopedic disabled persons has been paralyzed due to social and religious attitudes. The persons who become disability in later stages of age only have studied up to higher education as because able children.

Currently deaf students are taught by a variety of educational methods but the primary method should essentially be first and foremost "sign language". One of the major problems is dearth of interpreters for deaf.

Courtesy: Sri Lanka Confederation of Organizations for Handicapped People