Grantees of the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund, a public service project promoting Inclusive Education, has partnered the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD) to implement the Universal Design for Learning component of Ghana’s Inclusive Education Policy.
The Universal Design for Learning is a framework for teaching and learning, which underlines the proactive planning of the curricula in terms of goals, assessment and flexibility, among others, in a way that works for both teachers and learners.
The framework is based on Neuroscience, Education and Technology Research and provides multiple means of representation, instructions and actions and also facilitates inclusion.
It emphasises access, variety, choice and multiple opportunities, among others.
A meeting held between the grantees and officials of the GDF, therefore, discussed how to rope in all stakeholders interested in the effective implementation of Ghana’s Inclusive Education policy and how to operationalise the Design.
Associate Professor Tiece Ruffin of the African Studies and Education at University of North Carolina Asheville, who briefed the officials of the GDF and stakeholder organizations about the project, said the grantees had also partnered the Ghana Education Service to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness.
The project titled: “Expanding Access to Education for the Deaf in Ghana,” is funded by the United States Department of States for Partners of the Americas.
It will explore how to strengthen the operationalisation of the Inclusive Education Policy by ‘moving the deals into tangible actions’.
The Grantees include two hearing impaired Ghanaians: Ms. Aputuligo Lariba and Mr. Marco Nyarko who studied in the US; and two American scholars Mr. Joel Runnels and Dr. Ruffin who both worked with Inclusive Education in Ghana, to promote the Inclusive Education for students with hearing impairment.
Prof. Ruffin, who is also the project’s Co-Principal Investigator, said the grantees will engage diverse stakeholders and students in Savelugu, Bolga, Navrongo and Wa.
She said the Universal Design for Learning was created to address the disability of schools rather than the students.
“UDL is brain based learning,” she explained, and called for the training of teachers in the UDL approach to teaching and learning.
She announced that between February 3 and 7, this year, the Expanding Access to Education for Deaf in Ghana project team, will facilitate a poster presentation on the history of Deaf Education in Ghana, followed by an inclusion education forum, which would explore how to expand inclusion for the deaf in Secondary Education.
The focus immediate focus schools are the Wa School for the Deaf (Upper West Region) St. John’s Integrated School, Navrongo, (Upper East Region) Gbeogo School for the Deaf Tongo, (North East Region) and Savelugu School for the Deaf (Northern Region).
Prof. Ruffin presented a copy of a book titled: Universal Design for Learning to the GFD.
Mrs Rita Kusi, Executive Director of GFD, expressed appreciation for the partnership, which she said was laudable.