Support Services for Students With Special Needs

Support Services for Students With Special NeedsSupport Services for Students With Special Needs

Tablets will replace textbooks for partially sighted students from the beginning of the new school year (starts September 23), said Majid Ghadami, head of the Special Education Organization.

This year, 1.3 million first-graders have been enrolled in schools.  Health assessment of first graders in 847 health centers started from late May and covered 99% of the children, Tabnak News Agency reported.

Following the health assessment, 8,671 students were referred to special schools.

Nearly 52,563 mentally retarded children, 1,582 autistic, 1,783 kids with severe physical disabilities and 6,000 with multiple disabilities in different grades are covered by special education.

In the new academic year, visually impaired students and those with weak eyesight will be given free tablets to choose their textbook content in a font size that is convenient for them to read.  

The funding required for the tablets is about $182,000, while publishing textbooks with large fonts for students with poor vision is more costly, he said, pointing out that there are more than 1,000 such students across the country.

Ghadami also said students who need hearing aid or cochlear implant will get them free of cost.

“We must always remember that special students are incapacitated or unable to learn; rather, they need different set of instructions tailored to meet their distinctive learning abilities.”

According to a recent assessment, 90% of students are right-handed and 10% are left-handed; 8,000 students are short in stature and 63,000 are obese. Also 756,000 students had at least one decayed tooth.

Referring to transport services for exceptional students, he said it is 100% free in deprived areas. In less developed and developed regions, 30% of the transport charges have to be paid.

For the first time, this year final exams as well as the university entrance examination for blind students will be held in written form and the students will be given Braille question papers.

Earlier, blind and visually impaired students had to give oral exams or readers were appointed to read the question papers but the method was found inconvenient.

There are some unique and distinctive challenges in teaching youngsters with some kind of disability. Not only do they demand more time and patience; they also require specialized instructional strategies in a structured environment that supports and enhances their learning potential.