Scielo RSS <![CDATA[African Journal of Disability (Online)]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2226-722020200001&lang=pt vol. 9 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Learning support strategies for learners with neurodevelopmental disorders: Perspectives of recently qualified teachers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2226-72202020000100001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt BACKGROUND: Inclusive education envisages the improvement of the quality of education for all learners. This further implies that schools must adjust all systems of teaching and learning to accommodate all learners regardless of their diverse needs. The reduction of educational inequalities through inclusive practices is aimed at supporting the accomplishment of academic outcomes for all. Learners presenting with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) place specific requirements on teachers, particularly when they find themselves in mainstream classrooms. OBJECTIVES: This study focused on the learning support strategies used by recently qualified teachers in accommodating learners with NDDs in mainstream classrooms in the Gauteng province of South Africa. METHOD: A qualitative approach was used to explore the support strategies used by recently qualified teachers in mainstream classrooms when dealing with learners with NDDs. Purposive sampling was used to select six recently qualified teachers from different mainstream classroom. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, observations and critical incident reports. RESULTS: The findings revealed that teachers employ a variety of support strategies such as cooperative learning, peer learning, ability grouping, extensive visual aids and curriculum differentiation in an attempt to support learners. The support provided by the teachers was evident in their performance as learners with NDD were able to learn and understand the lessons irrespective for their barrier to learning. CONCLUSION: Contrary to literature findings that teachers do not support learners with diverse needs because of lack of skills, training and knowledge, this study revealed that recently qualified teachers employ a variety of support strategies to support learners with NDDs. However, it appeared that these support strategies were rather general teaching and learning strategies. More support strategies should be applied to help learners with NDD in the mainstream classroom. <![CDATA[<b>The development of education for learners with diverse learning needs in the South African context: A bio-ecological systems analysis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2226-72202020000100002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt BACKGROUND: Prior to 1994, special education in South Africa was marginalised and fragmented; therefore, the new democratic government promoted inclusive education as a means to transform education in general and diverse education in particular. However, transformation in diverse education is seemingly moving forward at a snail's pace - too slow to benefit all learners experiencing barriers to learning and development. OBJECTIVES: This article serves a dual purpose: firstly, to apply a bio-ecological approach to highlight the historic development of diverse education and, secondly, to explore the interactive processes within the systemic levels in the South African education system, which affects the learner on the person dimension of the bio-ecological approach. METHOD: A document analysis approach was utilised to collect information by exploring a large body of research literature, which included academic articles, reports, policies and policy reviews. Data were categorised within the systems of the bio-ecological model to determine successes and challenges at each level. RESULTS: Results from the bio-ecological systems analysis of related literature revealed not only many successes but also many challenges that inhibit change, growth and development in the South African education system, even more so for children experiencing barriers to learning. CONCLUSION: The transformation process of change from what was to what should be, regarding diverse education, seems to be stuck at what is and not moving forward to what could be. It has not transformed significantly enough to fill the gap between reality and the envisaged aim or dream of quality education for all. <![CDATA[<b>Being differently abled: Disability through the lens of hierarchy of binaries and <i>Bitso-lebe-ke Seromo</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2226-72202020000100003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt BACKGROUND: Despite its acceptability, the term disability has not been able to shirk the sense of incompleteness, lack, deprivation and incapacitation embodied in the prefix 'dis-'. The current wave of anti-discrimination on disability issues, calls for constant re-examination of the language and the appellations we use in respect of people with disabilities. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to subject the term disability to some relevancy litmus test with a view to prevent it from acquiring Lyotard's 'grand narrative' and to propose and argue for the term 'differently abled' because of its transformative and anti-discriminatory slant. METHOD: The study took the form of a literature review using the optic of Derrida's hierarchy of binaries and the Sesotho proverb, 'Bitso-lebe-ke seromo', (A bad name is ominous) to explore the connotations of the term disability as a disenfranchising social construct. RESULTS: Read through the lens of Derrida's idea of difference, disability as a concept has no inherent meaning and its meaning derives from its being differentiated from other concepts. Viewed through the lens of Bitso-lebe-ke seromo and read in the context of its deep symbolical significance, the term disability holds immense spiritual power. CONCLUSION: The study concludes that the term disability or disabled is exclusionary, stigmatizing, and anti-transformational. As such it embodies imperfection, incapacitation and inferiority. Not only is it ominous, it places upon people with disability the perpetual mark of unattractiveness. Against this background the term differently abled seems to convey more empowering overtones than the term disability. <![CDATA[<b>The promise of equal education not kept: Specific learning disabilities - The invisible disability</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2226-72202020000100004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt BACKGROUND: This research is part of a larger project on the exploration of inequalities in South African higher education. This current study focussed on the implementation of policies to eradicate inequalities in an inclusive education system. OBJECTIVES: This article aimed to establish the implementation of policy by researching the lived experiences of students with specific learning disabilities (SLDs) studying in the university. METHOD: A qualitative, systematic review was employed as the research methodology. Original peer-reviewed qualitative studies published between 1994 and 2017 were systematically reviewed. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) was used to ensure rigorous reviews. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) was used to guide the process of critical appraisal of the selected articles which resulted in a total of 10 articles being selected for reviewing. The target population of this research comprised undergraduate students diagnosed with SLD. Semi-structured interviews were the main data collection tools used in the studies that were reviewed. Data from the selected articles were extracted and synthesised. RESULTS: The dominant themes that emerged from the review were: (1) fear of stigmatisation; (2) gaps in policy implementation; (3) experiences vary across departments; and (4) self-determination and family support as success factors. CONCLUSION: An important aspect in the transformation of higher education institution is to ensure the closing of the disjuncture between policy and implementation in support of students with SLD. <![CDATA[<b>Functional outcome of stroke inpatients according to human immunodeficiency virus status: A feasibility study</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2226-72202020000100005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt BACKGROUND: Stroke in human immunodeficiency virus positive (HIV+) individuals is becoming an increasing concern. Being significantly younger than typical stroke patients, the impact of functional challenges on quality of life and burden on society becomes more eminent. OBJECTIVES: This feasibility study aims to determine the requirements for a large descriptive cohort, to adequately describe the functional outcome of stroke patients with varying HIV status. METHOD: All stroke patients meeting the inclusion criteria were recruited over a 6-month period at a South African inpatient rehabilitation centre. Data were collected on admission and discharge using outcome measures including the Barthel Index (BI), Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the use of assistive devices used to describe independence with activities of daily living (ADL), mobility and safety post-stroke. Statistical analysis was performed using Stata version 14.2. RESULTS: The feasibility study identified appropriate procedures and barriers to a successful study in addition to describing preliminary data on participant demographics, relevant medical history and functional outcomes post-stroke. Limitations that affected feasibility included minimal recruitment sites, length of data collection period, timely communication of participant discharge plans and dates, and confirmation of participant HIV status. An appropriate comparison between sub-groups could not be made because of disproportionate group sizes, median age differences and no assessor blinding. CONCLUSION: To increase generalisability and the understanding of the unique HIV+ stroke profile, multiple recruitment sites, longer data collection periods, assessor blinding and age-matched groups with HIV status confirmation are recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Transformative equality: Court accommodations for South African citizens with severe communication disabilities</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2226-72202020000100006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt BACKGROUND: Persons with disabilities are generally at greater risk of experiencing violence than their peers without a disability. Within the sphere of disability, individuals with severe communication disabilities are particularly vulnerable and have an increased risk of being a victim of abuse or violence and typically turn to their country's criminal justice system to seek justice. Unfortunately, victims with disabilities are often denied fair and equal treatment before the court. Transformative equality should be pursued when identifying accommodations in court for persons with communication disabilities, as the aim should be to enable such individuals to participate equally in court, without barriers and discrimination. OBJECTIVES: This research aimed to identify court accommodations recommended by legal experts, which could assist individuals with severe communication disabilities in the South African court. METHOD: A qualitative design was used to conduct a discussion with a panel of legal experts. RESULTS: Using Article 13 (Access to Justice) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a human rights framework, four themes were identified: equality, accommodations, participation and training of professionals. CONCLUSION: Foreign and national law clearly prohibits discrimination against persons with communication disabilities because of their disability and state that they should be given fair and equal access to the court system. For transformative equality to be achieved, certain rules and laws need to be changed to include specific accommodations for persons with communication disabilities so that they may be enabled to participate effectively in court in the criminal justice system. <![CDATA[<b>The value of a short practical training course for newly qualified therapists working with children with cerebral palsy in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2226-72202020000100007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt BACKGROUND: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common and most complex disabling disorder in children. Newly qualified therapists are expected to manage CP despite feeling inexperienced and inadequately prepared. Short postgraduate practical training courses could potentially help bridge this readiness gap. However, the value of these short courses in addressing the knowledge and experience gap is unknown. OBJECTIVES: To establish the value of a short practical training course on the self-perceived readiness of newly qualified South African trained therapists to work with children with CP. METHOD: Secondary analysis of records on therapists' immediate evaluation of a short practical training course on CP management was completed. The analysis included records from 11 courses collected over a 2-years period (2015-2017). Paired t-tests were used to determine the change in knowledge in the quantitative questionnaire. Qualitative data were analysed inductively to determine themes. RESULTS: The majority of therapists had their expectations met by the course. Therapists' self-perceived level of knowledge about various aspects of CP after the course changed significantly. Therapists appreciated the adult teaching and learning methods, conducive learning environment, the relevant and organised content and holistic approach of the course. They demonstrated readiness to adopt positive attitudes, perceptions and practice following the course. CONCLUSION: A short practical postgraduate training course in CP is valuable in addressing the self-perceived lack of readiness amongst therapists with little experience in this area. It is capable of improving the knowledge and changing attitudes, perceptions and practice intentions positively, and thereby potentially improving the quality of service offered to children with CP.