Educational Empowerment

HPD-O has been promoting, implementing, and supporting the inclusive education of CWDs and other children having learning difficulties as a CBR service component extended in Semien Shoa Zone-Amhara region. It has been providing this CBR component service through non-formal special needs education and capacity development interventions. CWDs and adults with varying disabilities, including those with visual, hearing, mental, intellectual, physical, and other impairments are involved as beneficiaries before and while attending as well as after completing ordinary school or out of school context.

Non-formal Special Needs Education as a CBR Strategy of Inclusive Education
The non-formal special needs education service of HPD-O has partly been a home-based service and a school-based service. In its home-based perspective, the non-formal special needs education service component has involved 2 components, namely, adapted basic literacy skills training and tutorial service.

Adapted basic literacy skills training: in the delivery of this educational skills training are included:

  • Braille reading and writing training for children and adults with visual impairment;
  • sign language for children and adults with hearing and/or speech impairment as well as for their family members and neighborhood peers;
  • ink text reading and writing skills for those without visual impairments; and
  • numeracy skills training for all PWDs irrespective of their type of disability.

Since the provision of these adapted basic skills training is accompanied by related skills trainings and support services delivered in terms of physical and psycho-social empowerment interventions, the goal of this intervention is to habilitate/increase the functionality of CWDs and to prepare them to join ordinary schools where they are educated in an inclusive setting, integrating them with children without disabilities. As regards adults with disabilities, the aim is to rehabilitate them and help them become skilled, independent, and empowered enough to realize their potentials to engage in meaningful and gainful life activities.

Tutorial Service: once CWDs have began ordinary schooling HPD-O’s educational empowerment CBR service carries on with them through continued tutorial service until they become responsible and capable enough to manage doing their home assignments and studies. This intervention has been undertaken on home-based in close collaboration with family members wherever attainable. It has been underway in response to the specific needs of CWDs in the context of a  bread winner working single or couple parent family who don’t have grown up children and other family members to support the CWDs in their study pursuits or where neglect and abandonment of CWDs is noted in certain families. Tutorial service is thus provided in a way that further empowers CWDs to effectively carry out their studies, participates and interact in classroom activities and become competitive and successful in their schooling.

The school-based perspective of the non-formal special education CBR service further facilitates and supports students with disabilities building upon the tutorial service provided for a considerable of them. It involves regular follow up and observation of the class room and overall school environment, and find ways and means in close collaboration and consultations with teachers and school management members to resolve challenges and constraints of physical accessibility and other administrative and social barriers affecting the integration and successful achievements of students with disabilities in the context of the concept of inclusive school and relevant government education policies, programs and guidelines.

Provision of Adapted Learning Materials: both the school-based and home-based perspectives of the non-formal special educational needs service are fulfilled by means of the provision of learning materials appropriate and accessible to the respective type of PWDs. Such adapted learning materials include:

  • hearing devices for persons with hearing impairment;
  • adapted print text and audio-visual note takers for persons with visual impairment, including Braille writing machines, such as Slates with Styluses, Braille papers, Braille type writers, Braille text books, abacus, as well as audio-visual machines, such as tape recorders and cassette texts, CD/DVD texts, talking calculators, text magnifiers, etc.;
  • paintings, puppet shows and special text guides for those with intellectual disabilities.

Thus, the non-formal special needs education perspective of the educational empowerment CBR service component constitutes a significant part of the CBR program of HPD-O in Semen Shoa with 854 CWDs having been educationally empowered.


Those who have been provided adapted basic literacy skills training, consisting of sign language and ink text literacy and tutorial service, account for 120 beneficiaries. Two hundred twenty four out of these have provided learning materials, including notebooks and accompanying educational stationery. School uniforms have also been provided for 190 students with different disabilities whose parents could not afford to buy due to their grave poverty status. Students with visual impairment, who have received adapted note takers, such as Braille writing machines called Slates with styluses and Braille papers, account for 81 out of the 854 students with disabilities. The cost of transporting 100 students with disabilities from their homes to and back from school has been covered as a contribution to help them access schooling and get educationally empowered, thus reversing their life situations of  homebound ignorance and illiteracy to the light and freedom of  independence, dignity, education, knowledge, and interactive family and school life.

It has a service coverage across needy children and adults with differing impairments, mainly those with visual, hearing, intellectual, mental, or physical impairments.

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