Including deaf children in primary schools in Bushenyi, Uganda: a community-based initiative

This paper explores the history of a ground-breaking, parent-led, yet government-funded, community-based initiative in the light of global efforts to promote Education for All. The Bushenyi District Education Department in Uganda, is supporting 123 deaf children registered in 14 units attached to primary schools – eight per cent of deaf children in Bushenyi. Yet fewer than two per cent of deaf children attend school in Uganda as a whole.

Government commitment to teacher education, parent involvement and Sign Language development has led to more positive attitudes towards deaf children and their right to attend school in their communities. Furthermore, community involvement is essential in achieving quality education for all for deaf and disabled children, and attempts to implement Northern policies and practices on inclusive education are likely to fail. The imaginative use of community-based human resources can lead to more genuine forms of educational inclusion.

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