There was a significant moment in 1994 where a unique set of circumstances triggered a ripple effect in my life. The moment the stone hit the pond was in a London Special School where I was teaching, and I met two West African pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. We found a resonant means of communicating through wild skits over Kpan Logo rhythms played on Ghanaian drums, carried back from recent journeys to Ghana. The ripples have gathered momentum over the past 20 years and have been the inspiration behind the creation of Multikids Inclusive Academy and more recently, Multikids Foundation.
If you are lucky enough to work with children who have special learning needs, your experience will transcend any preconceptions of ability and disability, success and failure. The open heart of a child with down syndrome or cerebral palsy manifests in a charismatic aura that enlightens your life. Our part is to open doors, to open minds, to de-construct the mindset and values that have de-humanised and incarcerated these children; that have stripped them of their integrity and humanity.
Why you should listen
With Inclusive Education on the global map, Ghana is about to ratify its Inclusive Education Policy. It matters how each and everyone of us thinks, feels, speaks about and relates to, children with disability. It matters how we include all of our children in the world. This is a human rights issue and we know that things are happening in our country which are violating children’s rights. The BBC recently got hold of our ‘stories’ and Ghana was dubbed the worst place in the world to be disabled. It is time to include all children in our schools and in our plans for Ghana. The challenges are surmountable but where to begin?
Quote from Mandy: “ Respect over Judgement. NO Disability. We are Able” (Baffour, student at Multikids)
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