MeFiri Ghana caught up with Dislabelled to find out more about their plans to improve the special education system in Ghana. Dislabelled is a non-profit initiative, seeking to change the notion that people with intellectual and physical challenges are unable to be a productive part of society. The charity aims to take on this task by improving the special education system in Ghana. In 2012, Founders Nana Ama Akowuah, Efua Asibon and Sedinam Worlanyo joined forces to create an effective curriculum for special education. After visiting a few special education schools, the trio noticed that the main issues with the system stemmed from a lack of resources along with the lack of support that special educators had.
Some of their shocking discoveries were that there was no necessary training required to teach at special schools, there were no test centres for students to identify where they stood on the disability spectrum and there was a massive stigma faced by people with disabilities. This sparked the girls’ determination to make a change.
Since this discovery, they’ve held multiple events to combat these issues. To name a few: ‘ThisAbility,’ which was a two-week summer programme at an Autism awareness centre, enabling children to take part in exciting activities, including engaging in arts and crafts. ‘SustainAbility,’ a meeting with teachers from a variety of special schools in Ghana, to share their concerns and thoughts on how to improve the current system, and this year the charity is implementing these changes based on the feedback they were given.
They’ll be hosting a one-week intensive teacher-training programme held by experts in the special education division, to give teachers the opportunity to be equipped in their roles as special educators. We asked Co-founder Nana Ama what her proudest and most exciting moments were since building the charity:
“We had a mural painting at the school where we invited new stations and opened it to the public to showcase artefacts the children had made and the dances they had learnt. It was such a great experience,” she said.
Since it’s birth in 2012, Dislabelled has already made an immense impact in improving the special education system in Ghana and is already changing people’s perceptions on disability. They have achieved this in a short space of time through social media campaigns, events, volunteering and not only researching the issues but also providing solutions with their commitment and passion for the cause.
In the future we can expect Dislabelled to break new ground by tackling problems faced by those with special needs in the country including the employment and health sectors. We’re excited about this charity, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for their journey in revolutionizing the special education system in Ghana.
By Wilma Sagoe (@WilmaSagoe)