EdTech and accessibility for neurodiverse children — Observatory
Accessibility is of the utmost importance for a fair and egalitarian educational offer. Previous articles have discussed the enormous challenges faced by people with different abilities in accessing and taking advantage of education or work opportunities. Digital resources help bridge the gap between people with special needs and the educational experience they need.
“Yo también leo” (I also read), an app developed by Gemma Fàbregas and Marie Anne Aimée, was designed based on methodologies suitable for children with varying cognitive abilities. Gemma and Marie Anne will join us for our next webinar titled “Educational Technologies for Real Inclusion”, airing on Tuesday, April 26 at noon (Central Mexico).
The technology behind this application facilitates the learning of children with neurodivergence such as autism and Down syndrome. Why is it essential to try to teach reading to all children? Reading provides students with basic skills such as language management, spelling rules, syntax, expression of ideas, imagination, memory, comprehension and critical thinking. Reading not only teaches us to communicate but also to think. It is the pathway that unlocks many of our most basic cognitive functions. Considering the particular experiences of neurodivergent people and their relationship to the act of thinking, understanding and expressing, we come to understand that their approach to reading is different and presents an opportunity to manage their teaching.
Technology is one way to achieve this goal, but the tools must be developed with a deep understanding of how neurodivergent students learn and how to guide them in their didactic process. “It is based on the motivation and interests of the child. It is an active, varied, fun and success-oriented method”, explain Fàbregas and Aimée about the theoretical basis of the application. The mission in this regard is not simple. The educational intent of this technology is to challenge established systems and deeply ingrained ways of learning foreign to the way neurodivergent children process and learn.
In a previous interview with the Observatory, guests emphasized the importance of positive reinforcement to balance the frustration that children with different intellectual abilities continually face error management as an integral and neutral part of the educational experience. Combined with the timely use of technology, this approach has a considerable advantage in ensuring effective learning.
The project founded by Fàbregas and Aimée that will be discussed in our next webinar is supported by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). The entrepreneurs were also advised by the Talita Foundation in Madrid, which has 25 years of experience in raising children without neurotypical development. The experience of our speakers as professionals in their field, and as mothers of children with different intellectual abilities, will provide valuable insight into the use of technology for educational accessibility for neurodivergent children.
Gemma Fábregas is a designer and specialist in creating accessible and inclusive educational technologies. She is co-founder and CEO of Diversity App and has certifications in areas such as “User Usability and Experience”, “Accessible Technology”, and “Accessible Digital Materials”.
Marie Anne Aimée is the technical director and co-founder of the Forma 21 association and Diversity Apps. She is a trainer in global reading method. His credentials include an undergraduate degree in social work, a postgraduate degree in mental disorders, and a master’s degree in neurolinguistic programming. She also has certifications in “Stimulation of the child according to the Dorman method” and “Didactic resources: The game as a learning tool”.
If you want to learn more about methods to make education accessible to children with neurodivergence, don’t miss our next webinar this Tuesday, April 26 at noon (Central Mexico). The webinar will be in Spanish, but for more information on educational accessibility in English, click on the links included at the beginning of this article.
Clarification: In previous articles, we have discussed the difference between inclusion and accessibility. Both terms provide space to promote education for all, from social minorities to people with disabilities. In Spain, the term real inclusion is used to refer to teaching methodologies and resources that ensure the quality of the educational experience for people with special needs. If you are an English speaker and want to know more about the advances made in Spain in this field, consult this academic article, the repository of documents of the University of Valladolid or the Real Ya inclusion (Real Inclusion Now).
Translation by Daniel Wetta