In the heart of Ntinda there are two primary schools that sit right next to each other. Together the schools have around 1,000 students of the same age, yet there is no interaction between either school. Both children fear each other and never communicate with each other, all due to a misunderstanding and language barrier.
Working with the National Council for Disability, two interns from Arizona State University set out to hear the voices of the children and teachers and educate on this misunderstanding.
Elliot Wasbotten (left) and Courtney Langerud (right) were able to speak to the older children at the local primary school and ask questions about disability and equality. Children were curious to listen to their explanations on People With Disabilities (PWD) and eager to learn how they could make a difference.
At the start of the seminar, Courtney and Elliot asked if any of the children knew someone with a disability. The children were silent with only two hands being raised. Towards the end of the seminar some children approached the American interns privately to ask about how they could help a child with a disability that hey knew. Finally, at the end of the seminar Elliot and Courtney asked the children if any of them stop pass the School for the Deaf in the way to their school. Hands shot up in every direction. They then asked if anybody has ever stopped by to say “hi” and all of the hands quickly faded. the reasoning behind this was the fear that they could not communicate.
After that dialogue, Elliot and Courtney, whom are both proficient in sign language, taught the children several easy sentences in sign language. The feedback was outstanding. Almost every kid in the room was signing along with us and many of them were eager to ask questions on how to sign certain words.
The seminar from Courtney and Elliot showed great success and a positive response from both the teachers and students. Courtney and Elliot were humbled to have created this dialogue among the youth and hope to see a continued progress towards inclusivity of PWD.