It is commonly accepted that education is important in modern day life. There are so many technologies that have come up, all of which call for individuals to be well informed. For instance, there are computer programs which are very essential while working as well as other machines which make work easier. To effectively work with these machines, it is mandatory that one has an educational background. People with learning disabilities may be disadvantaged when it comes to this. However, there are legislations that can be enacted so as to secure the interests of such people. This essay explores such legislation.
For quite a long time, the disabled people and those with learning disabilities had been sidelined in matters of education. In fact, due to their inability to access educational facilities, they have for a long term been rendered as economic burdens, who contribute less to the generation of the national income but use up the available resources (Martinez and Estrada, 2008). In fact, the people constitute a small percentage of the working class, indicating that even those who struggle through the education system still face discrimination when it comes to employment opportunities. However, it is notable that these people have a deep wealth of resourcefulness which if discovered and tapped, could propel developments to another level. This had been realized for a long time and there are provisions in many countries indicating how these people should be handled. However, as Eleweke (1999) observes, people with learning disabilities have not had a chance to enjoy these provisions. This is mainly because there is no major component instituted and charged with the responsibility of implementing the specifics of these provisions for people with learning disabilities.
It is for this reason that governments and other institutions concerned with human development have come up with legislations to ensure that the disadvantaged enjoy equal opportunities as the able-bodied individuals. One of such legislation is the Assistive Technology Act, signed in 1988 (Martinez and Estrada, 2008). This act ensures that there are funds set aside to facilitate the development and acquisition of consumer responsive systems to access Assistive Technology (AT). This act was also the first legal document to define AT into clear terms; it made the aspect less complex. It can therefore be easily interpreted and implemented by learning institutions at all levels. It also calls against the discrimination of the disabled when it comes to employment opportunities, as these people can be of great benefit to the economy, if only given a chance.
There are various types of AT (Martinez and Estrada, 2008). These are classified according to their function. For instance, there are mobility devices which allow an individual to move around; instructional aides which facilitate delivery of instructions to the student, and adaptive devices which help an individual to manipulate his environment. Other AT materials such as positioning aids, computer access and augmentative arguing aid in making the learning experience more affordable and accessible to people with learning disabilities.
The AT Act, therefore, helps in ensuring that the disadvantaged are positioned to benefit from educational facilities. It is supported by other legislations such as Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1997), Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), Rehabilitation Act (1973) and Telecommunications Act (1996). All these acts have been put in place to address issues that might have been left out in the AT Act. To this point, the argument presented in the article is quite valid. This is because it draws from extensive literature and provides relevant and valid examples. It is for this reason that this essay stands to support the opinions presented in the article.
The AT Act definitely has had an impact on the public and private schools alike. The private schools have benefitted in that from the educational district offices they can get funds to cater for the provision of the special services needed for those with learning difficulties. Such funds, as provided for by the legislation, go a long way in making the school compliant with regulations such as the IDEA. Any infrastructural developments needed for such activities can be financed by these funds. Private schools may not be as well placed as public schools when it comes to the financing. Therefore, to achieve the compliance levels called for by the legislations, they have to find their own means of funding their projects. Overall, the legislation has seen to the rise of the number of people with learning difficulties in educational facilities. It is expected that the same prospects will be reflected at the workplace.
There are some limitations that the implementation of the legislation will have to overcome. As Eleweke (1999) observes, the greatest challenge would be in terms of financing. Though the legislation calls for funds to be set aside for the project, there is a possibility that the money might not be enough. There is also the probability that due to the subsidized services, more people with learning difficulties will turn up at the learning institutions. This means that the facilities needed to cater for all the people must be availed. In these harsh economic times, such a move would be quite difficult to sustain. There is also the challenge of the conventional notion that people with learning disabilities are simply not viable for learning. Changing such a notion and rallying people to the support of such an act can be quite difficult.
All is not lost though. There are various avenues that can be pursued to ensure the success of such a program. Civic education tops the list. If the public is taught to appreciate the importance of providing education facilities to the disabled, then there would be grassroots support which is a sure way to success. Similarly, there is the possibility that on educating the people, they can team up and even mobilize funds at the community level so as to take care of the disabled among them. This would not only assist in offloading the financial burden, but would also facilitate more people to acquire these services. Lastly, pressure groups can be on the forefront in rallying for the rights of people with learning disabilities. Such campaigns can receive massive support from local and international bodies and could go a long way in ensuring success for the educational programs for people with learning difficulties.
Education is the process of gaining information or knowledge. This process is never easy and the information is not localized at a single point. Rather, the information has to be gathered from various sources. The process of gathering the information can be quite tedious. It is for this reason that various sources of information have been developed, some which are in print form in libraries or in soft copies on the internet. There are various web sources of information. However, there are some that are credible than others. This essay looks at five of the most credible sources of information.
ProQuest: This is an online library that is highly accredited for publishing of well researched and peer-reviewed articles. Most of the materials posted on this site are educational in nature and can be cited in any academic work. The papers posted therein are widely accepted by learning institutions all over the world. It is this credibility that makes the site quite a favorite of many (ProQuest, 2012).
Harvard Libraries: Harvard is a highly accredited learning institution in the world. It is for this reason that its libraries are well preferred for research work. The library is a favorite because it is easy to use and is also quite comprehensive (Harvard.edu, 2012). It has guidelines indicating how the library can be used. Above all, the site is quite informative. It is attributed as a source that gives credible information.
ScienceDirect: When the research to be done calls for an understanding of scientific principles, then ScienceDirect is the website to go for. I find this site quite useful because it publishes scientific articles that have been well researched. The article therein are peer-reviewed, having all the components that a research paper should have. They also indicate the methodology used, thereby making the information provided authentic. It also has a list of contents running from A-Z, which makes the search quite easy (Sciencedirect, 2012).
Centre for Disease Control (CDC): CDC is a site sponsored by the US government in the health department. The site aims at giving well researched medical information to the users. It gives a lot of information regarding a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating habits, and a healthy lifestyle as well as information on various diseases. I find this site useful for both academic and non-academic purposes when I want to learn more about health issues (CDC, 2012).
CDC. (2012). Home. Retrieved on 1st March 2012 from http://www.cdc.gov/
ProQuest.co.uk. (2012). Home. Retrieved on 1st March 2012 from http://www.proquest.co.uk/en-UK/
Eleweke, C. (1999). The Need for Mandatory Legislations to Enhance Services to People with Disabilities in Nigeria. Disability & Society, Vol. 14(2). Pp. 227-237.
Harvard.edu. (2012). Home. Retrieved on 1st March 2012 from http://lib.harvard.edu/libraries/0029FULL.html
Martinez-Marrero, I. & Estrada- Estrada, N. (2008). Assisstive Technology. An Instructional Tool to Assist College Students with Written Language Disabilities. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning. Vol. 52(1). Pp. 56-62.
Sciencedirect.com. (2012). Home. Retrieved on 1st March 2012 from http://www.sciencedirect.com/
University of Minessota. (2012). Home. Retrieved on 1st March 2012 from http://www.lib.umn.edu/