‘Disabled children are equally entitled to an exciting and brilliant future.’ These words were spoken by Nelson Mandela during the opening of the First Annual South African Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 4 December 1994.
In honour of Mandela Day on 18 July 2015, the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) master's students spent their ‘67 minutes’ adapting children’s books for children with disabilities. This project is consistent with the Mandela Day theme of ‘Education and Literacy’.
‘In a world where knowledge truly is power, education and literacy are the basic building blocks that unlock the gates of opportunity and success. We all have a responsibility as parents, as caregivers, as educators, as leaders and as citizens, to instil in individuals, children and communities, the critical drive for literacy and learning so that we can give them the chance to fulfil their dreams.’
— Nelson Mandela Foundation, 2015
Books are wonderful tools to introduce young children with disabilities to literacy. They can open up whole new worlds to older disabled children, who can have experiences through what they read that they may never have themselves. The master’s students added page ‘fluffers’ (items that enlarge the spaces between pages) and various textures and picture communication symbols to the children’s books. These books will be donated to Zodwa School for learners with severe mental disabilities in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.
All the staff and students at the CAAC are inspired by Nelson Mandela’s legacy and hope that this small contribution to Zodwa School will change the lives of these children.
‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ — Nelson Mandela
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