Include2020 is a remote learning platform for diverse learners in underserved communities that can be accessed offline.
Tell us about your idea
Include2020 is an inclusive education application that can be downloaded for offline access to Arabic-language inclusive education content. There will be sections of the application directed at adult caregivers, at siblings and at children with special needs. Content will focus on 1) Skills for independent living, 2) Academic skills, and 3) Communication skills.
The application's content will be produced by teachers who have been trained in inclusive education by A Global Voice for Autism, and who are refugees and unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These teachers are often unemployed or underemployed due to a lack of recognition of their teaching skills in the communities where they reside as refugees. They have many skills to offer and Include2020 will give these teachers the opportunity to use their skills to support children that face barriers when accessing education.
Include2020 targets children with special needs in the Middle East who have largely been excluded from transitions to online education as well as children who have been excluded from school systems altogether due to their unique learning needs. Include2020 will capitalize on the high percentage of families who have a smartphone in thier households as a vehicle to disseminate content while accounting for challenges related to internet access by allowing all content to be downloaded and accessible offline.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.
I established A Global Voice for Autism in 2012 after meeting a mother in the Middle East who locked her autistic daughter in her home due to the autism stigma and lack of support services in her community. Since then, A Global Voice for Autism has grown to support over 14,000 teachers, parents, siblings and autistic children in thirteen conflict-affected communities worldwide. Working with teachers who take part in our program, we have been able to integrate many autistic children into school systems for the first time. However, with the onset of COVID-19 and the transition to remote learning, most of our children that were newly included in classrooms were excluded once again. We set out to design a program that would channel the skills of our trained teachers to include the children we support in remote learning and to expand educational opportunities to diverse learners who were not welcomed into pre-COVID19 school systems in the communities we serve.