Scottish Teachers Teach Students about Learning Disabilities to Promote Acceptance

A whole 66% of parents of children with learning disabilities believe that kids with learning disabilities are bullied more than other kids. To try and combat that, teachers in Scotland are teaching students about the disabilities.

Between 1993 and 2012, the percentage of three- to six-year-old children able to demonstrate early literacy and cognitive skills improved: the percentage of children able to recognize all the letters in the alphabet increased from 21% to 38%; the percentage of those able to count to 20 or higher rose from 52% to 68%; and those able to write their own names increased from 50% to 58%.

Researchers at the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow and the charity Enable Scotlandhave teamed up to create lesson plans that will help increase students’ awareness and understanding of different learning disabilities. These classes are called “Talking about Learning Disability” and are a part of Enable Scotland’s campaign to help school-aged children accept others with the learning disabilities.

Roseann Maguire is a Research Associate in Strathclyde’s School of Education and the Institute of Health and Well Being at the University of Glasgow. According to the Herald Scotland, Maguire says that research shows that it’s important for students to learn about the differences in order to accept them.

“The idea is to take pupils through the lessons so that they move from an understanding of diversity and disability to an appreciation of what it might be like to live with a learning disability, to a sense of what it feels like for people with learning disabilities to be bullied just because of their learning disability,” Maguire said.

According to Enable Scotland, nine out of 10 people who have learning disabilities say they have been bullied at one point in their life. In order to change this, Theresa Shearer, CEO of Enable Scotland, says they created Change Champions to encourage people with learning disabilities to make a difference.

“It’s time to break down barriers and ensure that people who have learning disabilities are respected and valued, and that any obstacles to an equal society for all are challenged and removed,” Shearer said.

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