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AAC in low income countries: Understanding the Context

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“AAC in low income countries: Understanding the Context”.

Introducing or developing (AAC) in low income countries cannot successfully be done in isolation, similarly to how that would not be advised in the Canadian or any other context. The process requires an understanding of the local situation including cultural and linguistic issues. Over the past four years the authors completed three large mixed methods studies in seven low income countries (Togo, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, Vietnam, Zambia and Malawi) with the goal of understanding the situation for children with disabilities in those countries and making recommendations to decrease health inequities and enhance access to inclusive education and child protection. These studies were carried out in collaboration with Plan International West Africa, UNICEF Vietnam, the Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD) and Norwegian Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities between 2012 and 2015. This presentation will highlight the methodologies employed, the studies’ participants, and the lessons learned. Furthermore, findings with respect to implementation of government policies, accessibility of school systems, teacher training, and the attitudes of children and families will be explored in relation to implications for AAC across contexts.


Penny Parnes    
International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation, University of Toronto

Goli Hashemi    
Samuel Merritt University
United States

Janet Njelesani    
New York Institute of Technology
United States


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