3.2 Answering the specific needs of the pupils

Case study 4: Mrs Dalok’s school board meeting (Part 2)

Mrs Dalok is the headteacher of a state primary school at Adétikopé in Togo. This school year, the school is welcoming children with disabilities: a child in a wheelchair who also has a lack of visual acuity and a child with a hearing impairment. The headteacher checks her school with her team of five teachers to establish what needs to be modified. The second point on Mrs Dalok’s agenda is:

2. Welcoming pupils with specific needs

Mrs Dalok: Mrs Laban, this child will be in your classroom. Have you thought about what you could do for him? Remember he has also an impaired vision so he cannot see properly. Everyone can give their ideas to help Mrs Laban to integrate this pupil successfully into the classroom.

Mrs Laban: I was thinking of placing him in a position where he can see the blackboard better and I will make sure that he can move around in class without being injured.

Mr Adji: We should also write clearly and bigger; read aloud what is written on the blackboard and prepare all the materials accordingly: big print, enlarged pictures, and so forth.

Mrs Dalok: Thank you everyone for your ideas. The other pupils can also help. There is a lot to do but remember that creating an environment more accessible for children with disabilities will be also beneficial for all pupils. They will all enjoy a more comfortable environment that will be easier to use. Now let’s consider the pupil with a hearing impairment. Mr Adji, how will you facilitate her integration into your classroom, as she will be joining your class? Everyone else is welcome to contribute, of course!

Mr Adji: First I would explain to the class the difficulties she encounters and the precautions we should take when we are talking to her. In the class, I will ask her to sit where she has her back to the light, not far from the blackboard and in such a way that she can see my face and the other pupils’ faces. When we talk in the class, we’ll have to articulate clearly and at a slower pace. I also intend to place her near a good, friendly pupil who will help her if needed.

Activity 12: Meeting the needs of pupils with specific needs

This activity will allow teachers to establish a list of strategies to make classrooms more accessible to different categories of children with specific needs.

  • If you wish, copy the table below and fill it in as you read or use the headings to guide you when you take notes.
  • Read the case study again and note down your findings and reflections.
  • Add further physical modifications that you can think of. If you are working in a group, organise a brainstorm (See TESSA key resource ‘Using mind maps and brainstorming to explore ideas’ [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] on the TESSA website)
Cause of disabilityActionsReasons for action
Visual impairment
  • Place child near the board
  • Write on board in bigger letters
  • Read notes on board aloud
  • Etc.
Better chance to access the information on the blackboard

If you are working with one or several colleagues, compare and share your answers and ideas and discuss the things that would be possible in your school. You can return to this list as you work through the other parts of the toolkit.

3.1 The physical space in the classroom and school

3.3 Managing classroom interactions to create a positive, respectful and accepting environment.