Care for the Handicapped Child Vol. 2, No. 11

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During the Nazi Germany, those who were physically or mentally disabled were climated by putting them on a gas chamber and gasing them to death. The Persians of old, killed their physically disabled children, while in most parts of Africa, the handicapped people have suffered from a lot of hostile and sometimes inhumane treatment. Some handicapped children have been reported thrown into the forest in the belief that being animals/vegetarian, they would return to animal species they are believed to be. And so, they die abandoned and possessing not even a grave.

Although these barbarious acts may no longer be practiced, there are other attitudes towards the handicapped that are not welcoming. For instance education inaccessibility, lack of integration into the community, unemployment etc. in our country such as Nigeria, where individuals are given cables on the basis of physical dexterity, intellectual fecundity and outward appearance, those who are physically handicapped are far from being ideal Nigerians.

Against this backdrop, regarding the rights of education for the handicapped, the United Nation, General Assembly in their declaration on the aids of Disabled persons in 1975 states. Disabled persons have the right to medical psychological and functional treatments. Including prosthetic and orthetic appliances, to medical and social rehabilitation, education, Vocational training and rehabilitation aids, counseling, placement services and other services which will enable them to develop their capabilities and skills to the maximum and will hasten the process of their social integration or reintegration.

Moreover, the education of all handicapped children act, signed by President Gerald Ford (President of the United States of America) in 1975 mandates a national commitment to educating all handicapped children (ages3-17) for a free, appropriate public education. The government responsibilities notwithstanding, our individual dispositions or attitudes towards the disabled persons have roles to play for their wholistic development as we shall consider in our next series. Keep posted!

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