In the dynamic world of education, technology acts as a potent catalyst, bridging gaps and creating opportunities. However, for the 240 million children and youth with disabilities, technology, though promising, can also pose a threat to their inclusion.
As we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the transformative power of information and communication technology (ICT) emerges as a double-edged sword. While it has the potential to bridge educational disparities for students with disabilities, accessibility and utility challenges can exacerbate existing inequalities.
A global survey conducted by the World Bank’s Inclusive Education Initiative (IEI) with 4,000 stakeholders, during school closures caused by the pandemic, found that approximately 1 in 4 parents of children with disabilities lacked access to the internet (25%) or digital devices (23%).
Almost half (46%) of parents and teachers of children with disabilities surveyed were concerned with whether children with disabilities would know how to use technology appropriately to continue their learning.
Parents' perceptions of the accessibility and usefulness of each digital asset were largely shaped by their child’s physical, cognitive or psychosocial needs.