“A problem with inclusive education in my community is that, when it comes to online learning in various local universities, people with disabilities have not been given a conducive online environment”, says Leyla. As an Assistant Lecturer in Computer Science and Information and Communications Technology at the University of Dodoma, she observes the implications of this problem on a regular basis. Leyla possesses an acute awareness of the growing importance of technology in education and is highly motivated to address the gap that exists between students with and without disabilities. To that end, she intended to use the ADA International Fellowship to learn strategies to promote online learning and enhance the use of information technology in education for people with disabilities in Tanzania.
Leyla’s project idea sought to connect the widespread use of mobile phones with education, starting an early level. She has developed a mobile learning application for children with disabilities that can be used to improve reading and arithmetic abilities. She has drawn upon her professional knowledge of education and technology in Tanzania when designing the mobile app and plans to implement on it a limited scale to maximize the project’s success and cost-effectiveness. She introduced the app among students with disabilities in one institution and will work with caregivers and teachers to identify and evaluate students’ academic needs. This has informed the app’s content and the target age group. She specifically enjoyed discovering assistive technology resources that helped her realize the project during the Fellowship.
Leyla pursued her ADA International Fellowship training at the Westchester Institute for Human Development in Valhalla, New York.