How can you make a difference?
All children can learn and should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential, but most children with disabilities are out of school and lack access to inclusive quality learning.
SDG 4 guarantees universal access to inclusive and equitable quality education for all. To make SDG4 real for all children including children with disabilities, quality, inclusive education, accessible and affordable learning materials are required.
An accessible digital textbook gives all learners, including those with disabilities, access to information in alternative accessible formats therefore ensuring better access to the learning process and enhanced educational outcomes in an inclusive school setting even in low resource contexts as demonstrated through pilots in Uganda, Kenya, and other countries.
Through specific features in digital formats, printed books have been made accessible to learners who are blind or have low vision, those who are deaf or hard of hearing, those who have intellectual or developmental disabilities or learning disabilities, or those who prefer to access information without visual input.
By bringing together global and local writers, publishers, teachers, organizations of persons with disabilities (OPD), technology developers, MOE representatives and other stakeholders, the initiative ensures the development of the standards and guidelines needed to produce textbooks and learning materials in accessible digital formats and languages.
Though the exact number remains unknown and more recent
data are not available, an estimated 93 to 150 million children under 18 years of age worldwide have disabilities (WHO, 2011).
Children with disabilities remain one of the most marginalized and excluded groups and face multiple barriers and challenges related to accessing education.
In Kenya, for example, estimates stress that 80 per cent of children with disabilities are out of school. In Uganda, only 9 per cent of children with disabilities are enrolled in primary school as opposed to 93.
2 per cent for those without disabilities.
In addition, lack of access to quality education continues to be one of the largest challenges for children with disabilities.
In accessible education facilities, inflexible curricula, the lack of assistive devices, stigma and discrimination, inaccessible learning materials and teachers who are not yet prepared to support diverse learning needs in the classroom can all serve as major barriers to the education of students with disabilities.
The lack of these essential components can result in students not enrolling in schools, dropping out or remaining in school but not achieving their full developmental potential.
Accessible digital textbooks can help address the issue of accessible learning materials, which is one of many elements needed to promote an inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities.
All students learn differently so giving access to digital textbooks using Universal Design for Learning principles can answer that need.
The one-size-fits-all’ approach to education fails to recognize the various learning styles that benefit different learners, including those with disabilities.
As a result, teaching methods tend to address only one or two learning styles, often leaving the other students frustrated, less engaged and less motivated to learn.
Providing differentiated learning, and / or providing instruction and materials that meet different learning styles, can help improve learning outcomes.
The initiative has been world-wide piloted in 6 countries, including 3 in LACR, and UNICEF technically and financially supported them at different levels.
Since 2021, the Eleva funds have funded the implementation in 4 countries and have now expanded to 2 more countries for 2022-2024.
LACRO together with the COs’ teams will continue to address the need to eliminate barriers and seek innovative tools for effectively include all types of learners in the education system.
We have learned from the experiences undertaken by Paraguay, Uruguay and Nicaragua with this initiative, that ADTs could be powerful and positive tools to engages all learners through different experiences.
The regional package of accessible activities will reach 350,000 children in grades 1-2 over the course of 3 years. While the early stages of the initiative will continue to focus on the learning materials specific to the foundational years of education, including pre-school and the early grades of primary school, the goal is for all learning materials to be made available in accessible digital formats.
For more information about the ADT Initiative in LAC :
lac / en / regional-initiative-accessible-digital-textbooks-all
Purpose of the Assignment
Under the supervision of the Education Specialist Inclusion , the selected consultant will provide quality and specific technical control of the accessible digital textbooks developed by the countries involved in the regional ADT initiative, creating a regional repository, and building regional and national capacity.
At the and with collaboration with our global research office, Innocenti, the consultancy will contribute to the development of knowledge management products such as case studies and lessons learned to promote the advancement of Accessible Digital Textbooks and other inclusive education initiatives, including the update and maintenance of LACRO UNICEF Education Website with the relevant education resources and databases.
The Consultancy will also contribute to the regional strategy in working with external organizations involved in implementation for adequate monitoring and evaluation of interventions of the ADT (MoE, publishers, universities, NGOs Interpreters and DPOs).
The efficiency and efficacy of support provided by the consultant to program / project preparation, planning and implementation, contributes to the achievement of sustainable results to improve learning outcomes and universal access to quality, equitable and inclusive education.
Specifically, the consultant will focus on the following tasks :
and OPDs, experts and teachers, among others, creating accessible content.
With the guidance of the supervisor, prepare the strategy to work with editorials and private sector to support the availability of accessible digital textbooks in the market.
Monthly reports, and at the end of the consultancy the contractor will have to deliver a Final Consultancy Report, Regional Repository, Report to Donor, Proposal for Possible Donors and Strategy for Private Sector.
Supervision : The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Education Specialist Inclusion and in close collaboration with the UNICEF Office of Research, Innocenti.
Workplace : This is a remote home-based consultancy.
Duration : This consultancy is expected to start on 24 October 2022 with an estimated duration of 11.5 months.
How to Apply : Application should be submitted online and should include Resumé, Cover Letter and Financial proposal. Qualified candidates are requested to submit daily, monthly, and total fees in their financial proposal.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have
Education : Master's degree in Inclusive Education, Disability studies, Occupational therapy, technology and innovation in Education, Public Health or related topics.
Languages : Fluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of French or Portuguese will be considered an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and the following core competencies : Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness, Works Collaboratively with others, Builds and Maintains Partnerships, Innovates and Embraces Change, Thinks and Acts Strategically, Drive to achieve impactful results, and Manages ambiguity and complexity.
To view our values and competency framework please visit the following links : Our Values and Our Competencies.