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EdTech for Learners with Disabilities in Primary School Settings in LMICs: A Systematic Literature Review

Paul Lynch; Nidhi Singhal; Gill A. Francis

This systematic literature review was guided by the overarching aim of establishing the categories of EdTech that may be appropriate to support the learning of children with disabilities aged 4–12 years in low-and middle-income countries. A critical review of the published literature was deemed essential as the field of disability and EdTech (mirroring larger trends in disability and educational research) has remained dominated by anecdotal commentaries and strong personal assertions, but substantiated by little evidence. 

In framing the review we drew on a dual model of access which provides a helpful lens into how EdTech can support a learner’s development trajectory across different interventions (e.g. learning to read Braille or sign language), targeted educational outcomes, inclusive practices and suitable accommodations in different educational settings. This approach is underpinned by a human rights agenda, as articulated in the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which demand fair and equal access to education for all children and young people. They are also concerned, though, that an individual child/young person should have agency, self-determination and independence. Article 2 of the CRPD unambiguously recognizes that reasonable accommodation is vital in enabling persons with disabilities to enjoy and exercise their rights on an equal basis with others.

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