In my work as an advocate for students with special needs pursuing higher education, I’ve been reminded repeatedly that these scholars are twice qualified. What does that mean? It means that they simultaneously qualify for special accommodations while being recruited by higher education for their giftedness in their fields of athletics, music, art, technology, maths, and other areas. Their high school advisors regularly and prematurely shut these doors of opportunity because of their learning differences and/or disabilities.
As a university professor, I was inspired to alleviate this problem and work towards charting paths tailored to the students’ needs and gifts. I wanted to simplify their transition to higher education. Curriculum and instruction needed to be adapted in order to facilitate academic success while they gave to their Universities their unique sought-after gifts. I was able to successfully do this work at Baylor University, and now also in Lebanon with the partnership of SKILD (Special Kids with Individual Learning Differences) and Notre Dame University.
I urge you to look up LSESD (Lebanese Society for Education and Social Development) and SKILD. See the ground-breaking work they are doing for students with special needs in Lebanon and the Middle East. It has been my honor and privilege to partner with them.
My academic work has repeatedly reminded me that we each are created in God’s image. Each of us has a niche through which we can serve others. In light of this truth, why do we habitually exclude anyone from reaching his/her full potential? If formal education is the avenue towards which special needs students’ hearts’ desires are leading, then it behooves us to facilitate such a journey.
Have you consciously or unconsciously censored someone’s path towards fulfilment?
And make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but instead be healed.