Background to the challenge
Until 1975 children with disabilities tended not to be provided for within the state system of schooling. However, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 1975 granted all children with disabilities a free, appropriate public education. These children were provided for in special schools separated from mainstream schools. However, Thailand is moving towards integration of children with special needs into mainstream schools. The 1999 National Education Act has attempted to give more attention to special needs education. Various ministerial departments are responsible for the provision of particular areas of special needs education. The Division of Special Education is within the Ministry of Education, while the Department of General Education focuses on the deaf, the blind, and integrated education. The Department of Non-formal education emphasises the needs of people living in remote areas.
The Thomas House project aims to provide special learning and training facilities for children and young people in the Tha Ton district who are unable to attend in the regular school system. In particular it aims to link with local schools and parents where funding is scarce and teaching resources are stretched, to provide for children requiring special needs support. There is considerable ignorance and misunderstanding amongst local parents and some teachers about how to support children with special education needs, and this challenge is directed at them. It should produce a resource that is portable and can be taken by teachers and volunteers to parents and local schools to help better inform them of the support that is available through Thomas House school for their children. Therefore the challenge is to use your mobile technologies to produce a portable resource (eg an eBook) that will encourage parents to understand the advantage to both themselves and their child in providing appropriate education according to their disability