The father of a 15-year-old son with visual disability, surnamed Myung, borrowed a hand cart from a delivery man to throw away six boxes of books that have recently been sent home. He asked the Korea National Institute for Special Education last December to provide braille-version reference books for his son. “The Ministry of Education was supposed to send EBS workbooks and references in braille version according to students’ school schedule, which rarely happens. They are late in providing such books," the father lamented. "It is a waste of taxpayers’ money as well as vainly inefficient policy.”
Last month’s Dong-A Ilbo coverage on students with visual and hearing difficulties taking the College Scholastic Ability Test sparked attention to the right to learning of students with disabilities. In reality, however, they have a hard time having access to books, which are the basics of school learning. What’s worse, there has been severe lack of help with the right to learning of students with both visual and hearing difficulties, who do not qualify for special schools for the blind and for the deaf, respectively.
Under these circumstances, it was revealed on Sunday that the National Assembly is working on introduce a bill for students in Korea. Rep. Lee Myung-su, the chairman of the Health and Welfare Committee, said that the so-called "Helen Keller bill" will be introduced next January at earliest, which aims to provide personalized welfare services to the visually and hearing impaired. It is estimated that more than 10,000 belong to the category across the nation.
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