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Wheelchairs Improve Access to Education for Children with Disability

January 8, 2019

At a primary school in Western Kenya, Isabella, a 13-year-old grade six pupil listens keenly to her teacher during a mathematics lesson.

In front of her, is a plastic table connected to the wheelchair she is seated on. Isabella has placed her textbook and pen on top of it. Whenever questions are asked, she quickly calculates on her book then raises her hand to give answers. During group discussions, she wheels herself and interacts freely with classmates as they deliberate on various topics.

But life has not always been rosy for Isabella. Before receiving the wheelchair, which was donated by World Vision last year, she would crawl on the ground to move from one place to another. This would constantly expose her to dust and germs from different kinds of waste that made her fall sick frequently.

“When coming to school or visiting anywhere, I had to depend on people to carry me. Many times, children in the community would laugh at me, saying that I was being carried around like a baby yet I am a big girl.”

Thanks to the wheelchair, Isabella no longer feels like a burden to others. “I can go to church, visit relatives and play with friends just like other people. Those who used to avoid me, now want to be my friends so they can have the opportunity to wheel me and enjoy pushing my wheelchair.”

In school, the back and body support offered by the wheelchair enables Isabella to write and read well. “The class chairs used to hurt my back. So I could not listen to the teachers properly. Now I can understand them. I even passed my exams.”

She is also able to participate in school sports activities such as ball games and wheel chair races. “Truly, this chair has changed my life. I am now doing things just like other kids and I like it.”

Originally published on the World Vision Kenya Website.

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