|▲ Department of Special Education signing an agreement with the Changwon City Welfare Center for the Disabled. (Source : CWNU Waggle)|
On the 24th, CWNU Department of Special Education signed an agreement with the Changwon City Welfare Center for the Disabled. The agreement was made for the purpose of developing education and welfare for the disabled, joint public service projects, and educational research. For this, mentoring projects between students with special education and students with disabilities at welfare centers began at the end of March. In December 2022, in cooperation with the Changwon Welfare Center for the Disabled and the Changwon Branch of the Gyeongsangnam- do Deaf Association, an educational program was conducted for Children of Deaf Adult (CODA) families consisting of deaf- mute parents and young children. CWNU’s Department of Special Education has consistently conducted activities for special needs in the community, including communication support and activities to improve sign language awareness using AAC, a communication helping tool: the draw board. We were able to hear various stories about the activities of the Department of Special Education by conducting an interview with Professor Choi Jin- oh, the head of the Department of Special Education.
Q. What role did CWNU Department of Special Education play in the preparation and progress of the program for CODA families in December 2022?
Choi: We were responsible for overall cooperation among institutions related to supporting the disabled. The planning, operation, and coordination of the event were led by a professor of special education in our department.
Q. Please explain the purpose and the aim of the program.
Choi: In the case of CODA families, it is not easy to interact between deaf- mute parents and children, even at home. There are very few programs for deaf- mute parents, even though the difficulties or conflicts they face are different from non- disabled parents. Therefore, the program was conducted to provide opportunities for CODA families in areas of education where support is lacking. In addition, the program was conducted to include the students of our department, so they could recognize the difficulties of families with disabilities and to have the ability to help them by participating in the program.
Q. How will this agreement change the relationship with Changwon City General Welfare Center for the Disabled?
Choi: It is now possible to continue with the constant exchanges between the two organizations. Last year, CWNU requested the program be planned and carried out in conjunction with the Welfare Center for the Disabled, but this agreement enables two- way cooperation for responding to various field demands from the planning stage. In the example case of this mentoring project, students in our department will be able to have systematic educational service experiences, and specialized manpower will be obtained for the welfare center.
Q. Why is CWNU Department of Special Education planning various cooperation projects in connection with the local community?
Choi: First, CWNU’s Department of Special Education is the only special education department within Gyeongnam National University. Therefore, students of our department need to know the local field as a talent to have to lead the education of children with disabilities in Gyeongnam. Second, it is the responsibility of the profession that we all should have. Students learning special education especially, need an insight of the local community and ability and the mindset to support it. In the viewpoint of the Department of Special Education at CWNU, which is a local national university, we have a responsibility to contribute to where our university is located and the need to oblige in the contribution of the bridging of the educational gap of disabled individuals being isolated from the community and opportunities In addition, communication with the field helps school professors not to fall behind academically, while focusing only on theory, and furthermore, to develop necessary technologies.
Choi Jin- oh, head of the department, talked about efforts to support the disabled in the community with efforts made by special education, emphasizing the importance of regional connection and cooperation of local national universities, as well as the interest and participation of students. The Department of Special Education, which is leading the connection between the local community and the participation of students, held a ceremony for understanding, and the consideration of the disabled and non- disabled on April 6 and 7. The program included performances, videos, and quizzes planned and conducted by students in the Department of Special Education. It is time to actively change the perception and garner participation of CWNU students in line with regional linkage activities likewise with what the Department of Special Education is implementing.
By Kim So-ha, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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