Down syndrome young adults get introduced to robotics
Ahead of the World Down Syndrome Day, marked every March 21, with this year’s theme as ‘We Decide’, the Initiative for National Growth Africa (INGA), also referred to as Special Needs Initiative for Growth, in collaboration with the Barack Obama American Corner, Victoria Island, Lagos, has organized a mentorship and technology program administered to special educators and Down syndrome young adults.
The project team lead of INGA, Racheal Inegbedion, said the workshop was a great opportunity to expose the Down Syndrome community to various technical opportunities that will prepare them for employment and access to job creation for themselves, and reiterated the possibility of internship opportunities during the summer holiday.
The workshop inculcated team collaboration with a framework of a special needs educator in a group with three Down Syndrome young adults to enhance multicultural learning and communication skills with their special educator. They got to build electronics, and learn about basic physics, electricity, and how electronic devices work.
The Down Syndrome young adults got to learn how to read instructions carefully and how to interpret schematic diagrams, developing both spatial and logical skills. They also got to hone their communication skills, cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence and team building via hands-on interactive games and activities.
Joseph Onokpe, Executive Director of the Barack Obama American Corner, stated that the program would promote inclusion and bridge the gap for young adults living with Down Syndrome in Nigeria. Also, Mrs. Adeola Awogbemi emphasised the need of exposing the young adults to technology entrepreneurship and career development.
The Head of Education of the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria, Mr. Sunday Ojo, added that the program further helps the young learners begin to consider their environment as they think about the problems they would like robots to solve.