Concept: Equipment for Disabled Children
One or more body senses in children with disabilities do not function properly. So. they depend on special equipment such as different types of wheelchairs, crutches, prosthetic limbs, sign language modules, etc. In this concept, the young learners will know more about assistive devices.
After reading the concept, students will be able to:
- Know about the purpose of assistive devices.
- Recall that Braille script is used by the blind children.
- Understand about Braille system and the use of a white cane.
- Compare elbow crutches and walking crutches.
- Answer- who needs to use a walker with wheels?
- Categorise equipment for deaf and dumb children.
- Differentiate between hearing aid machines and cochlear implants.
Each concept is explained to class 4 students using descriptions, illustrations, and concept maps. After you go through a concept, assess your learning by solving the two printable worksheets given at the end of the page.
Download the worksheets and check your answers with the worksheet solutions for the concept Equipment for Children with Disabilities provided in PDF format.
Children with Disabilities:
- Children who live with a disability are called disabled children.
- They can study at both regular and special schools.
- These children are often discriminated against at school, so a proper educational environment, support, and care are necessary.
Why Do Disabled Children Use Assistive Devices or Equipment?
- Assistive equipment helps children live independently.
- These assistive aids give them proper support and enforce their participation in routine activities like other children.
- Modern digital assistive technologies are constantly helping them become self-dependant and reducing the responsibilities of long-term caregivers.
1. Equipment for Blind Children:
a) Braille System:
- Braille was invented by a French educator named Louis Braille, who was a blind man.
- He coded messages with dots with specific phonics and embossed those on cardboard.
- The Braille system is accepted worldwide.
- Blind and children with low vision can use this system.
- A braille script is made with raised dots, and the dots are arranged in two columns and three rows.
- Children can read braille scripts through touch sensation.
b) White Cane:
- A white cane or stick, also known as a mobility cane, is used for smooth mobility.
- These sticks are white so that the blind person using them can be easily identified.
- These are foldable sticks and easy to carry.
- The primary function of these sticks is to scan obstacles on the road.
c) Speciality Sunglasses:
- These are specially made sunglasses for the blind.
- The eyesight of blind children is more sensitive than that of normal children.
- Airborne dust particles and pollen grains may irritate their eyes. Speciality sunglasses act as a protective barrier for the eyes.
- These glasses also protect the eyes from harsh sun rays.
d) Speciality Watches:
- Different types of speciality watches are available in the market.
- Blind children can use braille watches to check the time through touch sensations.
- Some watches come with glass lids so the time can be checked by touching minute and hour hands.
- Talking watches are more expensive, but blind children also use those. There are electronic digital watches that give information about time and weather.
2. Equipment for Lame and Disabled Children:
- Children who are unable to walk use wheelchairs to move from one place to another.
- These chairs are made of four wheels and a seating surface.
- Wheelchairs can be of two types—manually powered and electric powered.
- These chairs have two large wheels at the back, which help to propel the equipment and maintain balance.
- Two small wheels are present in the front. These wheels are called caster wheels that help to change directions.
b) Walker with Wheels:
- Wheeled walkers are used by kids who suffer from poor balance or have difficulty walking.
- If a lame child has weak elbows, they cannot balance their body using a walking stick. So, a walker with armrests is used.
- A simple low-level walker is helpful if the child can control his body correctly.
- If the child cannot balance their body, walkers with underarm supports are used.
c) Underarm Walking Crutch:
- Crutches are also called walking sticks or balancing canes.
- Lame children with good balancing ability can use crutches for movement.
- Children with weak elbow muscles use underarm crutches.
- These crutches come with a balancing stick and soft padded underarm support.
d) Below Elbow Crutch:
- Children with good balancing ability and strong elbow muscles are given this equipment.
- These crutches also have gripping objects attached to them, which is why strong wrist muscles are also necessary for these aids.
e) Prosthetic Limbs:
- An artificial leg or hand is called a prosthetic limb.
- It is used when a child has lost their limb due to an accident or disease.
- The missing body part is replaced by an artificial limb.
- These limbs are also used after surgical amputation.
- Prosthetic limbs are made of light metals and attached to the body by suction.
- A ramp is an inclined plane that facilitates the movements of wheelchairs.
- Nowadays, ramps are installed in schools, offices, shopping malls, airports, etc.
- A disabled child cannot climb staircases, but ramps can help him reach upstairs.
- He can take help from others who can push his wheelchair from downstairs to upstairs.
3. Equipment for Deaf Children:
a) Hearing Aid Machine:
- Children who have deafness and partial hearing loss use this equipment.
- A hearing aid amplifies sounds so that the person using it can hear the noise loudly.
- It is a detachable aid that is placed on ears when needed.
b) Cochlear Implants:
- Cochlear implants are used for people who have complete deafness.
- It is an electronic device that is surgically implanted.
- Children suffering from inner ear damage can use this equipment.
4. Equipment for Dumb Children:
a) Artificial Tongue:
- An artificial tongue is made with a rubber-like material.
- Those who cannot speak properly due to improper tongue structure can use this equipment.
- This tongue is surgically attached to the mouth.
b) Sign Language Training Modules:
- Sign language training programmes are very crucial for kids who cannot speak.
- With the help of sign language, they can express their feelings.
- These modules are readily available in markets that help them to learn different hand positions to express feelings.
Airborne: Substances carried by air like dust particles, pollen grains, etc.
Amputation: The surgical procedure to cut off a limb is called amputation.
Did You Know?
- Digital smart glasses allow visually impaired children to see and help in mobilisation without obstacles.
- Lame children use parallel bars to practice walking and for walk therapy.