Promoting Social Equality in Inclusive Education: Mapping the Experience of Parents of Children who Rely on Augmentative and Alternative Communication  [PDF]

Marianna Gregoriou1, Eliada Pampoulou2, George Milis1
 EUROCY Innovations Ltd, Cyprus
2 Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus

Abstract: Inclusive education aims for equal opportunities to be provided to all children regardless of their socioeconomic background, genre, or disability. There are various technological tools that can support the inclusive education of students with complex communication needs. Despite the fact that the parents’ roles in supporting pupils with disabilities is vital, to date, there has been a lack of research investigating the roles of Cypriot parents of these children. The research aim was to explore the experiences of parents on the island who support students with complex communication needs, regarding how they perceive their roles as parents. In-depth interviews were conducted with six parents of children aged five to twelve years. Data were analysed based on thematic analysis. The findings show that parents of children with complex communication needs in Cyprus have a number of roles when it comes to supporting their children in communicating with others. They attend training sessions to acquire the necessary skills to communicate effectively with their children. They also act as communicating partners with friends, relatives and others. In addition, they act as advocates of their children both in the school, as well as in the wider community. It is vital that a number of online platforms are made openly available in order to increase knowledge and skills on issues related to AAC and inclusion. Of note is the MYHUB Inclusion Hub Platform ( which offers a one-stop-shop for inclusion practices, tools, resources and methods addressed to the pedagogical staff in formal and non-formal educational settings.
Keywords: augmentative and alternative communication, assistive technology, Cyprus, inclusive education, parents’ experience, school collaboration.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3