The Integration of Special Needs for People Living with Disabilities in Tanzania’s LIS Curriculum
AbstractThis paper presents the study findings that examined the integration of special needs in the Library Information Science (LIS) curriculum by Tanzania’s library schools.The Social Model of Disability by Oliver (1990)underpinned the study, which deployed both quantitative and qualitative research approaches as well as survey research design. The questionnaire, interview and content analysis were used in data gathering.The study found that special needs in the LIS programme is integrated in one university as an elective and not covered as a core subject. Moreover,the study found that the integration of special needs in the LIS curriculum is important in improving library services, also providing services to people with disabilities. Furthermore, it was established in this study that the integration of special needs in the LIS curriculum faced the challenge of relying on staff lacking training in special needs in addition to lacking assistive equipment. In addition, inadequate funding, lack of information resources (Braille materials), lack of sensitisation and awareness of universities and government decision-makers were other challenges the study identified. The study, therefore, recommends for special needs to be a compulsory subject for undergraduates as well as postgraduates in all disciplines. The physical layout of the campus buildings in all the universities should also be friendly to people living with disabilities. The government should also provide adequate funds to all universities to support people living with special needs.
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