Deafblindness support in primary schools

Morium became one of the first children with deafblindness in Bangladesh to pass her primary school exams after she received help to stay in education from Sense International. 

A young woman smiles as she reads a book with her fingers

When Sense International first met Morium, her deteriorating eyesight and hearing loss meant that she was on the verge of being taken out of school. Aged nine, her future looked similar to that of tens of thousands of children with disabilities across Bangladesh – a lifetime of social isolation and a lack of opportunity to thrive. 

As she struggled at school, Morium was identified as having deafblindness. She was referred to Sense International’s national partner in Bangladesh, Centre for Disability in Development (CDD). After speaking to Morium and her family and carrying out a more detailed assessment, CDD ensured that she received assistance from a special educator trained in providing tailored support to people with deafblindness. 

Morium’s local primary school were unwilling for her to continue studying. To ensure that she stayed in education, the special educator worked closely with the school management and teachers to help them understand deafblindness and adapt their approach to better suit Morium’s learning needs. In consultation with Morium and her family, the special educator developed an Individual Education Plan. This identified areas in her formal education where she needed some additional help, as well as every day skills that needed strengthening. Morium also received hearing aids and glasses to help maximise the use of her remaining sight and hearing. 

Over time, the school became more supportive, and with hard work and determination, Morium began to achieve her learning goals. Supported and encouraged by her special educator, she prepared for and successfully passed her Primary School Certificate. This enabled her to progress on to High School, becoming one of the first children with deafblindness in Bangladesh to do so. 

“[My special educator] spent time with my parents and teachers to help them understand how I can be supported to stay at school. Without this, I expect I would have had to stay at home and not have the opportunity to learn and develop, to communicate and be part of my community. I now wish to one day become a teacher.”