Japhari Shehaghilo

Japhary is an Assistant Lecturer at Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University (SEKOMU) in Lushoto, rural northeast Tanzania, where he advises and guides students with disabilities. He plays a central role in coordinating academic evaluations of students with disabilities at SEKOMU and is tasked with preparing, administering and grading exams for the university’s Department of Special Needs. Although Japhary works in postsecondary education, he has extensive professional training in early intervention, having specialized in Early Childhood Special Education when pursuing his master’s degree. He leverages this expertise by providing consultations on special education options for families of children with special needs when he is not attending to university-related needs.

Prior to the ADA International Fellowship Program, Japhary spent six months training in early intervention methods at different sites in Philadelphia. During his sojourn in the U.S. in 2006-2007, Japhary attended several workshops and conferences and observed local implementation of Head Start, early intervention initiatives, and vocational and community based programs for youth in transition.

Japhary would like to use his Fellowship opportunity to develop resources that can be used to build capacity among local schools in his area. Specifically, he would like to create an inclusive training initiative for teachers in primary schools, which he views as the most important location for early intervention in rural Tanzania due to the scarcity of pre-primary education centers. He intends to connect with community stakeholders when designing the program and implementing it in target schools so as to maximize local involvement and enthusiasm for improving teachers’ knowledge of inclusive principles and practices.

Japhary will pursue his ADA International Fellowship training with the University of Colorado/JFK Partners in Denver, Colorado.