Marginalized communities in the U.S. share similar challenges to excluded communities in Kenya. These include living and working in conditions with limited resources, social stigmas and little hope for the future, observes Nuala Ribeiro. She also notes that many lessons can be taken from programs in areas such as these in the U.S. and contextualized to fit Kenya. Nuala, who currently works as the Learning Support Coordinator for the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, oversees her school’s student support services and works with an array of students whose ages range from 6 to 18. Her responsibilities include carrying out educational assessments with in-class and out-of-class supports as well as developing teachers’ and parents’ skills through workshops. Nuala also contributes her expertise to public policy by acting as an Inclusive Education Consultant to the Mombasa County Government, which calls on her to advise them on reforms, project design and quality assurance.
Nuala has significant experience working with children with disabilities in and outside of Kenya, having been a speech and language therapist in both her home country and the United Kingdom. She is deeply committed to improving early education practices as well as policy implementation in schools and is especially interested in enabling data collection and monitoring students’ outcomes beginning in early childhood. For her inclusive education project, she would like to develop an early education child outcome tracking system with the Mombasa County Government. The system will eventually enable officials to collect and analyze the development and learning milestones of children across Mombasa County. She intends to use her Fellowship to learn more about cost-effective early intervention methods that can be applied in areas with scarce resources and high need.
Nuala will pursue her ADA International Fellowship training at the University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies.