In 2012, King’s Academy launched Kursi wa Kitab (meaning ‘chair and book’), a Round Square pilot project aimed at raising awareness about the needs of children with cerebral palsy (CP) in Jordan.
Jordan currently has only one school for children with CP, and the number of challenges they face concerning physical therapy and education are many. Students at this particular school, which starts at the KG level, are required to transfer to a different institution once they complete grade 10 as it is then deemed the family’s responsibility towards the child’s welfare. Kursi wa Kitab students regularly meet with these families to learn about their struggle – due to physical status – with social integration in the community.
In accordance with King’s Guiding Principles, students took on the shared responsibility to help build a bridge between international CP programs and the people in Jordan. After much research and effort, King’s Academy joined forces with Hungary’s Peto Institute, which focuses on comprehensive physical therapy, to establish a conductive education program throughout the Kingdom.
In 2015, Kursi wa Kitab also partnered with the Vienna-based Zero Project. Established by the Essl Foundation, the Project’s focus is on the rights of persons with disabilities, providing a platform where innovative and effective solutions to problems faced by persons with disabilities around the world can be shared. Its mission is to support implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to work for “a world without barriers.” Each year, King’s Academy students work on a project under that year’s Zero Project theme, and share the outcome at the annual Zero Project conference at the United Nations in Vienna.
- To develop awareness and better understanding about the needs of persons with disabilities
- To develop a community of caring individuals committed to working towards three of the United Nations’ Global Goals: Goal 4 Quality Education, Goal 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Goal 17 Partnerships for the Goals
- To provide King’s students with leadership experiences by offering them opportunities to create unique service project plans to support children and adults with physical disabilities
- To create a network between local and international organizations for professional development purposes
- To develop partnerships between Kursi wa Kitab and local educational institutions, and offer to host vocational training for adults with physical disabilities on campus
- Organized “Independent Life through Conductive Education” international conference (March 24-28, 2013) at the Royal Medical Services in collaboration with Peto Institute in Hungary and Rainbow Center in the UK
- Organized social events on campus to provide adults with physical disabilities opportunities to interact with the King’s community
- Distributed 120 wheelchairs donated to Kursi wa Kitab by the Heart of Merci Organization to people with motor difficulties in Karak, Shobak and east Amman (May 2014) in cooperation with the Military Defense Department which delivered the wheelchairs
- Organized fundraising dinner to help cover expenses for the conductive education pilot program (September 2014)
- Launched the Conductive Education Program as a pilot program (August-September 2014) in collaboration with Queen Rania Children’s Hospital. Twenty-six underprivileged children with cerebral palsy participated in the program. After seven weeks of intensive therapy, the children took their first steps to walk.
- Implemented workshop promoting inclusive education entitled “The voice of change: creating a positive image about effective engagement with people of special needs within their communities” (May 2015)
- King’s invited adults with disabilities to participate in the 2015 Jordan Model Parliament Conference to learn how to find their voices in order to be heard by decision makers
- Researched and built, using recycled old bicycles at school, a tricycle for a child with motor disabilities to help them face the challenges in their environment and become an active member in the community
- Built accessibility ramps at King Hussein Business Park (October 2016)
- Distributed 25 special scooters to underprivileged people with spinal cord injuries (May 2016)
- Built accessibility ramps at King’s Academy (September 2017, 2021)
- Led sign language course as co-curricular to help King’s community become more inclusive
- Collaborated with American University in Madaba to offer fashion design course for Kursi wa Kitab disabled members with King’s students as facilitators
- Implemented second pilot Conductive Education Program (January 2020) with Moira Center in Budapest and Queen Rania Hospital for Children, and trained specialists on how to use conductive education methods in their sessions
- Participated in and presented at Zero Project annual conference in Vienna (February 2020)
Read more about Kursi wa Kitab: