Montauban: a disabled student is refused the use of his laptop in class

A pupil suffering from dyspraxia and educated in 4th grade in a college in Montauban in Tarn-et-Garonne was banned by several teachers from using his laptop in class. However, his parents explain that this tool is essential for him to take notes.

Since the start of the school year, young Melvin, a 4th grade student at the Institut familial college in Montauban, has not been able to use his computer in class. Several teachers reportedly forbade him to use it. The adolescent suffers from several handicaps, including dyspraxia. A learning disorder that causes difficulties in gestures, games and writing. Melvin, however, obtained a laptop from the National Education, the only compensation tool for taking notes. In addition, the MDPF, departmental house for the disabled, has indicated that it needs a computer.

According to the association Tecap 21 Quercy Gascony, who follows the child and his family, some teachers do not take his disorder into account and ask Melvin to write with a pen “for his autonomy”.

To be dyspraxic is to be impeded in one’s actions, it’s like getting up every morning with boxing gloves in your hands, to perform all the daily tasks. These disorders are invisible disabilities. Many teachers refute this and consider that any handicap is only a temporary difficulty and that it only takes effort to remove it.

Jean-Loup Pulicani, president of the Técap 21 Quercy Gascogne association

Requested by France 3 Occitanie, the management of the establishment has not yet responded to our interview requests.

According to Jean-Loup Pulicani, from the Técap 21 Quercy Gascogne association “Melvin’s case shows that there are still efforts to be made in raising awareness and training teachers and those accompanying students with disabilities”.

Currently, for AESH applicants who do not have a professional diploma in the field of personal assistance, the training is concentrated on 60 hours. Too little, according to this association representative: “These carers often have to take care of several children with different needs: DYS disorders, autism, Down’s syndrome and in several establishments.”

In his report dated August 2022the human rights defender Claire Hedon recommends to the Minister of National Education and Youth “to better train teachers and, more generally, all the actors of National Education on the challenges of inclusive schooling, the reception of children with disabilities, the different disabilities but also on the use of essential tools for assessing the child’s needs.”

The latest official statistics show 220,000 children requiring the support of an AESH and only 125,000 accompanying persons in post.

Montauban: a disabled student is refused the use of his laptop in class