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Documentary Shows How Tech Drove Educational Inclusion of Children with Disabilities During Pandemic

QUITO, Ecuador – En señas, sueñas 2 [Dreaming in Signs] tells the story of how technology and social innovation helped a group of 340 students with disabilities and their families overcome the challenges of distance education during the pandemic in Ecuador. The documentary is an initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Fe y Alegría Ecuador, with support from the Japan Special Fund Poverty Reduction Program (JPO).

The second installment of the documentary, presented yesterday in Ecuador, highlights lessons from implementing an effective distance education strategy for marginalized children, this time in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The first installment of the documentary, which was launched in 2021, captured ten years of joint work by the IDB, Fe y Alegría and JPO to promote innovation and technology for social inclusion. Both installments of En señas, sueñas were directed by Pablo de la Chica, a Goya award-winning director.

March 2020 disrupted people’s routines everywhere in the world. But for vulnerable groups like children with disabilities, the challenge of adapting to new forms of education, entertainment and relating to others was much more difficult. 

This project used technology to help students with disabilities, their families, caregivers and the community of six schools in Quito, Guayaquil, Manta and Santo Domingo in Ecuador to endure the lockdown and gain lasting knowledge and skills. 

To overcome the challenges of the pandemic using technology, this project took a social innovation approach where beneficiaries actively helped identify and prioritize problems and also helped design the solutions to them. 

In addition to making sure students had access to tablets, adapted software and a good internet connection, the project trained teachers and worked closely with families to strengthen the children’s support network, lowing the risk of dropouts and helping the new technologies take root. 

One of the pedagogical strategies that the project resorted to, and whose impact was significantly deepened thanks to the use of technology, was playful learning. The use of games to teach reading and writing or mathematics, combined with the variety of possibilities offered by digital technologies, was an efficient strategy for maintaining learning levels similar to those of in-person instruction, even with the initial challenges that come with the adoption of any new technology.

The documentary premiered yesterday in Ecuador at the commemoration of Fe y Alegría's 60th anniversary, an event that highlighted the contribution of the school communities and their capacity to use technology in innovative ways to improve the lives of excluded groups.  
Watch the full documentary and its stories about the resilience of these children, their families and educators here.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research projects and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region. Take our virtual tour.


Molina Medina,Vanessa Carolina

Molina Medina,Vanessa Carolina


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