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Focus Area : Inclusive Education

Inclusive Education

Working with the systems in implementing the policies
The inclusion of children with disabilities is presently a part of a large worldwide human rights movement which calls for full inclusion of all people including those with special needs in all aspects of life. The concept of inclusive education has great significance in the education space by virtue of its incorporation into the policy documents of numerous international organization starting from of UN, 1994 UNESCO Report (Salamanca Statement), MDG, SDG, most notably the UNCRPD on the Education of Children with Disabilities all affirm the rights of all children to equal education without discrimination within the mainstream education system. The past twenty years in India have seen significant legal and political commitments towards universalization of education and right to education. India has adopted a rights-based approach to inclusion of children with disabilities UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Education is critical in expanding life prospects of all children, including children with disabilities1 (CWDs). Education systems that are inclusive, equitable and empowering can help build societies that are in turn inclusive, equitable and strong. This organic connection between education and society lies at the heart of creating change and achieving social justice. India is a diverse country that has traditionally valued differences. However, the country is also highly stratified socio-economically. The new rights-based approach to inclusive education is hence a correct step towards creating a just and equitable society.

The international normative framework comprising the UNCRPD and the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 4 and Agenda 2030, provide a strong vision and a set of goals that have guided India’s processes of fostering inclusion in schools. The Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWD) Act 2016 have helped create a comprehensive legal framework for inclusive education. The recent NEP 2020 has made adequate provisions in terms of inclusion of CWDs from early childhood education to higher education. However, there is a need to develop appropriate measures and systemic changes in order to put the policies into realities. One-fourth of the CWD population aged between 5 and 19 do not attend any educational institution. Among 5-year-olds with disabilities, three-fourths do not go to any educational institution. (UNESCO Report 2019.) One of the major challenges that is being faced is development of institutional mechanisms and developing competent human resource who can create inclusive learning environment.

Since its inception Seva-in-action collaborates closely with the Government system to implement its policies through capacity development of the system on the local context. Since 1998 SiA has been involved with the education department at state and national level in capacity building of the system through in-service and preservice teacher education program developing model projects for IE and assisting in upscaling at state level besides evaluation of projects in the area of inclusive education. SiA has a consultative status with MHRD for curriculum development, teacher education an evaluation of IE program.

Seva-in-Action’s focus from the beginning is on Education and it built support systems for mainstreaming children with disabilities (cross disability) in neighbourhood regular schools. One of such support systems is a School Readiness or preparatory program with the aim of preparing children with disabilities and integrating them in nearby regular schools.

It is designed to prepare a child with disability to have sufficient independent functioning required for admission in a nearby school in the community. For eg., a child with intellectual disability in preparatory program is trained in Cognitive, Language/Communication, Motor, Self-help & Social Skills. If the child’s disability condition is severe, then depending on age and present level of functioning of the child, he/she is also trained in self feeding, toileting, dressing, gross & fine motor skills, language/communication skills, safety skills, etc. In case of a child with visual impairment, he/she is trained in orientation and mobility and if we have a child with hearing impairment, he/she is given auditory & speech training and also encourage such children to use hearing aid & lip reading.

The children with disabilities are prepared in the following areas:

  • COGNITION – Attention and Memory, Concepts, Symbolic Play, Reasoning and Visual Perception
  • COMMUNICATION SKILLS – Expressive Vocabulary, Auditory Perception, Receptive Skills and Conversation Skills
  • SOCIAL SKILLS – Self-concept (social awareness) and Interpersonal skills
  • SELF-HELP SKILLS – Activities of daily living
  • MOTOR SKILLS: a) GROSS MOTOR SKILLS – Locomotion, Stairs, Jumping, Balance, etc. and Outdoor Activities
    b) FINE MOTOR SKILLS – Hand use, Manipulation, Visual-Motor Skills, etc

In Ramanagara, the Samvardhana Centre has a resource room equipped with adequate teaching learning aids for teaching the activities of the above areas. Here children get one-to-one teaching support based on the Individual Education Plan (IEP), besides group teaching and they also get auditory training, speech therapy, ADL skills and physiotherapy on the basis of their needs. The evaluation is an ongoing process through participation, observations, tests, etc. Usually, children are ready to go to mainstream school after 1 or 2 years depending on the type and degree of disability, aptitude of the child and involvement of parents. Some children even take 3-4 years. The resource teacher is also supporting parents who have children with epilepsy in their medication, besides providing education.

SiA is working with children & schools to make inclusion effective by preparing the children in the resource centres and mainstreaming them with the assistance of resource teacher and parent’s support to a nearby regular schools. Children with disabilities are required to learn pre-academic skills, which are necessary for reading, writing, computation and problem solving in School. SiA provides need-based resource teaching support to the child and resource support to the school. The resource centre is also encouraging admissions of children with special needs in mainstream schools by working closely with the community and schools in Ramanagara.

At resource centre, the resource teacher helps them in understanding the concepts which they did not understand in the regular class with special teaching learning materials and help them in doing homework given in the class. They also help them in revising class lessons at the centre and give practice in writing tests- to understand the questions and write correct answers. Children with HI / speech problem also get speech therapy sessions. Sometimes volunteers such as students/ teachers/ parents help in providing resource teaching support to the children at Resource centres.

Introduction:

Curriculum – We need to understand that teaching is not all about curriculum and need to understand the learners who struggle with the curriculum. Need Resources to help such students in order to promote inclusion.

RESOURCES:
We need to understand that teaching is not all about curriculum and need to understand the learners who struggle with the curriculum. Need Resources to help such students in order to promote inclusion. The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategy offers such a framework for designing learning environments that are accessible and effective for all learners. It’s all about designing lesson plans that allow for multiple means of engagement, representation and action & expression. To enable Schools to create inclusive learning environment adequate Resource Support system is required in order to accept all kinds of learners with diversity and provides equitable learning opportunities for all.
Resources for Inclusive Education are categorized into

CONCRETE RESOURCES ACTIVITY RESOURCES DIGITAL RESOURCES INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS RESOURCE CENTRES, NETWORKS
Natural – Environment- Sun, Soil, Plants, Animals  Art-Dance/Drama/ Singing E-resources – e-books, e-images, e-audios  Develop Resource Centres/Corners in the School 
Material – Charts, Models, Flash cards  Exploratory-Nature walk  Digital materials – CD- ROM, talking books  Inclusive Schools Network – Sharing classroom practices 
Print – Text books, Newspapers, posters  Gardening, Games  Online tools – Wizer, Edpuzzle, Live worksheets, podcast  Collaboration with Institutes – Capacity building of teachers 

Collaborate for Inclusive Education

Inclusion is a process of change and this change starts from within us. Inclusion requires our heart (Philosophy), our head (Policy) and our hands (Practice). The philosophy of inclusive education has to be translated into systematic Policies and ensure those policies are in practice. Therefore, if we use our hearts, heads and hands we can make inclusion work.

Dr. Nandita de Souza/TEDxPanaji, 2018

Enquire for need based training, developing resources & resource centres, guidance in School readiness program and collaboration in the area of inclusive Education.

Engage with us by sharing inclusive practices, UDL strategies, Resources, etc.


Collaborate

On-Going Program



Human Resource Development

SIA has organized various training programmes for regular teachers, Inclusive Education Resource Teachers (IERTs)& Special teachers from Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, and NGOs in the area of inclusive education & CBR, besides need based training programmes for CBR workers from NGOs, Anganvadi workers, Village Rehabilitation workers, parents and Volunteers in the field of disabilities. Trained Personnel of different levels from NGOs, State & Central Govt. and also from other countries in CBR & Inclusive education through centralized & decentralized training programmes: SiA has also developed in-service training in CBR for NGOs from Ethiopia supported by Disability and Development Partners.

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Success Stories

Deepak is a B.Com graduate who runs his own office with two paid workers at MG Road, Ramanagara. His work centres on making passports, pan cards, Aadhar Cards, booking bus & train tickets, etc.
He is affected with cerebral palsy but which did not deter him from pursuing his education in regular Govt schools and college in Ramanagara. SiA provided him with continuous support to overcome the barriers and challenges in his pursuit.
He is a treasurer of Self Advocates Forum of India & attended the 4th National Convention in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. He is also a member in SiA’s Ramanagara Local level committee.

Deepak
B.Com graduate

Venkatesh, a person with hearing impairment who works in a Garment factory, stitching bags and also maintain stationery unit at the factory. He was adored by everyone in the factory. He is earning a salary of Rs. 15,000 per month and supporting his family as his father is no more.
He was provided training under the School readiness program of Seva-in-Action for one year and then with the preparation, he was enrolled in the Govt Main Higher Primary School in Ramanagara where SiA’s resource teacher was supporting that school for inclusion of children with disabilities. He was given a training in language in the morning session from 9 am to 10 am and helped him in the class to understand the lessons with the resource teacher support.
He was participated in sports, cultural programs and drawing competition with other children in the school. He had even participated in the Block level Sports and won the prizes. He then went to Govt High School in Ramanagara with the continuous support of SiA’s Resource teacher and passed 10 th standard.

Venkatesh
works in a Garment factory

Annapurna a primary school teacher of magadi Tq developed an indigenous ramp for Harish

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