It is people who count, not the disability
VidyaSagar believes in the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community, whether it is education, vocation or social and family life. The Inclusion Programme was started in 1993.The department provides continued services to students from VidyaSagar who have moved on to private schools and to students pursuing higher education in colleges.
The Programme focuses on creating opportunities for inclusion of children with neurological impairments and sustaining it in mainstream schools and colleges.VidyaSagar works through workshops and awareness programmes and support, to ensure that children with disabilities are admitted into mainstream educational institutions. Thereafter, we provide support services. Over 100 students going to schools and colleges receive support in any given year.
Support services include direct intervention with the students and parents; support at the school and colleges and work at the community level.
Direct intervention includes Assessment and intervention, remedial, therapy intervention and review Providing aids and adaptations for movement education and communication, counselling as required and parent training.
At the school level when schools are approached, orientation is provided to the principal and teachers to facilitate continuous support in the areas of:
- » Modification of curriculum
- » Alternate evaluation
- » Providing scribes and
- » Buddy group support
Capacity building is an important component of the programme, providing technical training for teachers, conducting orientation for volunteers and training peers to ensure that inclusion becomes a reality.
CRIBE has been playing an important role in inclusion. VidyaSagar conducts regular workshops for them, focussing on giving information on different disabilities especially on cerebral palsy, learning disability and autism. They also learn to work with students who have communication difficulties. There are open discussions on beads of students and the role of scribes.
The training programs for the teachers focus on:
- » Explaining disability and inclusion
- » Giving the teacher information on the various disabilities
- » Helping them know their child and be aware of the student's specific needs
- » Teaching them to facilitate the participation of students in class room activities
Workshops for parents aim at helping them understand their role in facilitating inclusion. The parents are also given strategies to work with their children at home.
The department works with students of Vidya Sagar who are enrolled in other schools as well as with students referred by schools. Support is provided through scribes who are volunteers who support students, especially in colleges, to help in reading and assist in completing assignments.
The Inclusion Programme also involves working with the Government to ensure that provisions are made for the students during exams. The scribes are trained to understand the speech of the student or use an alternative mode of communication; use communication charts and other alternative communication devices; use a computer to write the exam and even complete the practical exam with an assistant.