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January 2012

news

Issue 10

Inside this Issue:

2 "Inclusive Education – Indian context” By A. Desai

3 "Toward “Regular” (Inclusive) Education" By S. Dua & S. Mhatre

4 “Circle of Enablers – Empowered Special Tutors” Core team at Drishti: Smita Desai (Ph.D) - Partner Psychologist Anand Desai (MSc, MA), - Partner Psychologist Poonam A (MA) - Business Development Mirriam C (DSE, MA) - NIOS Itishree D. (DSE, Med) - Special Ed Navleen C (Bed, MA) - Training & Development Madhura P (MA) - Psychology Louiza G (BA) - Admin

Dear Friends,

Abraham Maslow (1970), in his discussion on hierarchy of human needs, pointed out that belonging was an essential and prerequisite human need that had to be met before one could ever achieve a sense of self- worth. Special education has always been based on the paradigm that skills are a prerequisite to inclusion or integration. However, an alternate paradigm requires educators to focus on the child’s desire to belong to the class (with appropriate support) and to be a part of the group; this is what motivates them to learn new skills, thus showing progress. The importance of ‘belonging’ is a very focal & interesting concept in the inclusive education movement. When Children with Disabilities are educated in the same environment as their non-disabled peers, it moulds the mind of all present towards the acceptance of a disability as being merely differently-abled rather than dis-abled. It spreads the information that Inclusion in Education is all about the child’s right to participate and the school’s duty to accept the child; it is about equal participation by all children in school activities and respect for their social & civil rights. At Drishti, our team comprising of Psychologists, Special educators, Speech therapist and Occupational therapist all aim towards preparing the children for Inclusion in Education. Our programmes work on developing their self-esteem and social skills. Parents are involved as significant partners in this endeavour. Awareness and orientation programmes are conducted round the year with the school systems we partner with. This particular issue is devoted to elaborate on the status and importance of Inclusive Education in India and reflect Drishti’s endeavors in the direction of Inclusion. We strongly believe that “those who learn together, learn to live together”!

205-206 Midas Chamber Andheri (W), Mumbai 400053 India p. +91-22-26732496/97 f. +91-22-26732494 e. drishti@drishtionline.com

Hope you enjoy reading this issue! Smita Desai On behalf of the entire team at Drishti

www.drishtionline.com Nb. Due to lack of space references in all articles are not printed here but available on the online version of this newsletter!


Legislation & Policy Inclusive Education – Indian context -

By A. Desai

Inclusive Education Whereas Part IV of the Indian constitution recognizes education as a fundamental right, there are several important legislations and schemes impacting education for persons with disabilities in India. Directions to these have come from agreements reached in the UN agencies. The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action 1 on Special Needs Education , adopted by the UNESCO in 1994 and to which India is a signatory. According to this declaration, inclusive education requires: “… Schools should accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions. This should include disabled and gifted children, street and working children, children from remote or nomadic populations, children from linguistic, ethnic or cultural minorities and children from other disadvantaged or marginalized areas or groups.” India - Legislation and Policy Key legislations in India relating to education of persons with disabilities are: Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 and The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. Whereas the RCI Act helps regulate training of rehabilitation professionals and maintaining a central rehabilitation register for related matters, the Persons with Disabilities Act relates to whole gamut of areas concerning the integration and full participation of persons with disabilities in society. The key schemes of Government of India that pertain to the present approach to Special Education Needs (SEN) are: Integrated Education of Disabled Children, 1974, Projected Integrated Education of Disabled Children, 1987, District Primary Education Program, 1994, and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, 2000-2001. All the above schemes are aimed at providing an integrated and inclusive education environment for children with disabilities in the Indian public (state

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run) schools. The above mentioned legislations and schemes also give direction to the policies adopted by non-government education institutions across India. Special Education Needs and in particular SLD In order to aid greater policy focus among member countries, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) classified various Special Needs across society (and not 2 specifically education related) into 3 broad areas : Category A: disability due to organic impairment (“disability”) Category B: intellectual, behavioural or other learning difficulty (“difficulty”) Category C: social disadvantage (“disadvantage”) In the Indian context, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan comes closest to covering each of these areas in its framework, aimed at ensuring education for all. There is, however, inadequate data to better understand the performance of the Indian school environment in achieving Inclusion for SEN. A look at available data of a well classified environment helps give some idea of possible prevalence of SEN 3 in an Indian classroom. The US disability statistic (2009) reveals the following (as % of total receiving special services under IDEA): 42.6 percent in specific learning disability (SLD), 19.1 percent in speech or language impairment, 8.1 percent in mental retardation, 7.2 percent in emotional disturbance, 2.1 percent in multiple disabilities, 1.2 percent in hearing impairments, 1.1 percent in orthopaedic impairments, 11.1 percent in other health impairments, 0.4 percent in visual impairments, 5.0 percent in autism, 0.03 percent in deaf-blindness, 0.4 percent in traumatic brain injury, and 1.7 percent in developmental delay. Serving SLD in Indian schools With good existing legislation and national schemes, there is lot of potential in serving the needs of Indian children with “difficulties” including SLD. However unlike the other special needs, which can often be served by one time interventions, areas such as SLD require a dynamic system within the mainstream school environment. The existing schooling design is neither empathetic of this need, nor equipped to manage it. This last aspect is not unique to the public schools. Thus creation of a sub-system within the mainstream school setting may require attention if we are to see greater support for children with “difficulties” in the Indian school system.

Views expressed in this newsletter belong to the individual authors.

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Current Practices Toward “Regular� (Inclusive) Education -

By S. Dua & S. Mhatre

Past preferred practices Over the years, students with disabilities have either been mainstreamed or segregated. Under mainstreaming, a child with significant intellectual impairment would attend some general education classes, typically for less than half the day. On the other hand, a segregated student would not be allowed to attend any classes with non-disabled students. He or she might attend a special school or be placed in a dedicated, self-contained classroom in a school that also enrolled general education students. Some students were also given special tutoring by a school district after being confined to 1 a hospital due to a medical condition. Less common alternatives over the past have also 2 included homeschooling and, particularly in developing countries, such as India - a total exclusion from education. Inclusion and its types Based on how it is incorporated in the school setup, inclusion can be broadly divided into two sub3 types: the first is sometimes called Regular inclusion or partial inclusion, and the other is Full 4 inclusion. "Regular Inclusive practice" is not always inclusive; rather it is a form of integration. To elaborate further, in the partial inclusion model, the students with special needs are educated in regular classes for nearly all of the day, or at least for more than 4 half of the day. Within the general classroom setup, these students receive some additional help or special instruction and are treated like a full member of the class. However, most specialized services are provided outside a regular classroom in a resource room, particularly if these services require special equipment or might be disruptive to the rest of the class (such as speech therapy, remedial instruction). This approach is very similar to many mainstreaming practices, but may differ in 4 little more than the educational ideals behind it.

appropriate supports and services. At the extreme, full inclusion is the integration of all students, even those that require the most substantial educational and behavioral supports and services to be successful in regular classes and the elimination of 5 special, segregated special education classes. Special education is considered a service, not a place; these services are integrated into the daily routines and classroom structure, environment, curriculum and strategies and brought to the student, instead of removing the student to meet his or her individual needs. Some educators say this might be more effective for the students with 5 special needs. 4

However according to Bowe , regular inclusion (but not full inclusion) is a reasonable approach for a significant majority of students with special needs. He stresses that for some students, notably those with severe autism spectrum disorders, intellectual impairment, hearing impairment or multiple disabilities, even regular inclusion may not offer an appropriate education. Research Studies on Benefits of Inclusion A study on inclusion compared integrated and segregated (special education only) preschool students. The study determined that children in the integrated sites progressed in social skills development while the segregated children actually 7 regressed. Another study shows the effect on inclusion in grades 2 to 5. The study determined that students with specific learning disabilities made some academic and affective gains at a pace comparable to that of normal achieving students. Specific learning disabilities students also showed an improvement in self-esteem and in some cases 8 improved motivation. Benefits for children without disabilities include the development of positive attitudes and perceptions of persons with disabilities and the enhancement of social status 6 with non disabled peers. Conclusion When inclusive education is fully embraced, we abandon the idea that children have to become "normal" in order to contribute to the world. We begin to realize the achievable goal of providing all children with an authentic sense of belonging to their communities.

On the other hand, in the "Full inclusion" setting, the students with special needs are always educated alongside students without special needs, as the first and desired option while maintaining drishti-newsletter_10.docx

Views expressed in this newsletter belong to the individual authors.

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SEN Enabler Program In attempting Inclusion, schools face challenges both in terms of resource persons as well as managing a specialized field such as Special Education Needs (SEN) within the mainstream school setting. Drishti’s SEN Enabler Programs help schools overcome both these challenges by empowering their own teachers in being able to deliver quality therapy to the SEN children within the school setting, thereby providing Regular inclusion. Robust systems built into this program ensure high quality training and highly reliable therapy support.

Circle of Enablers – Empowered Special Tutors

Congratulations - the Circle of Enablers winners!!! June- November 2011 Awards Special tutor workshop and award presentation hosted courtesy Hiranandani Foundation School (HFS), Powai. Awards presented by principal Smt. Kalyani Patnaik. Category: “Special Tutor of the term” Ms. Mumtaz Virani, Smt. Sandra Ben Shroff Gnyan Dham School, Vapi Category: “Good Performance as Special tutor” Ms. Usha Gambhir, Podar International School (SSC) Ms. Mukta Sinha, St. Lawrence High School, Borivali (Ryan group of schools) Ms. Nazneen Yaqoob, Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai

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Views expressed in this newsletter belong to the individual authors.

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Drishti Newletter - Issue 10  

Under Right to Education (RTE), education in India is set to become Inclusive. This includes serving children with special education needs (...

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