Key topics in economics made accessible for students with hearing & vision disabilities
The National Council for Educational Research and Training and Raised Lines Foundation, IIT Delhi have partnered to develop a thorough package for teachers on key topics in Economics for students with vision and hearing disabilities in classes 11 and 12.
Lack of accessible textbooks and other learning materials in subjects like science, technology, engineering and math is a major barrier that students who are blind and low vision face in India. This is a barrier that Raised Lines Foundation (RLF), Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi is working towards bridging.
In another crucial step in this direction, RLF has collaborated with the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to develop a comprehensive package on key topics in Economics as well. This is for teachers teaching classes 11 and 12 as well as students. The package is accessible for teachers and students with vision and hearing disabilities in inclusive school settings.
We have been working with the NCERT on various books for Science and Math. Usually we design for children, but this package is for teachers with vision and hearing disabilities as well as for students who are blind and hard of hearing. The main challenge we faced was to design a package that could be adapted for both disabilities. - Lipika, Design Lead, Raised Line Foundation
The package aims to:
- Facilitate understanding amongst teachers to teach Economics to all senior secondary students, including people with vision and hearing disabilities.
- Create an enabling condition for these students to opt for the subject at the senior secondary stage by building the confidence and competence of teachers with such disabilities.
The package includes videos showing classroom processes and a manual with Braille and tactile diagrams. The experiments are subtitled so that students who are deaf and hard of hearing can understand them as well. "In the videos a few exemplar methodologies like teaching through case study, mini seminar, auctioning out event in actual classrooms have been demonstrated", adds Lipika. "The manual has a detailed process for using activities and tips for inclusion of students with vision and hearing disabilities".
The package has been published and will be distributed to schools by the NCERT after collecting the required data. RLF held a workshop with special educators from the National Association for the Blind (NAB), New Delhi, National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH) in Dehradun, and Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) in Mumbai for inputs in developing the package.
"This will open doors to more blind students", believes Prashant Ranjan Verma, General Secretary, NAB. "Lack of availability of books in these subjects affects the education and career prospects of blind students and even blind schools discourage them from taking these up. Creating raised diagrams is is expensive and not many organisations are doing it. This is a step in the right direction".