NGO Ummeed’s program aims to build Inclusion Champs for disabled kids in schools
It is estimated that 10-15% of children in an average Indian classroom have some kind of disability. Many of these are invisible so these children don’t receive the support they need to reach their full potential. Ummeed Child Development Centre, a well-known Mumbai based NGO, is looking to address this gap through a two-year Inclusion Fellowship Programme.
Eleven-year-old Dharam* would feel restless sitting for long hours in the classroom. His parents were told to withdraw him from the government-aided private school he was in. Dharam has ADHD. All he needed was patience and support. He received neither and his parents were forced to withdraw him.
Learning how to better support disabled kids in schools
This is a real life incident in Delhi but it could be a story out of a classroom in any school across India. According to an informal study, 10-15% of children in an average Indian classroom have some kind of disability, mostly invisible like a learning disability or autism. A majority of them don’t receive the support they need to reach their full potential. Ummeed Child Development Centre, the well-known Mumbai-based NGO, is aiming to change this by building a cadre of Inclusion Champions.
Called the Ummeed Inclusion Fellowship Programme (UIFP), the two-year programme launches in April this year. The aim is to probe the grassroots realities of the education system from the lens of inclusion and build an ecosystem of inclusive spaces in mainstream education.
The Ummeed Inclusion Fellowship Programme will be launched in three low income schools
in Mumbai. At present these schools are not completely inclusive. They have some children with invisible disabilities like autism, Learning Disorders and ADHD. We are trying to create champions who will be able to support parents, teachers and children within the school system. – Shamin Mehrotra, Director, School Outreach, Ummeed Child Development Centre
The last date to submit applications for the UIFP is 20 February 2020. Those accepted will be given a stipend. Get the details here.
Inclusion Fellows to work with teachers & parents
The aim of the UIFP is to create and support among others:
- Implement effective inclusive practices.
- Effective trainings for different stakeholders.
- Support teacher’s/ resource persons to identify challenges faced by students with varied needs.
- Support teacher’s/ resource persons to create and implement individualised education plans for children with varied needs.
- Support stakeholders by creating safe spaces to facilitate reflective conversations.
“We are not talking about inclusion in just academics but in a holistic, much broader sense”, adds Shamin. The two-year programme is an immersive one with the Fellows spending the initial months at the Ummeed centre for intensive training. After that, they will be sent to schools to work alongside teachers. “They will train with teachers and parents”.
The end goal is to make sure that every child is included. “We want to not just talk about the disability part of the child but see the child as it is”, says Shamin.
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