Dear Donors, Friends and Well-wishers of The Association of People with Disability (APD).
We are glad to submit to you the quarterly report of our Education Program for Children with Disability.
Thanks to Global Giving community for your generous support for educating the children with disability. The donation raised through Global Giving website helped us to educate 25 children in SIS. All these children were provided with mid-day meals, books, uniforms, healthcare, transportation, Hearing aids and special coaching supplement. Their medical rehabilitation, an integral part of their development, is ensured through regular medical check ups, physiotherapy and use of mobility aids.
The Education Programme at APD aims at promoting inclusive education through focused institutional and district programs and networking with government agencies, NGOs, special and mainstream schools
The Shradhanjali Integrated School (SIS) of APD has 180 children on roll, for the Academic Year 2012-2013. These children are from under privileged segment .The school aims in helping these children join mainstream schools after giving the support required. This is a day school and we have two buses that pick up children every morning and drops them back home. The focus at SIS is on activity-oriented learning. The school offers a good resource center and library. Co – curricular activities like painting, quiz competitions, sports, cultural festivals, and arts and crafts ensure all round development.
Some of the major activities during the last three months are given below for your kind information.
Training of Teachers Programme
APD realizes the importance of keeping their teachers up to speed with the latest learning aids and technological methods. To this end, SIS Special Training Initiative has conducted monthly programmes for 17 teachers, on teaching children with hearing impairment. And an equal number of teachers were also trained and given a 2-day exposure visit to understand how better to educate children with cerebral palsy. Plus, since human resources are a constant concern, the HRD team at APD has been hosting weekly visits by a technical team to identify prospects.
Early Intervention (EI)
To ensure our vulnerable toddlers and infants get a good start, APD continued its screenings at local hospitals – identifying 41 children with disabilities and those suffering from malnutrition. Also, 6 more were diagnosed with Urological disorders and recommended for treatment. In the process of its screenings, APD is hoping to pick out at another 78 children with disabilities through the rest of year. And towards assessing these children from joining school-readiness programmes, APD conducted 4 training programmes in which 45 parents were prepared to support the target group. Another 4 programmes were organised, training a total of 94 anganwadi teachers. Plus, a technical staff has been visiting APD weekly to reach out to 31 children.
Therapy and Mobility
Based on our commitment that SIS students with disabilities be put on a regimen of physical and speech therapy, 25 children were assessed for the same. Meanwhile, 4 children have been evaluated for, and provided with, appliances that would help them move better. Additional appliances to 3 beneficiaries in other schools (under SSP) were also fitted with mobility aids. Plus, for children with Cerebral Palsy at SIS, APD purchased oro-motor kits for all of them. 10 children were provided with hearing aids.
Towards our strategy of identifying and empowering members in the community to provide support to the children with the disabilities, APD conducted two awareness programme. They were held meant to identify new children and their parents. The first one unfolded on 30th July, and was attended by 30 parents and 13 children The other was held on 14th of August to a group of 16 parents and 14 children.
Partnering with the Spastic Society of India - Since working with experts in a particular field of disability, is a key item in APD’s proposal to TMF and part of our Plan of Action - we have arranged the conducting of regular classes for our SIS staff by the Spastic Society of India (SSI). Leading these sessions is the Director of the SSI Mrs. Rukmini Krishnamoorthy. Ma’am has been providing insights into effective teaching methods for students with loco motor disability. Mrs. Krishnamoorthy is also sharing more ways in which to demonstrate more sensitivity in order to elicit a better response from the target group.
Roping Parents into the Rehabilitation Process: APD had hoped to actively involve 30 parents in contributing their end of the Rehabilitation Process for children with disabilities. But, it has been an especially fruitful half year, with 38 parents now becoming a regular part of our network. APD has conducted 4 training programmes (one of them, residential), to enlighten them in the chores of helping their children maintain hygiene and personal care, while also training these parents in coaching them after school in information communication.
SIS Students Sit for Midterm Exam: In order to ensure that SIS functions as much as possible as a regular school, exams are a part of the standard procedure. The teachers therefore systematically prepared their students for the Mid Term exams. This big test, which utilized computer-based aids with child-with-disability specific features, was aimed to evaluate their progress in grasping the fundamentals of Mathematics, Science and English.
Tracking our Students’ Progress: After we instituted the Goonjan Database Software, we are innovating various modules to study and track the trends among our individual student learning patterns. These improvised modules and report-generators are helping us study what aids the concerned student is best responding to. And teachers are accordingly directing their efforts in harnessing the child’s inclination at learning with a particular aid or from a teaching method.
Special Medical Camp: Since it is our desire that students and those under our SSP programme benefit from the latest medical assessment, APD arranged for 180 children with disabilities to take part in screenings. This proved to be a worthwhile exercise, as 15 of the participating children were re-identified with certain atypical infirmity features, which can be treated separately and in specific ways.
Metro Ride: The students of classes I, II, V and VII were taken for a metro ride by the volunteers of the Goldmansach Company. The classes I and II were taken on 7/8/13 and the classes V and VII were taken on 25th July. The children got a new experience of travelling and enjoyed the ride.
A Sign for Success
Sharan Hearing Impaired Child getting Education
Exuberance and mischievousness coalesce in the face of Sharan. This hearing-impaired 14-year old is silent, but not inanimate – keeping extra-busy with his hands. Indeed, he’s enthusiastic and skilled enough to convey all this thoughts through sign language. And each musing, question or reply is communicated with alacrity. Sharan was born into a lower-middle class family in Bangalore, but school eluded him largely owing to his disinterest in mainstream education and the stigma that his family felt he’d bare in the company of normal children. However, after being lured into APD’s Community Learning Centre, Sharan picked up the basic learning strategies and tools, not to mention the discipline of a school life. After a year of that boot-camp training, he was transferred to the APD’s regular day-scholar programme SIS.
“He started here late, so he’d two years senior for his academic class”, says a social worker managing Class VI of APD’s SIS school system, to which Sharan had been admitted when he was pubescent. “Do you like being in school?” is the question put to him, which instantly evokes a riposte of disdain. “I like after-school” he indicates with hand gestures, “I like playing cricket.” “Which is your favourite classes in school, then?”, and his answer is equally prompt, “English and Painting.” “-Yes”, adds the social worker, “He’s a very good artist”.
There’s a quiet intensity about Sharan, but also a twinkle in his eye. Though he has a normal brother, who is a year younger, Sharan thinks of him as being older. Perhaps, this is because, Sanjay is academically a year senior to him, and in a mainstream school. “Do you communicate with your brother, Sharan?” and his reply again us quick, “Talk and fight!” Yes, the boy undoubtedly has spirit, but perhaps underneath he feels inadequate and inferior, both because of his disability and his disinterest in the Three Rs.
But he has other interests that keep him being a happy child. We learn that Sharan is the sporting kind with a passion for playing street cricket, and he’s even handy with the drawing pencil, crayon and paint brush. He indicates that he hopes to be a painter in pursuance of his only real life ambition.
It seems that because his hearing ability is deficient, Sharan’s other senses are charged with extra verve, and so he enjoys tucking into the South Indian rice pancake of dosa and chomping on taste chicken kabab. He likes anything visual and was enamoured by the animals at the local zoo. “My favourite animal is Horse”, he signifies. Well Sharon, we certainly hope keep riding down that path to realizing your bigger picture of turning an artist.
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Our sincere thanks to all of our Donors for their kind donations and love. We shall submit to you more news in the next report.
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