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Mainstream Integration

Inclusive Education

We at Arushi work with children and adults who need special care, education and training to deal with situations at different stages of their life. We invest in partnerships with individuals and organisations to help enhance the quality of life for these under-provided communities and individuals. Our purpose is to help build capabilities that improve quality of life through education and training at different stages of our life.

Koshish

Koshish is a pre-school at Arushi where children under 5 with disabilities who are not enrolled in schools are equipped with basic school readiness skills, so they can be admitted into regular schools at the earliest. Koshish provides physiotherapy, early language training, audio-verbal therapy, Braille literacy, orientation and mobility training and other forms of physical and learning assistance to children with disabilities.

Using the play-way method, special educators acquaint the children with auditory, visual and tactile stimuli. The educators are guided by factors such as the readiness of a child to learn and their emotional and physical abilities. The school also extends parental counselling, provision for special furniture in certain cases and admission into regular schools with continued learning support. Needs of children with cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and other developmental disabilities are also being addressed. The main thrust of this initiative is on inclusion.

Over 2000 children with disabilities of Sehore district placed in regular schools with backup support under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan


Teachers’ Trainings

The main reason cited by schools that deny admission to students with disabilities is the lack of trained staff. To overcome this, Arushi organizes awareness programs for teachers that focus on dispelling myths and misconceptions about disabilities and emphasize the importance of having children with disabilities study in mainstream schools. Teachers’ experiences with children with disabilities are discussed; experts share tips about dealing with the special needs of these children, and teachers are acquainted with updated teaching methods and precautions they need to take while teaching students with disabilities. Teachers also learn ways of identifying and assessing a child’s problems. Bhoj University runs a B. Ed (Special Education) programme in association with Arushi. Several teaching aids developed by Arushi are also provided to the teachers. These include charts of alphabets in Devnagri and English along with the corresponding symbols in Braille and sign language. Video tutorials on teaching braille and mathematics to the visually impaired and one teaching sign language to the hearing impaired, produced by Arushi for the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, are used to train school teachers.

More than 300,000 government school teachers in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have been sensitised thus far.

Life Skills


Excursions and confidence-building activities

Arushi organizes regular excursions and trips, where children with disabilities get to see, feel and experience nature in all its glorious forms – the sea, the beaches, the mountains and the waterfalls. When visiting a new city, children are taken to historical sites, museums, parks and other landmarks. In order to provide them with positive role models, interaction with local celebrities such as sportspersons, film stars, writers, music maestros, scientists and other well-known personalities is facilitated.

Children from Arushi also participate in the annual International Peace Festival where over 500 children with disabilities from other states of India and from the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bhutan, Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh come together in a unique merging of geographical borders.


Computer Training

While a computer is simply an additional tool for most of us, but for a blind person, it is a portal to information otherwise inaccessible to them. When the printed word not an option for visually and print impaired people, computer and mobile technology open new vistas for them and broaden their horizons through the Internet.

The training centre was started in 1996 with initial support from the State Bank of India and is currently sponsored by Amway Opportunity Foundation. Equipped with text-to-speech and other essential software required by persons with disabilities. A refreshable braille display and a braille printer were recently donated to Arushi by the Governor of MP. All students at Arushi receive basic computer literacy. In addition to this, need-based training programs are organized for others.

Rehabilitation


Rehabilitation at Arushi

Qualified Therapists and Special Educators provide therapies and training to people with disabilities of all ages at our rehabilitation centre which has facilities with separate units for physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and audiology. The children are given care and training according to their disability and severity of it.

Students receive computer education and vocational trainings according to their need and capability. They are also given functional training such as the concept of money, practical knowledge of situations they face in their day to day lives - whether simple activities like feeding themselves and personal hygiene or more complex activities like crossing the road, shopping and social skills for interpersonal interactions.


Community Based Rehabilitation

Besides working with people with disabilities at our centre, Arushi also extends support to the disabled in their own community. We help them achieve maximum independence by giving them training in activities that form a part of their daily lives, education and in using assistive devices. We supplement this with confidence-building activities, computer literacy classes and in completing formalities and obtaining benefits such as railway concession certificates. We also teach occupational skills such as zardozi, embroidery, stitching and crafts to women with disabilities to help them earn a living. We counsel parents in understanding the needs of their wards and support them with home-based programs to train parents in speech and language, developmental therapy and skill development. We facilitate admissions of children with disabilities into regular schools where we also train teachers to meet their students’ special needs.

About 200 children with disabilities belonging to the economically backward sections of Bhopal are currently supported by Arushi.