COLLABORATIONS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
The training programs for educators, and a lot of the work with individual students will be more effective if it is done in collaboration with other institutions. For example, education of a child who is visually impaired in a general education classroom is ideally done in collaboration with the parents and all the general education teachers of the child. Collaborations also help us work with what is currently available and help improve the quality of services by using more up-to-date methods and practices. We are also able to reach out to more children in this manner.
The collaboration program is need-based and is tailor-made for the institution seeking our services. Our collaborations have been with
Six teachers have been exposed through the year to the various techniques of teaching to visually impaired students by staying involved in our work with the students.Two of the teachers have learnt braille, and two more are currently learning the braille alphabet along with their student. Other than braille the teachers are learning on how to deal with a child who is visually impaired in their environment, how to teach various concepts, and how to tackle various social skills issues that may come up. The school has bought a Perkins brailler for the children and is now buying a second one. The children who are visually impaired have been included in almost all extra-curricular activities including carpentry.
Sutradhar is an educational resource centre that brings together a variety of learning materials under one roof. They are often visited by parents of children with delays or special needs. In order to serve these parents more effectively, they wanted our help in identifying additional materials they could keep in their center and mapping ideas in a usable handbook that outlines materials and associated activities for stimulation in the different developmental areas.Seventeen specialists from various fields got together and brain stormed to make “Idea Box: Play things and activities for the first four years:A guide to stimulation”.
A half hour talk on inclusion was given for over 250 students who arestudents of Psychology at Christ University. A Q&A session was held with60 students of psychology on helping families deal with the emotional issues that arise from having a child who is visually impaired, as well as how to help the child deal with vision loss if they are not born blind.
The hospital had organised a parent support group for the parents ofchildren who are visually impaired. The first one had parents of 20 children who arevisually impaired. The topics of discussion were integrated education,teaching mathematics to children who are visually impaired,psychosocial issues related to visual impairments and the appropriatelearning media (braille vs. print) for children who have low vision. They plan to have such a session for parents every month.