Report on 2 – Day National Workshop on “Using ICT for Inclusive Education in India”

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and SAMADHAN, an NGO in New Delhi working for children with intellectual disabilities, has organized a 2 day National workshop on “Using ICT for Inclusive Education in India” on 23rd and 24th February 2015 at India International Centre, New Delhi.  The event was supported by UNICEF.

The objective of the workshop was to explore the various ICT applications and aids for children with disabilities and provide information in implementing these tools in Inclusive Education set ups.  It was very encouraging for all those involved with disability in anyway such as teachers, researchers in the field of ICT, policy makers and even parents to take up R&D work for developing need based ICT tools and aids. It also provided an opportunity to the participant institutions and delegates to share their experiences of using innovative teaching/learning methodologies for children with disabilities such that the concept of Inclusive Education, which is internationally accepted mandate, has become a reality.  Stake holders from concerned Central Ministries, National Institution, Scientists and Researchers in the ICT field, NGOs working for Inclusive Education, and parents have participated in the workshop.  It was a great benefit to those using ICT tools like schools, NGO`s working for Inclusive Education and parents who participated and provided opportunity for sharing their experiences and usage ofICT in their curricular activities.  It was a great platform where there was sharing of information from other ICT developers like Media Lab Asia about the available resources.

The workshop was inaugurated by Shri. Aman Kumar, (person with special needs) followed by the opening remarks by Shri. Awanish Kumar Awasthi, IAS, Joint Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.  Ms. S. RadhaChauhan, IAS, Joint Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of HRD, Government of India, representative from the organizers, Mrs. PramilaBalasundaram, Founder of SAMADHAN, Shri E. Magesh, Director, C- DAC and Ms. AmitaTandon, Education Specialist, Unicef, New Delhi were present.

A major attraction was the information on educational assistive tools for the disabled by various organizations which was a great learning opportunity for many.

The Workshop included invited talks by well-known researchers and scientists who are working in this area viz., Prof. Amitav Mishra, Director, School of Special Education, IGNOU, Shri. A.S. Narayanan, Director, National Association of the Deaf, Shri. George Abraham, ChiefExecutive Officer, SCORE Foundation, Shri. Himanshu Das, Director, Society of Advanced Study in Rehabilitation and other senior scientists of C-DAC.