[AI] Include dyslexia as a disability while amending
gopalakrishnan_vip at yahoo.co.in
Fri Jul 30 20:30:46 EDT 2010
'Include dyslexia as a disability while amending RTE Act'
NEW DELHI, July 30, 2010
Caption:Children of the Madras Dyslexia association, during a rehearsal of the programme 'Ananya' in connection with the annual day celebrations of the school. File Photo
Taking forward the agenda set by actor Aamir Khan in the Bollywood film Taare Zameen Par, a Parliamentary Committee has suggested that dyslexia and any other type of disability, if existing, need to be included in the definition of “child with disability” while amending the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill 2010.
Dyslexia does not find mention in the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection or Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995, and the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act 1999.
The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development — in its latest report on the Right to Education Bill — has recommended necessary modifications in the definition of “child with disability” to accommodate children with dyslexia.
Inclusion in society
The Bill seeks to amend the Right to Education Act 2009 with a view to include children with disabilities within the ambit of the legislation so that their specific needs are taken care of in the elementary education system, and to enable them, over time, to participate as full and equal members of the community in which they live.
The Bill also seeks to provide that School Management Committees, with respect to minority educational institutions, shall function only in an advisory capacity and would not be required to prepare the school development plan, thereby safeguarding the interests of all minorities, whether based on religion or language, as enshrined in Article 30 of the Constitution. This has been approved by the committee.
According to the 2001 Census, 2.1 per cent children in the age group of six-14 years are estimated to have disabilities. Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme, 30.42 lakh children with disabilities — representing 1.50 per cent of the population — have been identified through house-to-house surveys, special surveys and assessment camps.
Of these, elementary education is being imparted to 27.80 lakh children through regular schools, schools readiness programmes, and home-based education.
Despite these initiatives, however, children with disabilities continue to experience barriers in the way of enjoyment of basic rights and inclusion in society.
The Parliamentary Committee has also suggested better coverage for disabled children by providing Block Resource Centres and Cluster Resource Centres for a specified number of schools that need to be specially resourced to cater to the needs of children with disabilities.
These special resources would include Braille, sign language, other communication devices, and adapted learning materials in addition to therapy, teacher support and inclusive playgrounds.
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