Unit 5 : Role of community in education of children with disabilities.

5.1    Community awareness about disabilities - early identification, intervention and education.

5.2   Community support for home based education and in times of disasters.

5.3   Collaboration with Aganwadis and other Governmental agencies for education of children with disabilities

5.4  Community as a stakeholder in special and inclusive education

5.5  Safeguarding children with disabilities and their families in the communities.











5.1                       Community awareness about disabilities - early identification, intervention and education.


The biggest barriers people with disabilities encounter are other people. Disability Awareness means educating people regarding disabilities and giving people the knowledge required to carry out a job or task thus separating good practice from poor. It is no longer enough just to know that disability discrimination is unlawful.

Examples of these facets of disability awareness include:

1.     Understanding the meaning of disabilities and how it is not a reflection of an individual’s personality.

2.     Dealing and communicating with persons that have disabilities.

3.     Explaining the types of disabilities that can be expected in society particularly among fellow students.

4.     The concept of social equality regardless of disabilities.


Whatever your child’s disability is, you need to take one day at a time. Children with physical disabilities can quickly learn how to get around and enjoy themselves as much as a healthy child. A wheelchair or a missing arm will not deter a youngster from trying to do things and if you encourage them to be equal, do things their siblings do and encourage them to be self-sufficient, they will grow up to be able to live fruitful lives.

Enter your disabled child into a program where they can learn new things and experience new adventures. Encourage them as much as possible and avoid pity for them, this is the worst thing you can do. They don’t need your pity they need love and encouragement.

If you feel like crying because you’ve watched your child trying to overcome an obstacle for hours, don’t burst into tears. Encourage them as much as you can and move into another room, let the tears out and return to offer more encouragement.


There are a lot of disability programs available where you child can learn a skill. You may find that they are a computer genius and are able to work technical or mathematical problems out quickly. Enter them into a program where they can learn computer programming or how to fix computers.

There are so many programs available for all sorts of disabilities. If your child is encouraged and believes in himself there is no reason he will not flourish in one of these programs. It may be making baskets and using his hands or being technical and fixing electronics, but with a job to do they feel important and are able to eventually become independent.

Disability awareness needs to be widely spread so businesses understand that because someone has a disability, it does not mean they are unable to do the job and produce results.

A Guide to Disability Rights Laws

Everyone deserves equal rights and there are strict laws when it comes to disability rights from employment equality to public transportation and various services.

Disability Awareness Strategies

The quest for equality amongst all rungs of social strata is one very important cause to ensure that everyone is given a fair chance at living life. As such, the use of multiple disability awareness strategies is vital in teaching others the value of recognizing people with disabilities as equals. In a sense, these are people who are equally capable of amazing feats in various fields and as such should be treated with the utmost respect and recognition.

So what are the avenues through which disability awareness is being promoted?

The most obvious is the program to recognize disabilities in schools. The best way to mold people is to teach them at a young age about the value of equality in all facets. At this stage, children do not have the exterior shutters that characterize adults and are therefore more inclined to be receptive to teaching. There are already many schools that integrate normal children to those with disabilities in order to foster an environment of joint learning. This helps young people with disabilities to be accepted and not alienated from society. It deals them the chance to interact with other kids at such a young age so they become familiar with their environment without having to be cuddled up to it.

Consequently, the opposite can also be a real valuable tool for disability awareness. There are schools that exclusively focus on kids with special needs. This is important because in certain cases, normal schools cannot deliver the important and unique needs of special children. More than just the difference in prom dresses, the various emotional, social, and physical needs must also be adequately served without having to make these children feel that they are “that” different. This is an area that is only beginning to be understood in various forms especially as medical science begins to make major strides in understanding conditions like mental disabilities. Much like the invention of wrinkle cream, these researches take time but as the knowledge base grows, they become progressively more effective, more targeted, and more far-reaching.

Beyond the confines of the traditional and special classrooms, there are plenty of opportunities that show disability awareness strategies in action. A good example is the staging of the Paralympics, the Olympics for people with disabilities. Those who are familiar with these events know what disabled people are capable of extreme feats of human achievement. These are athletes in the purest sense of the word; people who are equipped with invisible solar panels or a Motorola mobile battery allowing them to power through any adversity. In these events, people in wheelchairs compete in a variety of sports including tennis, basketball, and volleyball among others. Amputees run on the track and many other people with disability conquer their perceived limitations to best human achievement in sports. It is the ultimate spite to the perception that those with disabilities will only do well on massage tables.

There are also many causes and volunteer works done to promote greater awareness of disability situations all over the world. Every year, celebrities, athletes, philanthropic organizations, civic groups and many others stage events to bring the limelight to various disabilities. As an example, there are cycling events pioneered by the Pi Kappa Pi fraternity that seeks to attract media attention on the plight of the disabled. These are worthy, noble, and effective causes beyond the pull of web design initiatives and website marketing strategies.


5.2                       Community support for home based education and in times of disasters.


Children learn best when the significant adults in their lives -- parents, teachers, and other family and community members -- work together to encourage and support them. This basic fact should be a guiding principle as we think about how schools should be organized and how children should be taught. Schools alone cannot address all of a child's developmental needs: The meaningful involvement of parents and support from the community are essential.

The need for a strong partnership between schools and families to educate children may seem like common sense. In simpler times, this relationship was natural and easy to maintain. Teachers and parents were often neighbors and found many occasions to discuss a child's progress. Children heard the same messages from teachers and parents and understood that they were expected to uphold the same standards at home and at school.

As society has become more complex and demanding, though, these relationships have all too often fallen by the wayside. Neither educators nor parents have enough time to get to know one another and establish working relationships on behalf of children. In many communities, parents are discouraged from spending time in classrooms and educators are expected to consult with family members only when a child is in trouble. The result, in too many cases, is misunderstanding, mistrust, and a lack of respect, so that when a child falls behind, teachers blame the parents and parents blame the teachers.

At the same time, our society has created artificial distinctions about the roles that parents and teachers should play in a young person's development. We tend to think that schools should stick to teaching academics and that home is the place where children's moral and emotional development should take place.

Yet children don't stop learning about values and relationships when they enter a classroom, nor do they cease learning academics -- and attitudes about learning -- when they are at home or elsewhere in their community. They constantly observe how the significant adults in their lives treat one another, how decisions are made and executed, and how problems are solved.

All the experiences children have, both in and out of school, help shape their sense that someone cares about them, their feelings of self-worth and competency, their understanding of the world around them, and their beliefs about where they fit into the scheme of things.

These days, it can take extraordinary efforts to build strong relationships between families and educators. Schools have to reach out to families, making them feel welcome as full partners in the educational process. Families, in turn, have to make a commitment of time and energy to support their children both at home and at school.

The effort involved in reestablishing these connections is well worth it, as many communities across the country -- including those we work with -- are discovering. Our experience is that significant and meaningful parent involvement is possible, desirable, and valuable in improving student growth and performance.

Family-school-community partnerships are a shared responsibility and reciprocal process whereby schools and other community agencies and organizations engage families in meaningful and culturally appropriate ways, and families take initiative to actively supporting their children’s development and learning. Schools and community organizations also make efforts to listen to parents, support them, and ensure that they have the tools to be active partners in their children’s school experience.

Partnerships are essential for helping students achieve at their maximum potential and, while parent and community involvement has always been a cornerstone of public schools, greater recognition and support of the importance of these collaborative efforts is needed.



5.3                       Collaboration with Aganwadis and other Governmental agencies for education of children with disabilities


Research reveals that 80% of the brains capacity develops before the age of three years and thus the early Early Childhood Care and Education offer a special opportunity to foster developmental gains in children.
Under the Integrated Child Development Scheme(ICDS), anganwadi workers are required to do early detection of learning disabilities in children present at their anganwadi centres.
Sometime during 2016, in Trivandrum, the Social Justice Department embarked on a massive exercise in the district to bring more than 600 children identified with special needs into the anganwadis so as to equip them for inclusive education. In line with the National Early Childhood Care and Education Policy, the department conducted a house-to-house survey to identify children with learning disabilities and special needs in the below 6-year age group to integrate them into regular schools.[2] As part of this, the Central Institute on Mental Retardation gave close to 200 anganwadi workers training to deal with these children.
ECCE help to identify and support the children at risk. Through early assessment coupled with intervention, one can gain relevant information, especially about what child can do and about interventions that will optimize his/her learning potential. This also increases the chances that children with learning disabilities can participate and flourish in inclusive mainstream educational settings. Research reveals that one in three infants and toddlers who receive early intervention services do not experience disability in future or require special education in a preschool.
Early childhood care and education provided through Anganwadi Centers has the aim to develop in the children including CWSN- (i) good physique, muscular coordination, basic motor skills; (ii) stimulating intellectual curiosity to enable child to understand his/her environment by exploring, investing, experimenting and learning; (iii) aesthetic appreciation of self, others, things and environment; (iv) emotional maturity by guiding to express, understand, accept and control feelings and emotions; (v) moral and cultural values so as to be honest, obedient, sincere, compassionate, truthful and respectful to elders; (vi) self-confidence and inner discipline; (vii) ability to express thoughts and feelings in fluent, correct and clear language; (vii) personality through rich learning experience; (viii) social attitude, group manners and sharing things with others, live & play with others and control natural aggressiveness and destructiveness; and (ix) good conducts, skills for personal adjustment and ability to perform activities of daily living independently etc. Adding to that, all these are very imperative to promote all round development of a child and ensure his/ her gainful and complete participation in the regular education set up at primary level or above.


Step taken by the Dte. Of  Education  :- in implementing IEDC Scheme in N.C.T. of Delhi and to create awareness in community. The Directorate has taken various steps regarding the provisions of the scheme to be availed by the disabled children. Various circulars, orders regarding admission, age relaxation, time relaxation in examination, language exemptions(Annex –‘D’), removal of architectural barriers (ref circular dated 11/12/03), providing amanuensis to blind students,   collections of information regarding disabled children ref etc. has been issued to all the Heads of the school. Moreover the data maintain by IEDC teacher incharge in the school is submitted in the prescribed proforma to the respective District Coordinator, which is then forwarded to the Cell (ref. Circular dated 07/04/03 ). The Directorate  has taken another step in the total integration of these children in co-curricular activities too. (ref. Circular dated 13/08/03). Children are being encouraged to participate in ‘ ABILYMPICS’ and similar activities.


Awareness in the community is being created regarding IEDC scheme by publishing articles in the news letter. In-service training programmes are also being conducted by the IEDC Cell for Heads of schools, EVG  Counsellors and teachers for their sensitization(towards this scheme and the Persons With Disabilities Act, 1995) and their role in the implementation of the Scheme. Officers of IEDC Cell also delivered lecture on  the Scheme in the training programmes conducted by other agencies like NCERT, SCERT, CIRTES etc. In fact SCERT has agreed to add a component about IEDC in all their training programmes for teachers of NCT of Delhi.

Procedure for Grant to Voluntary Organisations


The voluntary organizations desirous of implementing the scheme should send their applications on the prescribed proforma through the concerned State Government/ UT Administration (with a copy endorsed directly to the Ministry).  The State Government should give its views within a period of three months regarding the organizations’ eligibility, suitability, relevance of the proposal and the capacity of the agency to implement it. Comments should be sent by the State Government even if the proposal is not recommended giving reasons therefore.

 In order to be eligible for financial assistance under this scheme voluntary organizations, public trusts and non-profit making companies should

(i)                  have proper constitution of articles of association;

(ii)                have a properly constituted managing body with its power and duties clearly defined in the constitution;

(iii)               be in a position to secure the involvement, on voluntary basis,  a knowledgeable persons for furtherance of their programmes;

(iv)              not discriminate against any person or group of persons on ground of sex, religion, caste or creed;

(v)                not be run for the profit of any individual or a body of individuals;

(vi)              not directly function for the furtherance of the interests of any political party; and

(vii)             not in any manner incite communal disharmony.


Only those eligible agencies which have been in existence for three years would be considered for assistance under this scheme. This requirement may be waived in respect of agencies with specially qualified workers or which can otherwise justify a special consideration.

If any agency is already receiving or expecting to receive grant from some other official source for a project for which application is made under this scheme, assistance under this scheme will be made after taking into the consideration the grant received, or likely to be received for such other official sources. It should also be ensured that an agency already in receipt of a grant from any other official source, Central or a State, should not transfer any part of that liability to a grant to be sanctioned under this scheme.

The proposals of the voluntary organizations with the recommendation of the State Government/UT Administration should be sent to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of Education), Government of India by the end of December every year for the following financial year. The proposals will be examined in the ministry and 50 per cent of the approved grant for a year will be released as the first installment and the remaining 50 per cent after the agency reports utilisation of  at least 75 per cent of the grant section earlier. The request for release for the second installment should be accompanied by a progress report (in prescribed proforma) and statement of expenditure. The grant will be remitted to the agency directly by Demand Draft/Cheque drawn in its favour by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Education.


 Conditions of Grant to Voluntary Organisations


(i)                  The grant-receiving will be required to execute a bond on a prescribed form. The bond should be supported by two sureties if the agency is not a legal entity.

(ii)                An agency in receipt of financial assistance shall be open to inspection by an officer of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development or the State Education Department.

(iii)               The accounts of the project shall be maintained properly and separately and submitted as and when required. They should be open to check by an officer deputed by the Government of India or the State Government. They shall also be open to a test-check by the Controller and Auditor General of India at his discretion.

(iv)              The audited accounts together with the utilization certificate in the prescribed form duly countersigned by the Chartered Accountant are required to be furnished within six months in respect of a preceding year or after expiry of the duration for which grant is approved.

(v)                The-agency shall maintain a record of all assets acquired wholly or partially out of Government grant and maintain a register of such assets in the prescribed proforma. Such  assets shall not be disposed of, encumbered or utilized for the purposes other then those for which the grant was given, without prior sanction of the Government of India. Should the agency cease to exist at any time, such properties shall revert to the Government of India.

(vi)              When the State Government /Government of India have reasons to believe that the sanctioned money is not being utilised for the approved purpose the payment of grant may be stopped and the earlier grants recovered.

(vii)             The institution must exercise reasonable economy in the working of the approved project.

(viii)           The grantee agency shall furnish to the Ministry of Human Resource Development reports as may be prescribed.

(ix)              The decisions of the Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Education, on the question whether there has been breach of violation of any of the terms and conditions mentioned in the sanction letter shall be final and binding on the grantee.



5.4                     Community as a stakeholder in special and inclusive education


In education, the term stakeholder typically refers to anyone who is invested in the welfare and success of a school and its students, including administrators, teachers, staff members, students, parents, families, community members, local business leaders, and elected officials such as school board members, city councilors, and state representatives. Stakeholders may also be collective entities, such as local businesses, organizations, advocacy groups, committees, media outlets, and cultural institutions, in addition to organizations that represent specific groups, such as teachers unions, parent-teacher organizations, and associations representing superintendents, principals, school boards, or teachers in specific academic disciplines (e.g., the National Council of Teachers of English or the Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics). In a word, stakeholders have a “stake” in the school and its students, meaning that they have personal, professional, civic, or financial interest or concern.

However, to make inclusive education a reality, a number of pieces in the system have to fall in place. It is true that the Government of India has made a significant fund allocation to achieve ‘Education for all’ through SSA. But to make it happen we need to have the stakeholders suitably prepared and involved. Some of the stakeholders include the regular teachers, special/resource teachers, school administrators, parents of children with special needs and parents of their peers who may not have special needs, children themselves with special needs, and those without special needs. In short, all sections of society who have a stake – directly and indirectly – in children’s education. The success of inclusion lies in the coordinated and collaborative efforts of all of the stakeholders.

The United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006 declared the need for countries to facilitate the right of individuals with disabilities to their full inclusion and participation within communities across the globe. The community clearly plays a necessary role in the overall preparation and quality of life of students with disabilities and their families. The present chapter will specifically address the role of the community within instructional programming and parent advocacy.

Participation can be interpreted in various ways depending on the context that clarifies different degrees or level of participation, and provides possible definition of the term, including:

·      Involvement through the mere use of a service (such as enrolling children in school or using a primary health care facility;

·      Involvement through contribution (or extraction) of money, materials and labors;

·      Involvement through ‘attendance’ (e. g. At parent meeting at schools), implying passive acceptance of decisions made by others;

·      Participation in the delivery of a service, often as a partner with other actors;

·      Participation as implementers of delegated powers; and

·      Participation in ‘real decision making at every stage’, is including identification of problems, study of feasibility, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Community participation in Teaching Learning Process 

·      Setting of teaching standards, recruitment, teacher training, teacher’s salary, condition of  service, promotion and discipline are important factors that always comes under debate. Involvement of community in selection of teacher can play vital role in the selection of excellent teacher as per their need. The teacher selected by the community shows the responsibility towards the children of the community. Teacher salary is one of the factors that affect the performance of teachers and teacher’s performance directly related to the quality of the education. Thus, the salary and condition of services could be shared by the community. Role of Community in Pedagogical Supervision and Support. Quality education system is one that succeeds in meeting its own goals, one that is relevant to the needs of children, communities and society; and that fosters the ability of children to acquire knowledge and critical learning skills.

·      Global campaign for education stated that high dropout rate in school is not only result of poor quality, but if effective learning is not taking place in school, parents are more likely to withdraw children school early or not sent them at all. Improving quality of education is therefore essential to achieving goal of Universal access to education. Without active involvement of the community in school management quality improvement is not possible. Project work in community could be one of the good pedagogical approaches in teaching learning process in school. Community is the foundation of this approach. Providing the facts, feeling and experiences of the community people to the students could be the best help in the teaching learning process for to increase the deeper understanding of students while at project work. 

·      Community people can play as an actor of promoting quality education in this sense. Successful schools build connections to parents and communities as a way to strengthen relationship in support of the students, and as a way to better understand students so that teaching can be tailored to them as individuals communities offer a wide range of resources that are valuable to school and the families they serve.




5.5                     Safeguarding children with disabilities and their families in the communities.


Children with disability, as a group, have a nearly four times higher risk of experiencing violence than their non-disabled peers. This can relate to how care is provided, the effect of impairment, as well as the sparsity of available programs to support children, their families and organisations.

Safeguarding strategies include provision of protective behaviours information and education for children with disability, recognising the importance of listening to children's voices, and embracing a community of practice approach.

Disability-inclusive child safeguarding awareness-raising at a minimum should include:

·      Establishing a common understanding.

·      Disability Rights (using the UNCRPD and UNCRC frameworks), dispelling myths and reducing stigmatisation.

·      Specific abuse and risks for children with disabilities.

·      Signs of abuse for children with disabilities.

·      Considerations for increasing awareness of children with disabilities.

·      The risks of harmful language.

The best way to safeguard children with disabilities is to inform them of their rights. If a child can be educated on their right to be protected, they are better equipped to report abuse. To ensure children with disabilities understand their rights and know what to expect from organisational child safeguarding systems, organisations should plan and consider budgeting for:

·      Training children with disabilities on their rights.

·      Setting up and running peer-to-peer support and child-led learning sessions, such as inclusive child rights clubs.

·      Consultation sessions with children with disabilities during the design of safeguarding procedures. These can be in mixed groups of children with and without disabilities where it is safe to do so.

·      Inclusive information on how children with disabilities can report harm they experience; child-led stakeholder training sessions that enable children with disabilities to self-advocate for better safeguarding structures with practitioners.

·      Rights-based materials to be in childfriendly, illustrative and accessible formats, including in braille, large print, soft-copy and child-friendly versions.

Families who take care of children with disabilities are exposed to challenges of intensive and demanding, sometimes lifelong, care. They could face discrimination and increased risk of socioeconomic difficulties, too. While the children with severe difficulties were placed in institutions, the majority of families had to rely on their own resources and provide permanent care for child with (or often without) help of other family members. It was difficult to find qualified persons for childcare, and it was too expensive for most of those families. That is, the reason why mothers often have to leave their work and stay at home to take care of their child. Increased expenses for childcare and decreased income because one or even both parents are unemployed have been keeping those families in poverty. 

Another difficulty for them is very slow process of inclusion of those children in education system. Legislation rules support children with disabilities to be enrolled into public schools, but there was a lot of resistance to that processes. Teachers or even parents were not prepared for adopting such changes. Teachers who are not trained lack special skills and knowledge to deal with those children. Struggling to harmonize their needs with needs of other children and requests of educational programs, teachers experience additional burden and often feel burnout due to “useless effort”. Parents are usually afraid of social rejection and failure of children compared with their peers.