ADAPT’s community inclusion course has participants from 18 countries

January 23, 2020

Mumbai – based ADAPT (formerly The Spastics Society of India) set up by Founder-Chairperson Dr Mithu Alur, is the country’s pioneer institution working with children with disabilities. It launched India’s first special school for children with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities in 1973. On January 10, it launched the institution’s popular ‘Community Initiatives In Inclusion’ (CII) course. The course trains social sector professionals working with differently-abled children and other marginalised persons.

Conceptualised by Dr Alur, the six-month training course follows a unique curriculum for trainers and planners of community disability services in the Asia Pacific Region.  Initiated in 2001, the course has so far trained 400 participants from 20 countries from the Asia Pacific Region – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tonga, Vietnam, Republic of Maldives and the Tibetan government in exile. This year 18 participants from eight countries have signed up for the course.  

The course content includes modules on disability, policy, inclusion, and community development. Conducted in two phases, the first three months (14 weeks) consists of theory sessions, practical work, and fieldwork in Mumbai. Participants under the guidance of Dr. Alur create a three-month action plan for implementation at micro, mezzo and macro levels to be implemented in their respective countries.  In the second phase, the participants are expected to implement their learnings in their own places of work after the course.

The course initially developed as a local course in partnership with The Institute of Global Health Disability Unit at University College London has been accepted nationally in the United Kingdom (U.K.). The programme received a boost in 2003 when ‘The Women’s Council, U.K.’, a voluntary, non – political organization with its objective of improving friendship and cooperation between women of Asian countries and the U.K. came on board. ADAPT and The Women’s Council has since been sponsoring over 75 percent of the course costs.  

Over the years, the CII course has helped spread the message of inclusion and lead to changes at the policy and community levels in the countries that participated in it. Coming from varied backgrounds, the course participants are mothers or other family members, teachers, social workers working towards creating a more balanced community for differently-abled children. The participants bring in their unique perspectives, experiences, and expertise thus enriching the course. The curriculum is updated each year to include the participant’s perspectives.

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