BANGALORE: Spastics Society of Karnataka (SSK) has added another feather to its cap. It has been selected as the State Tele-Rehabilitation Nodal Agency. This is a novel approach to take the efforts of the SSK to all districts.
Using the internet, differently- abled people from any part of the state can avail themselves the services of experts at SSK. The authorities hope to start operations very soon. On this occasion, City Express visits Spastics Society of Karnataka’s centre in Indiranagar to take a look into their work.
Brightly painted walls, the chorus of children repeating a rhyme, this scene might be a typical day in any ordinary school, but the children in this particular school are special.
They are part of the Spastics Society of Karnataka (SSK) and the school is the Special Education Services centre. Catering to persons with Neuro-Muscular and Developmental Disabilities, it comprises facilities for their diagnosis, counselling and rehabilitation. The Society not only provides the differently abled with primary education but also gives them vocational training.
Secretarial practice, word processing, carpentry are a few such courses They have made provisions for those who want to pursue higher education.
The State Education Board and the National Institute of Open Schooling have certified SSK as a secondary education provider.
In order to broaden its scope, the Society has set up a Human Resources Development and Training (HRDT) Centre which provides teacher training courses. These are diploma courses in Special Education, accredited by the Rehabilitation Council of India.
The teachers trained here have been helping hundreds of children across the State in overcoming their learning disabilities and lead a normal life. Leading the Society from the front is Rukmini Krishnaswamy, director of SSK, for nearly two decades now. Her tireless efforts have seen, among others, the launch of CATELST (Centre for Assistive Technology for Education and Self Skill Training).
A joint venture with PACER Centre (USA) and IBM India, this endeavour makes technology accessible to the differently-abled people. According to Rukmini, the vision of the institution is to spread awareness about the need for inclusion of the differently abled. The first step towards that is understanding that there is nothing to be afraid of.
She commends the Sarva Shiksha Abhyaan (SSA) teachers who have been exposed to children with special needs as change agents in creating awareness. But she acknowledges that the State Government still needs to go a long way in accommodating persons with special needs in terms of accessibility to transport, schools, jobs and other public places like malls.
The Society also encourages people who want to contribute to visit them at the SSK centre in Indiranagar.