The University of Calicut in Kerala has started a home-based education programme for students with special needs managed by its Department of Psychology. As part of the Community Disability Management and Rehabilitation programme(CDMRP), the University will be ensuring rehabilitation of the special children, giving them both online and offline training and reading material, home-based horticulture therapy, online life skills training programme, helpline numbers, mobile phones loaded with learning support applications and manual for their parents. Departments under the state government of Kerala are also helping in this initiative. Those children who have been identified under the category of Persons With Disability (PwD) are expected to benefit from this programme.

This programme will be conducted in an integrated telerehabilitation mode allowing the students to directly communicate with the instructors via video or voice calls. Professionals working in different sectors are associated with this initiative as they give online counselling and support to the students apart from sending recorded lectures and messages.

The students will also be provided with teaching learning material (TLM) kits to enhance their learning power, reading abilities, speech, mental concentration, academic and social skills. The older students will also be provided with calculators, mobile phones and watches. Till now around 1876 training kits have been distributed to the students. Each kit has around 22 teaching reading modules.

Further, University of Calicut’s CDMRP has created a medical supply chain programme to ensure regular supply of medicines to the students. The Social Justice Department of Kerala and community volunteer groups have helped in the creation of the medical supply chain.

CDMRP has conducted more than 15 awareness programmes to sensitise the people regarding the needs of special students and have published parental guidelines. In addition to this more 55 home training video-based tutorials have been shared with the students and parents.

CDMRP had earlier published a guide named ‘Life in the times of Covid-19 – a guide for parents of children with disabilities’ along with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). It also addresses the mental health of caregivers including the parents, hospital staff, nurses, helpers and others providing support to the child under care.

The United Nations have been involved with the development of the PwD section of the society. Earlier on December 3 it marked World Disability Day where it focussed on ‘Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World’.

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