Path breaking work of bridging the massive awareness gap
KOHIMA, December 03 2022: The Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) is launching a chatbot, an online tool, for Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs) on its website in partnership with ChangeInkk Foundation in Delhi. The chatbot can be accessed at https://nbsenl.edu.in and will help parents and teachers with answers to commonly asked questions on SLDs.
In India, both the New Education Policy 2020 (NEP ’20) & the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016 recognize SLDs and stress the importance of creating inclusive education for this population. The RPwD Act 2016 defines inclusive education as a “system of education wherein students with and without disabilities learn together and the system of teaching and learning is suitably adapted to meet the learning needs of different types of students with disabilities”.
NBSE is committed to supporting individuals with disabilities to receive the right accommodations for various state-conducted examinations. They have already issued a notification elucidating guidelines on accommodations and requirements to include students with SLDs at the school level, available at https://nbsenl.edu.in/cms/document/174/notifications
Specific Learning Disabilities recognize the differences in the way people’s brain function, process information, and learn. They include Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, along with Dyspraxia. Individuals with SLDs have average or above average IQs, but struggle with processing language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself as a difficulty to comprehend, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.
Nearly 5-15% of children struggle with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs) in India. The actual extent is not known, due to a lack of awareness and low levels of formal diagnosis (especially in local languages) in our country.
As per Global estimates, it could be as high as 1 in 5 students. This means that over 150 million individuals including 35 million school-aged children in India are affected by SLDs.
Some of history’s greatest achievers had SLDs. These include Albert Einstein, Agatha Christie, Steve Jobs, Roald Dahl, Abhishek Bachchan, and many more. SLDs should be identified early in individuals, so they can receive the right support and accommodations in the classroom and for assessments, and don’t fall through the cracks of the education system and drop out early.
Challenges faced by individuals with SLDs who do not receive necessary support & interventions include low learning outcomes and poor academic performance in school, high risk of dropping out, low self-esteem, high anxiety, and higher risk of depression or suicide.
ChangeInkk Foundation is a nonprofit committed to creating pathways of success for neuro diverse individuals from cradle to career, in particular, those with SLDs by enabling an inclusive ecosystem.
It is doing the path breaking work of bridging the massive awareness gap to support people with SLDs in India.