Showing posts with label Education of Disabled Children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Education of Disabled Children. Show all posts

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Allahabad High Court issues notice to waive fees of students with disabilities as online classes not accessible


Parents of a child with autism have filed a petition before the Allahabad High Court against the school asking for fees in spite of the student not attending online classes during lockdown. The court issued a notice asking all CBSE affiliated schools to waive-off fee for children for benchmark disabilities in terms of  RPWD Act, 2016.

For many students with disabilities, the lockdown resulting from the COVID19 pandemic has definitely been difficult. Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are clueless on how to pursue their education through online classes which are not easy for many of them. 

In the instant case, the child with autism is studying in class third at Amit International School in Lucknow. He has been unable to attend online classes due to his developmental disability. He is also undergoing therapies for the same. He has not attended most of his ongoing online classes as he finds them difficult to follow. But since last March, his school authorities have been regularly sending messages to his parents asking them to deposit the school fee at the earliest.

As per the petition filed before the court, there are thousands of children with different disabilities across Lucknow. Many are unable to attend online classes due to their disabling conditions. Demanding fees from such children is an act that must be punishable. Moreover, this system does not provide inclusive education either for students with disabilities.

The matter was heard by the bench of Justice Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal & Justice Saurabh Lavania through video-conferencing. The bench was pleased to issue Notices to the school authorities through e-mail, WhatsApp and messages.

This notice from the high court comes as a big relief to the parents. The schools have not been providing inclusive education nor have sufficient trained teachers. Many parents have formed or joined many support groups for helping each other and sharing of information etc.

Sad reality
This is a sad reality for all stakeholders that despite the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 and Right to Education Act (RTE) making provisions for free and compulsory education to students with disabilities from 6 to 18 years of age, most of these parents end up bearing so many expenses and receive no quality education for their children. They have to pay for the child’s therapies & related medical conditions. Apart from the exorbitant school fee being forced upon them, there are expenses of transporting children by school buses. On top of it, many schools insist the parents to hire shadow teachers at their own cost as a pre-condition to allow admission to a child with disability. This is double whammy for parents of intellectually and developmentally disabled (IDD) children. 

Way ahead
The education sector, particularly private schools need to wake up to make appropriate adaptations in the syllabus and teaching methodologies to be more sensitive and inclusive towards the needs of students with disabilities. The notice of the court is the first step is right direction. However, we hope that parents get relief even after the impact of COVID19 lockdown the something positive comes out of this litigation in larger interest of similarly placed parents & students with IDD.

Watch this space for more updates or follow the blog.

Friday, January 13, 2017

US Supreme Court ready to hear the land mark case on supporting Education for Disabled Students

Pls refer to my earlier post on  20 October 2016 titled 'US Supreme Court to hear ground breaking case involving what is "appropriate education" for students with Autism in public schools' . The Justices are hearing the arguments in the case wherein a school district refused to pay for private school for a student with autism whether federal law (IDEA) requires public schools to provide anything more than minimal instruction to such children.

A law dating from 1975, now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, subsidizes special education but also requires school districts to provide a “free appropriate public education” to disabled students. Congress didn’t specify what it meant by appropriate, and when parents have challenged public school programs as inadequate—often because they want the district to pay for a private institution instead—appellate courts have disagreed over the quality of education the law mandates.

The Supreme Court agreed to resolve the issue in a case from Douglas County, Colo., where the school district rejected a parental request to pay $40,000 tuition to send an autistic child to a private school offering specialized programs.

Neal Katyal, an attorney for the school district, told the court as long as the public school program was better than nothing, courts had little role beyond reviewing whether local officials followed procedures that the law, known as the IDEA Act, lays out for a disabled student’s educational plan.

“That’s what Congress had in mind, the idea that you’ve got to go through the checklist,” Mr. Katyal said.

“That’s wrong,” said Justice Elena Kagan. “This is not just a procedural guarantee. Yes, the IDEA has lots of procedures in it, but they’re all geared towards a particular substantive result.”

The justices likewise felt Jeffrey Fisher, a Stanford law professor representing the child, identified as Endrew F. in court papers, pushed too far in contending the law mandated that disabled students receive “equal educational opportunity” with other students.

Such a high standard could invite numerous claims forcing courts to evaluate whether a plan for a disabled child was legally equal to the opportunities provided other students, said Justice Stephen Breyer. “I foresee taking the money that ought to go to the children and spending it on lawsuits and lawyers and all kinds of things that are extraneous. That is what’s actually bothering me,” he said.

Much of the argument concerned the meaning of a 1982 Supreme Court precedent upholding a school district’s refusal to provide a sign-language interpreter for a deaf student because she was progressing well using a hearing aid. In that case, Board of Education v. Rowley, the court cited a congressional purpose “to confer some educational benefit upon the handicapped child.”

Responding to Mr. Katyal, Chief Justice John Roberts summarized the disagreement this way:

“You’re reading it as saying ‘SOME benefit,’ and the other side is reading it as saying ‘some BENEFIT,’” the chief justice said, prompting laughter across the courtroom.

The Obama administration has proposed a compromise position, and by the argument’s end it appeared likely to prevail.

The law should be read to require “significant progress towards grade-level standards, not as close as possible to grade-level standards,” Justice Department lawyer Irv Gornstein told the court. “And we think that this is just what most school boards are already doing.”

Justice Samuel Alito asked whether school officials could consider costs in determining an appropriate program.

Probably not, said Mr. Gornstein, who noted that the federal government provides about 15% of special-education costs.

“I think Congress took costs off the table in the usual case,” Mr. Gornstein said, except in extreme cases where extraordinary costs would yield little benefit to the student.

A decision in the case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, is expected before July.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Data collection indicates only 100 out of 1300 schools are disabled friendly


This is further to my earlier post dated 07th May 2013  wherein I had shared the order of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court directing the private schools to provide barrier free infrastructure and also 26th Feb 2014. Now despite the two cases, the government of Delhi has filed a status report in the Delhi High Court indicating that only 100 schools have some facilities for disabled children from amongst 1300 private unaided schools.

Here is the news report published in Indian Express:


The Director of Education (DoE) has been informed that less than 100 of 1,300 private unaided schools in the city have facilities to cater to students with special needs, with most only catering to children suffering from lack of vision of locomotor disabilities.

Only a handful mainstream schools are available for children with hearing impairment and mental disabilities, data submitted by the DoE to the Delhi High Court on Wednesday stated.

A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Vipin Sanghi had earlier directed the DoE to conduct a study on disabled-friendly facilities in the private unaided schools. The directions were issued in a PIL field by Pramod Arora, a parent of a differently-abled child.

According to the DoE, only 800 schools had submitted data on the facilities available for children with special needs, of which 54 catered to locomotor disabilities and 34 to hearing impairment. In contrast, only 10 schools had facilities to educate visually challenged children and 20 for children with mental retardation.
Interestingly, the DoE noted, a sizeable number of these schools are located in South or Southeast Delhi, or in West Delhi. Very few schools with facilities for the disabled are located in North and East Delhi, the data showed.




Friday, August 8, 2014

Special Educators & Barrier Free Private schools remains a distant dream despite Court Orders

Dear colleagues,

Please refer to my earlier blog entry titled  Delhi High Court directs the private schools to make their schools barrier free and inclusive dated 07th May 2013 detailing the implications of Delhi High Court Judgement in WP(C) 4618/2011.   The Department of Education, Govt. of Delhi has been sleeping over this judgement dated 05th Sep 2012 in the matter titled Social Jurist Versus Govt of NCT of Delhi  [WP (C) 4618/2011](click on the case number to access the Judgement) indicates how serious the government has been on the issues related to the education of the children with disabilities in Delhi.

The government made no efforts to ensure whether the judgement was implemented in its true letter and spirit by the strong lobby of private unaided schools. It only woke up after the matter has been again taken up through another PIL titled Pramod Arora Versus Lt. Governor of Delhi  & others [WP (C) 1225 of 2014] in which the Hon'ble Delhi High Court passed another judgement  03rd April 2014.   (click on the case number to access the Judgement).

Now the Directorate of Education, Govt. of Delhi vide its Notification No. DE-15/Act-I/WPC-1225/2014/25415-25416 dated 04.08.2014 regarding appointment of special educators & making the buildings/ schools premises barrier free to provide access to children with disabilities has directed the Private unaided schools to update the data whether they have made appointments of special educators in their schools or not and whether they ensure barrier free environment in their schools as per the directions of the Hon'ble Court in the above two judgements. A copy of the above notification is pasted below in the image format.



We hope the Govt. will be serious this time to bring the defaulting private unaided schools to book and ensure that the inclusive education becomes a reality.


Media Coverage: Daily Pioneer


Tuesday, 05 August 2014 | SR | New Delhi

After facing the ire of the Delhi High Court, the Directorate of Education (DoE) on Monday issued a notice to all unaided private schools of Delhi to recruit special educators and make their schools premises barrier-free so as to provide movement and access to the children with disabilities. The notice has been issued by the directorate following a mandate by the High Court asking for a compliance report at the earliest.

According to a notice issued by Additional Director of Education Madhu Teotia, the unaided private schools of Delhi must comply with the 2012 order of the High Court which directed the schools to appoint special educators for disabled students.  The court granted time till September 9 this year to appoint these special educators and time till March 2013 to make the school premises barrier-free. The matter of appointment of special educators for the disabled children and other connected issues, have again been agitated before the High Court during the proceedings of another case, wherein, the court directed the department to submit a compliance report with regard to the same along with other related directions,” Teotia said.

The notice also highlights that despite several reminders to private schools, this matter was not taken seriously. Teotia had asked the schools to upload special educators and disabled children related information on a module which has been made available on the Directorate of Education website.

“However, it has been found that most of the schools are still to upload the requisite information on the website. Therefore, in strict compliance, private schools must upload the requisite information regarding disabled children on the department's website on the aforesaid module immediately if not done so already. They should additionally appoint special educators in their schools, if not appointed so far, at the earliest but not later than the time granted by the court. They must also make their building, school premises barrier-free for the disabled children immediately, if not done yet,” Teotia informed.

To ensure complete compliance of the mandate, Teotia has asked all Deputy Directors of Education to monitor this case on top priority as “being a High Court matter even contempt of the court is involved.”

The Deputy Directors of Education are expected to bring the status report in this case on August 6 to a meeting with Director of Education Padmini Singla. They are supposed to also bring along with them the names of the defaulting private schools and initiation of action against such schools. “Non-compliance of the order shall be viewed seriously,” informed Teotia.  
--




Thursday, May 22, 2014

After Contempt petition, Deptt of Education, Delhi notifies nursery seats for children with disabilities

Please refer to my earlier posts titled  Disability angle in Nursery admission norms - HC issues notice to centre dated 26 Feb 2014 and Child with special needs distinct from disadvantage group under RTE dated 04 April 2014 on the subject. 

The Directorate of Education has finally notified the  high court order on the admission of disabled children into nursery. The circular directs 51 private unaided schools "to reserve at least two seats for the 'children with special needs' (CWSN) in their schools in nursery class for the academic year 2014-15".

To access the DoE Notification dated 19.5.2014, click here.  (The notification, the list of schools & the high order though is not accessible to the persons with visual impairment and is a very dim copy.... thanks to lack of sensitization in the DoE). This notification has come after the petitioner-representing a group of parents with disabled children-filed a contempt suit and over a month after the court first ordered DoE to keep seats vacant for this group on February 27.

The circular is not only for the 15 schools mentioned by the high court on May 15, but also says, "other schools as mentioned by the petitioner in the writ petition are also directed to reserve the same number of seats" for the group.

The petitioner had furnished the court a list of 44 schools that had, till the previous academic year, allocated points in the 100-points system to disabled children. On April 11, DoE ordered inspection of these schools to take stock of existing facilities and on May 7 told the court that 18 had facilities, 18 didn't, and another eight couldn't be inspected. The same day, the petitioner submitted another list of seven schools that had offered similar points in the previous session.

The court had asked DoE to direct 15 (the eight uninspected and the seven newly-submitted) schools to reserve seats for the group. On being summoned, the representatives of the 18 schools without facilities also appeared in court on May 20 and will have to return with their replies on May 28.

DoE on Tuesday listed 51 schools -with and without facilities, the eight uninspected and the seven introduced later. On May 7, the court, "considering the fact that finalization of the admission process is imminent in the view of the orders of the Supreme court," directed DoE to issue a circular "within 24 hours from today (May 7)." When DoE didn't, the petitioner filed a contempt suit. The principal secretary (education) had appeared in court on May 16. DoE, however, remains under contempt till next hearing.

Cardiologist Amita Garg, who initiated litigation in the matter, is disappointed that DoE has taken so long. "This is just the start for us," she says. "We'll have to now approach schools afresh."

When the points system was fixed for all this year, no separate category was created for the disabled candidates. Under Right to Education Act, the disabled kids, coming under the 'disadvantaged categories', are eligible to apply for the 25% free-ship quota.

However, there's just one draw per school for it and the number of EWS (economically weaker section) applications is so overwhelmingly large, the disabled group has found itself out of the race altogether.

Source: Times of India  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Child with special needs distinct from disadvantage group under RTE

Dear Colleagues,

Please refer to my earlier blog post dated 26 Feb 2014 titled  "Disability angle in Nursery admission norms - HC issues notice to centre".

In the instant case, a parent of a child with disability challenged the inclusion of child with disability under the 25% quota of disadvantaged section which meant that there were to compete with non-disabled children from weaker sections within that 25%.  He argued that he got his ward admitted with great difficulty to a Delhi school last year. The child could not progress and was neglected on account of lack of proper attention and infrastructure.

He further submitted that the number of schools equipped with infrastructure and personnel to handle these students were very few. The nature of the guidelines is such that these children have very little chances of getting admission in these institutions.

The Division Bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice R.V. Easwar of Delhi High Court 
directed the Union and Delhi Governments to treat “children with special needs” (CWSN) separate from those belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) and the disadvantaged group for admissions in pre-primary and other classes while hearing the above public interest litigation challenging an amendment to the Right to Education Act and a paragraph of the Delhi Government guidelines for nursery admissions that clubbed these students with those belonging to economically sections and the disadvantaged group.

Allowing the plea, the Bench said: “This Court is therefore of the opinion that the petitioner’s argument is merited and has to prevail. First, the imperative of Section 26 [of The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995] is that the Government has to ensure that all CWSN are given access to education till age 18.”

The Court held that the right to free, compulsory education to CWSN guaranteed by Section 26 of the PWD Act read with Section 3 (3) of the RTE Act is in no manner affected or diluted by the definition in Section 2 (d) of the RTE Act. This would mean that the State necessarily has to ensure the admission of all CWSN and can not limit them in 25% quota.

The court said that a close analysis of the provisions of the PWD  Act with respect to educational rights of CWSN reveals that the Parliament always intended that the children covered by  that enactment were entitled to free and compulsory education till they attain the age of 18 years, by virtue of Section 26. The wide nature of this right is underlined by the fact that it is not subject to a minimum or maximum quota of any kind whatsoever. Whilst the addressee of this right is the State, unlike the RTE Act, which vests rights in individuals, the content of the obligation upon the State cannot, in any way, be diluted. Any such reading would render Section 26 hollow, as mere rhetoric. This is neither the meaning that appears from the text of Section 26, which is clear and without qualification in its mandate to “ensure that every child with a disability has access to free education”, nor its context to ensure the inclusion of CWSN into society through education. In addition, Section 39 – which is located in Chapter VI – and mandates a minimum 3% quota for “persons with disabilities” in government and government-aided educational institutions cannot in any manner be read as limiting the right under Section 26. To hold that Section 39 exhausts the legal obligation under Section 26 would be to conflate two independent sections, and render the latter hollow. Such an interpretation cannot be countenanced. Rather, Section 39 is only one of the measures that contributes to the broader directive of Section 26, leaving the State to work out other mechanisms to achieve the stated and mandatory end. 

Court further clarified that Section 39, in essence, covers higher education, in respect of persons with disabilities who cannot claim right to free and compulsory education. In those institutions that cater to higher and professional education, the quota of 3% is mandated.

The court said that bracketing CWSN with other ‘disadvantaged groups’ – under the terms of the 2013 order – substantially diminishes their relative chances of admission. This relative disadvantage compared to other non-disabled persons, which is the very issue sought to be remedied, is in fact perpetuated by this classification. Thus, granting parity in respect of educational benefits in this case translates to a distinct classification.

The court highlighted that in order for the education of CWSN to be effective, rather than merely counting attendance, the infrastructure and facilities in these schools must match-up to their intake. Clearly, that is not the case, even by the figures provided by the GNCT itself. The quality of  education provided to these children comes into doubt, and absent any clear reporting mechanism, the issue is plunged into further darkness. This is keeping aside the fact that even considering the number of students enrolled (on paper), a majority are still excluded and are not enrolled even on paper.

Referring to the census 2011 figures and the number of CWSN admitted in the govt. aided or run special schools, the court said, "the magnitude of the challenge becomes clear from these figures. Not only are our public institutions unable to cater to CWSN because of lack of adequate infrastructure, but moreover, there remains incoherence in the reporting itself. Despite the clear mandate of Section 26, not only can it not be said that all CWSN have access to education, but rather, a majority of CWSN are not in school, and even this fact cannot be attributed to exact figures, given the absence of a comprehensive and accurate reporting mechanism. The entire challenge is thus relegated to the background, without any attempt to measure the statistics comprehensively, in order to pave the path forward.

The Court directed the Delhi Government to “create a list of all public and private educational institutions catering to CWSN. This list shall be created zone wise. It shall include full details as to the nature of disability the institutions are able to cater to, the facilities available, whether residential or day-boarding, and the contact details for the concerned authority in that institution in case of any clarifications”.


The Court also directed it to create a nodal agency under the authority of the Department of Education (DoE) for the processing of all applications pertaining to admission of CWSN.

“This nodal agency shall structure a single form to be utilised by parents and guardians of CWSN for admissions into public and private institutions, including all relevant details required for the purposes of admission,” the Bench said.


The court purposefully  did not dispose off the case. The case has been kept pending for Action taken report from the Delhi Govt. within four weeks. The matter will be next listed on 07th May 2014. 


Related news coverage in media: 

IANS  |  New Delhi  April 3, 2014 Last Updated at 23:06 IST

The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the city government to ensure that all children with special needs in the capital are admitted to schools equipped with infrastructure and personnel to handle them.

A division bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice R.V. Easwar said the authorities have overlooked the needs of such children, and directed the creation of a nodal agency to take care of the modalities for selecting schools equipped to handle disabilities - whether blindness, speech impairment, autism etc - as per the child's special requirement.

The current nursery admission guidelines, including the neighbourhood criteria and the point-based admission system, will not be considered while admitting children with special needs, the court said.

The court said the Lt. Governor's admission guidelines was illegal to the extent that it clubbed children with special needs with those from economically weaker sections (EWS)and other disadvantaged groups.

The court was hearing a plea which challenged the guidelines issued Dec 18, 2013 whereby disabled children were clubbed with EWS children in a common 25 percent quota for admission in nursery classes.

Earlier, up to three percent seats for children with special needs were reserved.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Disability angle in Nursery admission norms - HC issues notice to centre

Nursery norms: Centre to clarify on disability quota
TNN | Feb 26, 2014, 02.19 AM IST


NEW DELHI: The High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to clarify if Delhi's schools still have the discretion to provide admissions in nursery classes to disabled kids, despite the Lieutenant Governor's guidelines clubbing them with children of economically weaker groups (EWS).

A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and R V Easwar gave a day's time to the Centre to explain after the latter told the court it is up to the Delhi government to make guidelines for providing any benefit to disabled kids since the city government has enough "elbow room" despite the LG's order.

But HC was not satisfied and questioned the Centre's stand saying "no elbow room is visible" under the guidelines or the Persons with Disabilities Act. It added that if no proper guidelines are framed for providing relief to disabled students, the "discretionary approach" of schools will get an "escape route".

"If you (Centre and Delhi governments) don't come out with guidelines, it could lead to an escape route to the discretionary approach of schools," the bench said and kept the matter for Wednesday after the counsel, appearing for the Centre, said its officials would be present in the court to explain the government's stand.

The bench was hearing a PIL, by Pramod Arora, father of a child with special needs, challenging the LG's nursery admission guidelines to the extent it clubs disabled children with kids from EWS group. His petition also seeks 3% reservation for disabled kids in the nursery class.

During the day's proceedings, the Centre said it is for Delhi government to evolve guidelines on the issue but the court pointed out only when the Centre asks the state government to do so will it acts.

It also asked the Centre to "see what is possible under the Act", whether 3% reservation is possible and if yes, how to implement the same.

Meanwhile a group of parents on Tuesday also challenged the points for interstate transfer in the new nursery admission guidelines. A bench of acting Chief Justice and Justice Siddharth Mridul sought a reply from the state government and posted the case for Thursday.

Source: Times of India

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Disabled Students must get same admission benefits as SC/ST, rules Delhi HC

Dear  Colleagues,

In a path breaking judgement, a Bench of Delhi High Court has held that  the people suffering
from disabilities are equally socially backward, if not more, as those belonging to SC/ST categories and therefore, as per the Constitutional mandates, they are entitled to at least the same benefit of relaxation as given to SC/ST candidates.

This puts to rest the debate of whether Constitutions favours only the SC/ST and not disabled since Disability is not specifically included in the Constitution.

For detailed judgement  passed on 12 September 2012 in this case titled Writ Petition (C) No.4853 of 2012 ANAMOL BHANDARI Versus Delhi Technological University, please click here.

Below is the news report from Indian Express.

regards
Subhash C Vashishth, Advocate

Disabled students as socially backward as SC/ST, must get same admission benefit: HC

Jayant Sriram : New Delhi, Sun Sep 16 2012, 01:34 hrs

Holding that people suffering from disabilities are also equally socially backward, if not more, as SC/ST candidates, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Technological University (DTU) to provide the same concession in marks for admitting disabled persons as applicable for SC/ST candidates.

“We hold that the provision of giving only 5 per cent concession in marks to persons with disabilities (PWD) candidates as opposed to 10 per cent relaxation provided to SC/ST candidates is discriminatory and PWD candidates are entitled to same treatment,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

The court’s order came on a petition by Anamol Bhandari, a physically disabled student, who challenged the disparity in treatment between the two categories.

In his petition, Bhandari said he had passed his CBSE exam with 52.66 per cent. He said DTU had fixed its cut-off for general candidates at 60 per cent but had provided a relaxation of 10 per cent for SC/ST candidates and 5 per cent for PWD candidates.

The petitioner said though he had cleared his All India Engineering Entrance exam with a rank sufficient to gain admission to DTU, he could not get admission on the basis that his Class XII marks did not meet the cut-off.

He said if the relaxation given to PWD candidates was on  par with SC/ST candidates, then he have been eligible for admission.

The university contended that they were free to frame their own admission guidelines, being an autonomous body. It argued that the petitioner was aware when applying that he would be eligible for a 5 per cent relaxation.

However, when the bench asked the counsel for DTU whether there was any rational basis for fixing the limit of relaxation at 5 per cent for PWD candidates, no clear answer was given and the counsel merely said it was a “policy decision”.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Delhi High Court disposes off the PIL in favour of Inclusive Education in Govt. Schools in Delhi

Dear Friends,

So finally the Delhi High Court has disposed of the Public Interest Litigation No. W.P.(C) 6771/2008, Social Jurist Vs. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Anr, yesterday i.e. on 20.01.2010. The final order merely disposes off the petition while making its earlier directions final which need to be implemented and the Committee appointed for the purpose will oversee its implementation.

This PIL has brought to sharp focus the precarious condition of the disabled children in the Government Schools. The situation was getting worse as disability was left to the NGOs to handle as if the state only had a role of giving out doles to few NGOs working on this. This led to uprooting of many children with disabilities especially the Visually impaired and the Hearing impaired to cities where some facilities existed. While children with other disabilities suffered in silence with no school ready to take them for they had no infrastructure or support to teach them.

The judiciary has restored the faith of people with disabilities, their parents, families, friends and supporters, NGOs that with this positive judgement, situations will change for them in the Government Schools too and inclusive education will not get restricted to ideological books only.

If this judgement is to be implemented, it would require a large number of special educators, therapists and supporting staff trained in sign language, braille and teaching techniques to include all by using multi-sensory methods. A daunting task both for the Govt. and as well as Rehabilitation Council of India. RCI will have to make sure that quality of training is maintained on highest standards in all their affiliated colleges, institutes. In the past there have been several cases where there were questions raised on quality of training in certain institutions. This would be necessary to protect the future of children with disabilities in mainstream (inclusive) education.

While the Education Department of Delhi Government has initiated the process of changing the Recruitment Rules to include Special Educators, other rehabilitation professionals have not been thought about as yet. To make inclusive education a reality, children with disabilities would require support of therapists, rehabilitation professional among all which should be considered by the Government.

Now with Mr. Agrawal been appointed Chairman of a Committee to oversee implementation of Right to Education of Disabled Children, these issues could be taken up with the Committee and necessary inclusion of more rehab professionals could be effected.

Recently, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also indicated through a Categorical Circular that they would go to the extent of de-recognizing the Schools if any school dared to deny admission to a child with disability. This is a huge step in policy as well as in the domestic law of India - a step further to realize the mandate of UNCRPD.

We hope we will together face the challenges that might come in the way of realizing inclusive education a reality to make our nation a happier, welcoming & rights based place for its diverse population including those experiencing disability of any kind.

Regards

SC Vashishth
Advocate-Disability Rights
subhashvashishth@gmail.com
09811125521