Newsletter December

The festive season is upon us.
In our last newsletter for the year, we will touch
upon the benefits of technology in special education,
some of the events where the FAME children
participated and the programs we attended and
conducted as part of our awareness initiatives.

Happy reading!
In November 2016, our students participated in Kalangana - a cultural festival which is a n annual event held every year over a period of 3 days.
These were the events conducted during Kalangana
9th November - Art and Yoga
10th November - Dance
11th November _ Music.
Our children really did us proud 
during the festival! Congratulations to
all those who participated!

Prizes we won at Kalangana!
Solo Dance Category
Abhishek - 2nd Prize
Vaishnav - Special Prize

Group Singing
Special Prize

Conference to mark the International Day for Persons with Disability

On December 3rd 2016, FAME India conducted an awareness programme to mark the International Day of Persons with Disability. The programme was attended by 50 parents. Ms. Pallavi Srivastav and Ms. Akshatha - Consultants with the Physiotherapy Unit – briefed the parents about the 17 goals laid down by the United Nations to work for Persons with Disability in this year.
This was followed by a brief presentation on Niramaya Insurance instituted by the Government of India through the National Trust. Ms. Revathi, Principal of the school and Ms. Misha, Project Officer handled this session and responded to queries made by the attendees.
This was followed by an interactive session between the parents who had gathered, wherein some of the parents clarified the queries raised by other parents. One of the parents, Ms. Shazia who is also a member of our Parent Support Group took the opportunity to make a plea for more parents to join the Parent Support Group, to help themselves and to work together to secure the future of their children.
Since 1992, the United Nations has observed Dec 3rd as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The theme for this year was "Achieving 17 goals for the future we want" which focuses on 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

FAME participates in the 11th Annual Conference of the Indian Academy of Cerebral Palsy

Ms Akshata Nadgir and Mr Vinayak Jyoti from FAME represented us at the 11th Annual Conference of the Indian Academy of Cerebral Palsy. The conference was a great opportunity for us to meet with experts in the field, update our knowledge and share our insights with others as well.

Based on what was discussed, it also helped us realise that the techniques and methodology adopted at the FAME school was the most up to date and relevant.

Here is a summary of what transpired during the conference:

Day 1 of IACPCON
Preconference Workshop
Dr. Mahadevaiah gave an introduction about Autism where he focused on the definition, diagnosis and clinical features. He spoke at length about how parents these days have a tendency to Google about their child's condition, but don’t accept it. Overall the session was very informative.

The second session was conducted by Ms. K Sindhi, a Vision Therapist who spoke on behavioural cues for visual problems in children with Cerebral Palsy. She spoke on how to assess them, look out for cardinal signs of visual problems and also covered some part of the therapy that is undertaken with them.

The third session was conducted by Dr. Kalpana Badami on Retinopathy of Prematurity or ROP. She spoke at length on the physiology and anatomy of retina, problems with ROP and it’s classification. She spoke about screening of high risk babies for ROP and it’s medical management in the NICU.

The next session focused on NICU management and was helmed by Mrs. Asha Chitnis. She spoke on the techniques she follows in NICU management like positioning, respiratory management, suctioning and parent education.

This was followed by a session by Mrs. Roslyn Boyd and Dr. Kant who spoke on LEAP CP management, GAME therapy and tools in dysphagia evaluation.

The afternoon sessions covered hip surveillance in CP by Dr. Amanda Verna, Dr. Vaikunthraju, Dr. Feroze and Dr. Johari. They spoke about key points in identification of hip problems, it’s screening and surgical management. Effects of Botox was also touched upon.
The last session for the day focused on a case study of a child with Dyskinetic CP. ICF module assessment and functional goal setting from a therapist point of view and orthopaedic point of view was done.
Day 2 of IACPCON
The day began with a session by Dr. Mahadevaiah talking on the history, growth and future of developmental paediatrics in India. Dr. Forrsberg spoke on neurodevelopmental disorders – epidemiology, etiology and interventions. A number of speakers then spoke about Neuroplasticity, which gave the audience a lot of insight and information.

In the afternoon, sessions were conducted on endocrinal manifestation in various developmental delays and identification and prevention in NICU.

Day 3 of IACPCON
Dr. Peter Rosenbaum spoke about ICF framework and the 5 F words inclusion in the training goals. We were happy to note that all of his suggestions were already being followed at our centre.
Dr Hanz spoke on childhood disability policy making. He spoke about International Alliance of Academics of Childhood Disability of which he is a pioneer.
Prof Premlata, Dr. Lata, Dr. Sanjeev and Dr Aruba spoke about fetal development, preterm syndrome, it’s early detection and prevention of developmental disorders in India.

How do Special Education Students benefit from Technology

Students with disabilities can benefit greatly by using technology in the classroom. This article examines the use of assistive technologies with special education students.

The Myth

Students with disabilities cannot use the same technology that typical students use.

The Facts

Technology can be the great equalizer in a classroom with diverse learners.

Another large percentage of them suffer from speech or language impairments, others suffer intellectual disability, emotional disorders and hearing or visual impairments.

The use of assistive technology like computer software, communication devices and tablets is the new and innovative trend among educators..

It is vital that schools must help students with special needs to access, participate, and progress in the general curriculum.

There are various strategies for integrating technology in a special education classroom, they’re listed below:

For students with mild cognitive disabilities in Reading, use reading skill software, text-to-speech products, interactive storybooks, etc. For those with mild impairments in Writing, use voice recognition and word prediction software.

Whereas teachers can find it difficult to differentiate instruction in one class with different needs and abilities, “assistive technology” (devices and software to assist students with disabilities) can often help teachers personalize lessons and skills enhancement to each child. For children with physical disabilities, technology can give access to learning opportunities previously closed to them.
Technology is used more in a special education classroom than in any other classroom setting because of all the different types of students and their learning needs that need to be met in order to make education successful for them. There are different types of disabilities that special needs students suffer from. A huge percentage of students suffer from specific learning disabilities which can include learning impairments in Reading, Math and other subjects.

For the ones with mild disabilities in Mathematics, use graphing software, drills, games and tutorials.

For students with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities, software helps teach and reinforce functional skills such as money-management, daily living, etc., videos enhance acquisition, maintenance, and transfer of functional and community-based behaviours.

For students at-risk of learning, use software and websites that provide powerful and motivating opportunities to engage in learning activities and electronic quizzes and other instructional materials that provide immediate feedback on performance.

For students with special talents and gifts find starting point web pages to launch them into content with appropriate challenges. Also provide tools for engaging in self-directed research and tools such as multimedia presentations, web page design, and electronic portfolios to document learning experiences.

There are many ways in which technology benefits a special education classroom.

For students with physical disabilities provide alternate methods of accessing keyboard, mouse and monitor. Determine the best placement of adaptive technology and train the students so they are able to operate it independently.
Monitor to ensure that the maximum level of participation is obtained without any undue physical demands.

For students with sensory disabilities such as blindness use canes and sensor technologies to assist movement, text-to-braille converters and screen readers. For visually impaired students, use CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) magnification systems and built-in computer screen magnification control panels. For hearing impaired students, use assistive listening devices like FM amplification systems.

These students like the rest are drawn to technology and it motivates them to learn with the aid of technology, it allows teachers to work with more students at one time, it equalizes education for special needs students and due to this they are seen as more capable by peers, it helps build confidence and help these children find academic success.

The devices available to students with disabilities are no longer big clunky things which become difficult to manage in a classroom. Students now have access to assistive capabilities on technologies that are smaller, more mobile, more integrated and inexpensive. Technology in special education classrooms is an industry within an industry and it is constantly developing and improving products for special needs.

Types of Assistive Technology Available

Although assistive technology is commonly thought of as computers, hardware and software, there is actually a continuum of technology, ranging from “low tech" to "high tech".
Low-tech Assistive Technology
• Pencil grips
• Graph paper
• Highlighting pens
• Planners
• Audio books
• Digital clocks
• Calculators

Mid to high-tech Assistive Technology
•Digital recorders
• Digital books
• Graphing calculators
• Electronic math worksheets
• Portable or adapted keyboards
• Mobile technology, e.g. tablets, iPods, iPads,
smartphones, MP3 players, etc.
• Reading systems that utilize a computer, scanner,
and software to “read” scanned book pages
out loud, e.g. Kurzweil

Speech recognition software that allows a
computer to operate by speaking to it, e.g. Siri
• Speech recognition systems that turn oral language
into written text, e.g. Dragon
• Software that predicts and edits words for students
who struggle with spelling, e.g. WordQ
• “Talking” calculators that assist students with
math challenges
Mind mapping/outlining software
• Global Positioning System (GPS)

What Assistive Technology Can Do

• Minimize the extent to which individuals need to ask for help
(enabling them to be more independent learners)

• Improve the speed and accuracy of students’ work
• Reinforce effective classroom instruction and strengthen skill
development of students

• Help students to 'fit in' with classroom learning and routines
• Motivate students to set high goals for themselves and to persevere

What Assistive Technology Cannot Do

• Compensate for ineffective teaching

• Make a learning disability go away
Be expected to provide the same benefits to different users
• Automatically promote positive attitudes toward learning

It is important for educators to keep in mind that when it comes to Assistive technology, “one size does not fit all” – to reiterate, there needs to be a match between the student’s learning disability, the task and the assistive technology tool.

Also, Assistive technology is not always just for students with disabilities; it can be used to help any student with motivation, academic skills, and social development.

The bottom line

Most students with disabilities can and do benefit from technology in the classroom. Incorporating technology increases students’ motivation to learn and personalizes lessons to a student’s individual needs. Even the students with the most severe and profound disabilities can use assistive technology to join a classroom of typical students, and their potential can be reached in ways we didn’t have before.

FAME India

Foundation for Action, Motivation and Empowerment





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No.156, 36th Cross

2nd Main Road, Jayanagar 7th Block

Bangalore - 560 082

Karnataka, India

Phone: 80 - 2244 6622

Fax: 80 - 2244 6623