Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Citing National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that emphasises equal opportunity to education for all, AICTE has issued guidelines in order to facilitate inclusive digital education for all including Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).
Technical institutions have been told to give free laptops and internet charges to PwDs through Institute/State government and special assistance for their training and their placement.
The technical institutions have been told to establish a cell known as ‘Equal Opportunity Facilitation Cell (EOFC)’ comprising six members.
The responsibility of the cell will be to promote admission of PwDs in technical institutions, create awareness among stakeholders in the area of equal opportunities on a regular basis, to address special needs of the students pertaining to teaching-learning process and develop disabled friendly teaching-learning process making use of modern tools and assistive technologies.
The cell will also ensure that the institution's campus is PwD-friendly having ramps, signages, designated parking etc.
For an accessible teaching-learning process for PwDs, the cell should be adequately funded both in terms of required resources as well as trained manpower. The cell should also monitor progress by taking periodic feedback from students with disabilities. Training a large number of teachers who have full-time/part-time responsibility towards these activities itself is a challenge and special SWAYAM courses are being proposed for the same.
These teachers should be familiar with ‘accommodation’ solutions for enrolled students even if the Institution is not fully accessible.
Special Provisions for Persons with Disabilities in the exams should also be made, AICTE said adding that 20 to 50% of questions of objective type in the question paper.
“Facility for Students with Specific Learning Disabilities, dedicated Centres of Learning Diversity (CLD) may be set up to help with the implementation of the initiatives and provide the requisite support within the institute,” the guidelines read
AICTE said that the institutions are required to include the details related to the availability of a barrier-free environment for students with disabilities on their websites including details of the admission process, support services available and status of PwDs. “Institutes should create a separate budgetary head covering the expenditure towards activities promoting inclusion of PwDs,” the AICTE stated.