The Dr Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University (DSMRU) in Lucknow will start an inclusive school where disabled children will study with other students in a barrier-free environment in the new academic session.
DSMRU will become the only university in the Uttar Pradesh to have such a school, which will start from July 2016, to accept children with special needs from class 6 to 12. Students can later seek admission in the varsity for higher studies.
“Disabled and normal students, after passing class 5 examination elsewhere, may seek admission in our special school and study from class 6 to 12. It will be a fully residential intermediate college where disabled children will study, stay in the hostel and eat at the mess, completely free of cost. It will be a unique experiment. No university in the state has done anything like this before,” Nishith Rai, vice-chancellor of DSMRU, said.
Rai said it has been observed that children with special needs perform better if they studied in inclusive schools.
“They have extraordinary talents that make up for their physical disabilities. We will love to hold hands of these special children at an early stage of their lives, to help them scale newer heights as they grow under the watchful eyes of teachers who cater to their needs,” he said.
The university is also all set to establish its Braille press so that visually-impaired children can access the syllabus.
“Subject matter and notes will be published in Braille,” AP Tewari, academic advisor to the VC and the university spokesperson, told HT.
It will also start a distance learning BEd education programme in Braille. The new academic session will also have a BTech programme, faculty of engineering and technology, for differently-abled students. A centre for mass communication and journalism will also be started.
“We want to impart education in different ways - on campus, through distance learning and through affiliation to other colleges. The varsity has an affiliation with five colleges: two in Allahabad, and one each in Mathura, Amethi and Kanpur,” Rai said.
DSMRU, the first university of its kind that provides accessible and higher education to differently-abled students, was established by the Viklang Kalyaan Vibhaag of the UP government. It came up through an ordinance on August 29, 2008.