While awareness on learning disabilities (LD) is slowly increasing in society; the ground reality leaves a lot to be desired. In a bid to spread awareness and encourage discussions on the subject, the Pune LD Forum will host its first conference, ‘Living with Learning Disabilities – Finding Solutions’, on October 24-25. The conference will be held at YASHADA on Baner Road.
The aim of the conference is to spread awareness among parents, teachers and school management committees about the best practices being followed globally on learning disabilities. The primary objective of the forum is to focus on solutions to help students become academically successful and socially functional, with help from experts and organisations working on the subject.
“We are targeting both educational institutes and parents who have little awareness about learning disabilities. We want to gather them on a common platform and interact. We will have sessions on early intervention for students with learning disabilities. Our aim is to completely stop such students from dropping out of schools,” Masarrat Tavawala, co-founder of Pune LD Forum, said.
The conference will offer a platform for children and parents to initiate a dialogue towards finding solutions on learning disabilities. Experts on the issue from the education and medical sectors will be at hand. Not only that, the conference will serve as an “adviser” to government bodies, suggesting solutions on learning disabilities. The forum also aims to make an appeal to pass a Bill to include persons with learning disabilities with persons with general disability, which is pending in the Upper House since 2014.
Uma Kulkarni, also a co-founder of the Pune LD Forum, said there was a need to have uniform guidelines for learning disabilities in India, like in foreign countries. She said this would help school management committees and policymakers to have a relook at the syllabus, exam pattern and accommodation that need to be given to students who struggle in academics because of learning disabilities.
Children facing learning disorders in India make up about 14 per cent, of which about 20 per cent drop out of high schools. The state has 37,000 students in the 8-15 age group with learning disorders/disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, language processing disorder, etc.