India’s education ministry released guidelines to develop e-content to cater to educational requirements of children with special needs. These guidelines would cover children with physical disabilities as well as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The guidelines would take the country a step forward in realising the goal of inclusive education that was a key pointer in the National Education Policy (NEP-2020). In the wake of online education assuming more importance than previously thought due to the pandemic, the PM e-Vidya initiative was launched last year in May with the aim of unifying all efforts to digitise educational content.
Subsequently, the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education (MoE) constituted a Working Group under the chairmanship of Manoj Ahuja, Chairperson, CBSE for the development of e-content for Children with Special Needs (CwSN). The guidelines are a part of the many recommendations made by this subcommittee.
The 124-page report of the committee has a separate section regarding the needs of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities including those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In all, they have underlined the specific needs of children with 21 disabilities specified in the RPWD Act 2016.
The report provides an implementation roadmap along with suggestions to strengthen compliance with the accessibility guidelines. It also takes into consideration the future technological advances, suggesting that the content be dynamic by nature, to be improved based on experience and advent of better technology.