Education is being increasingly viewed as a major tool to empower differently-abled persons today. Education, as a social science discipline, helps to pass civic and cultural values between generations. It plays an important role to help this section of the society to live with honor and dignity, and independence and confidence.
Over the past few decades, both the government and many non-government organizations (NGOs) have asserted a lot of importance on the need for education for differently-abled individuals. Passage of the disabilities act in 1995 was a big step in this regard. It extends various facilities to children and adults. Differently-abled children today have the right to free education in integrated or special schools until they are 18 years of age. Differently-abled children can avail appropriate transportation, remove architectural barriers and can also demand a restructure of their curriculum and/or modifications in the exam system. Books and teaching materials are provided free to them under various government schemes. They can also avail special scholarships from the government and NGOs to further their education.
Besides these, differently-abled children have access to special schools that have offer non-formal education and vocational training facilities.
While the demand for education of differently-abled persons far outweighs the supply, some work has been done in the last few years to provide them a better life. Awareness has grown in the society. Parents no longer see their differently-abled child as a burden. It’s admittedly true that steps taken to give them a better life is way behind than what has been done in the West, still the signs are encouraging.