Indian Association of Life Skills Education organised a Focus Group Discussion on Life Skills for Persons with Disabilities – Pathways for Inclusion titled Sustainable Future In The Post Pandemic Era: Life Skills As Strategic Enablers on 5 November 2022.
Founder and Executive Director Nidhi Goyal participated in the event moderated by Mr. Mohammed Nadeem Noor, State Head, UNFPA Odisha alongside co-panelists Mr. Amar Jain (Web Accessibility Professional; Lawyer & Youth Activist for Persons with Disabilities), Ms. Ritika Sahani (Founder Trustee: TRINAYANI, Trainer and Consultant in Disability Inclusion, Member at International Executive Council, Global Inclusive Education Network), Dr. Ved Mitra Shukla (Assistant Professor, Dept. of English at Rajdhani College, University of Delhi), Mr. Sibaji Panda (Director at Shikha Eco-Village and FutuRISE Academy, Odisha), Prof. Kalpana Kharade (Adjunct Professor at K J Somaiya College of Education Mumbai) and K.R. Jayachandran, PhD (Advisor – Project Sector: Tatweer Education Holding, Technical Consultant: Prince Sultan Center for Special Education, Saudi Ministry of Education).
Nidhi began with speaking about the importance of understanding how exclusion happens to better advocate for inclusion. The need for moving beyond a “charity model” that infantilises people with disabilities and has patronising ideas about “productivity” was also highlighted as a way to further equal citizenship and economic contribution by disabled folks. Nidhi also touched on the fact that the discrimination and violence faced by adolescents with disabilities, especially in school and curriculum settings that are steeped in ableism, gives rise to a fear and anger at being excluded and hinders their ability to reach their potential as full human beings contributing to a shared society.