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Cerebral Palsy, Mental Challenges, Autism, Multiple Disabilities

All contributions and donations directed at Umang are exempt from tax under 80G of the Income Tax Act and it is permissible for the organisation by FCRA to receive foreign donations.

A person is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.
With an undying spirit to overcome obstacles, every member at Umang strives to grow everyday with new learnings and new enthusiasm. One thing that Umang strongly believes in is to never say 'quits'.

Umang is an institute that reaches out to people with cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, and multiple disabilities. To facilitate a better quality of life for children with special needs, Umang has a diverse range of services to enable holistic development of children with special needs. Every child is different and therefore needs a customised approach to learning. At Umang, we outline a specific growth plan called IEP (Individual Education Plan) for every child according to his/her needs. Our basic structure of services include:

Centre for Special Education Sports, Leisure and Recreation
Physiotherapy Speech Therapy
Inclusion in Community and Inclusive Education Home Management and Counselling
Advocacy and Awareness State Resource Centre
Vocational Training and Employment

 Centre for Special Education
Umang is a dedicated centre for special education. Recently, it was awarded the status of the State Nodal Agency Centre of National Trust, Government of India. Umang provides comprehensive and holistic learning experience for persons with disability. Students between the age of 2 to 18 years are given an opportunity to realise their potential and enhance their learning with special training and staff. Through Individual Education Plan (IEP) over 200 students are provided academic education, functional education and special education.

After thorough assessment, children are allocated to specific group, based on their performance ability.

Academic Groups: These groups prepare the students to appear for open board examination of Level A (3rd Std), Level B (5th Std), Level C (8th Std) and 10th Std. Accredited by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), New Delhi, the academic groups follow the common curriculum of open basic education recommended by NIOS.

Functional Education Groups: These groups focus on a curriculum that covers different functional aspects of daily
life, thereby helping them to be independent in their lives. The curriculum covers a wide spectrum of learning like reading, writing and understanding Hindi and English languages; functional mathematics that simplifies money management, time management, various measurements, basic mathematical operations, use of calculator, etc; awareness of environment through general information on topics like water, plants, animals, nutrition, weather, geography, etc. Apart from these, pre-vocational skills such as art, craft, computer, pre-cooking skills, packing, recycling of paper, needle work, etc. are also a part of the curriculum.

Special Groups: These groups train the students with severe disability to live an independent life by training them in activities of daily living, skill development, communication skills, self reliance, social behavior and interactions, and awareness of environment.

Day Care Groups: Students above the age of 16 years, who cannot cope with any of the above mentioned services are a part of these groups. The objective of these groups is to enhance the quality of life by enabling

students to interact with peers by building their communication and life skills in an informal environment.

Children with autism are allocated suitable classes after assessing their needs. These children are taught through the TEACH and PECS approach.

 Sports, Leisure and Recreation
For all round development of children, it is imperative for any education system to integrate holistic teaching patterns with academic knowledge. To support the learning of children, Umang has a dedicated set of activities and group for sports, leisure and recreation. Here, the students have a regular time allocated to activities like games, sports, dance, theatre, painting, art and craft, adventure, etc. The children are accompanied by staff and trained personnel for trekking and mountaineering.
The students at Umang are also taken for outstation field trips every year. These trips are planned to encourage students and build their sense of independence and confidence.

The well-equipped Physiotherapy unit has a trained and experienced full-time team of senior and junior physiotherapists. These therapists not only help the students at Umang but also reach out to a large number of people in the community. The major role of a therapist includes:
Physical assessment
Planning the Intervention Programme and its implementation through individual and group sessions
Classroom posture and gait training
Modify and design special furniture
Identifying and training to use mobility aids
Post-surgical follow-ups, etc.

 Speech Therapy
The role of Speech therapists and language trainers at Umang include:

Speech and language assessment
Language development and vocabulary building
Speech correction and therapy
Pre-speech activities
Correcting the feeding patterns, drinking, swallowing, etc. of children with Cerebral Palsy
To provide Alternate & Augmentative Communication Aids (AAC) to Non-verbal students

 Inclusion in Community and Inclusive Education

"To be a part and not apart."
Persons with disability are a part of the community. But due to various reasons, they still do not have their rightful place in the community. To increase and encourage community participation, Umang believes in sensitising the community and making respectful place for persons with disability in the community. For integrating persons with disability in mainstream schools, constant efforts are made at grassroots level by implementing projects and programs in association with the students and schools.
Students with minor disabilities are placed in regular schools and a close follow-up is maintained to map their progress.

Umang is also a member of All India Association for Inclusive Education co-ordinated by Spastic Society of India, Bombay and represents the western zone. Umang also assists the State Government to plan and implement policies to promote inclusive education in Rajasthan. On regular intervals, various projects are implemented by Umang to
sensitize principals, teachers and students of the mainstream schools
provide support through differential curriculum planning for students integrated in mainstream schools
support the resource centre of mainstream schools
prepare persons with disabilities for inclusion through training, attitude building and by facilitating actual placement.

 Home Management and Counselling
Persons with disabilities can better adjust in their environment with co-operation and participation of their parents, siblings, friends family members and caregivers. These caregivers can enhance the quality of lives of persons with special needs with basic training for home management and counselling. Those persons with disability who cannot attend the Centre for Special Education at Umang, we provide orientation for better home management and counselling. This program is aimed at benefiting those persons with disability
who are unable to reach the campus on regular basis, for example, outstation clients
who are very severely challenged and cannot benefit from a regular program
who are enrolled in a mainstream school and need support for special needs.

For such children, an individual program is developed with clear short term goals after an assessment of the child. Caregivers and parents are then trained to carry out these specific activities as per the respective programs and regular feedback and follow-up is maintained. Trained counsellors interact and counsel the caregivers, parents, siblings and other family members to facilitate and improve the overall life of children with disabilities. This helps in facilitating sound and positive decisions on child's treatment and education by providing information on choices and options available.

The counseling services have been instrumental in offering support to parents and families in times of intense distress by enabling them to cope with emotional setbacks, adjust to the disability as well as to understand what the condition is and how the quality of life could be best enhanced. Whenever deemed fit, the children are referred to other medical professionals and specialists for investigations and treatment.

 Advocacy and Awareness

"What makes me different is not the way I am, but the way you look at me."
Umang believes in connecting with the community at large to sensitise them towards persons with disabilities and to seek participation from the community to make a considerable difference in the lives of persons with disabilities. To steer the mission ahead, the dedicated Advocacy and Awareness Group at Umang plans and implements number of projects to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. The Group focuses on implementation of the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Act.

It also works towards creating awareness and changing public perception. Issues concerning the rights of the persons with disabilities are addressed through advocacy programs for policy makers, professionals, mainstream educational institutions, community and other stake holders.

Umang strongly advocates the issues of disability and has been building partnerships, associations and establishing networks with several national and international organizations. The Group was also instrumental in forming an active advocacy group of the largest registered Parents (of persons with disabilities) body in Rajasthan. To spread awareness, the group undertakes advocacy through media and other means of communication like, word of mouth, media campaigns.

The students at Umang conduct street shows as well as present radio and television programs to highlight the issues related to disability. These efforts often receive extensive media coverage. The Group actively organises and participates in meetings, seminars and conferences. Students and staff from the mainstream educational establishments, officers from the government departments and other organisations are invited to visit and spend time at Umang. One of the major role of the cell is to liaison with State Government to implementation of PWD Act.

Umang is a member of almost all the committees of State Government that look into issues like employment, pension for disabled, issuing of disability certificates, etc.

 State Resource Centre
Umang regularly engages in building capacities of various mainstream educational establishments, public and private organisations, parents and professionals through the development and implementation of various interventions. Some are:
Umang is the State Nodal Agency Centre of National Trust, Government of India.
Umang acts as a resource centre on disability for mainstream educational institutions, public and private organisations.
Umang encourages knowledge sharing and capacity building through training of
  • staff at mainstream educational institutions
  • officials of various government departments, public and private organisations
  • caregivers, parents, siblings and other family members
Umang also aims to strengthen family support services and institution based health services for persons with cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities, mental challenges, autism, and other neurological conditions.

 Vocational Training and Employment
The underlying ideology of Umang stands to believe in respectful mainstreaming of all persons, regardless of their disability. Persons with disability are a part of the community and therefore should be enabled to work in the community for a competitive remuneration with the same dignity and respect as others. The Vocational Training Unit provides regular training to full-time trainees and pre-vocational groups, above the age of 18 years, in a number of trades such as:

Stitching and Embroidery
Catering and Food Preservation
Block Printing
Handmade Paper Products
The Unit not only aims to develop specific skills, but also believes in developing certain behaviors that would enable the trainees to obtain and retain employment. A vocational training program is developed for students after an assessment of their ability, manual and physical skills, work behavior, vocational interest and identification of trade.The products manufactured during training are sold through various outlets, counters in shops and reputed hotels as well as through participation in various fairs and school fetes.

The Unit takes up time bound orders and delivers the orders with specifications. Another important aspect of the Unit is to connect with potential employers, especially with people who are proactive in recruiting persons with disabilities.

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