The Ministry of Education is planning to release a digitally inclusive curriculum including Accessible Digital Textbooks (ADTs) for all children, supplementary learning material, and sign language videos. These are suggestions under the guidelines approved by the ministry for online education for differently-abled children. A committee was set up to frame guidelines for online education for children with special needs. The committee has now released its report after approval from the ministry.
Assistive technology, simplified lessons, multimodal evaluation, etc. are to be included in the e-content for different-abled students.
The ministry in an official statement said that the curriculum will be developed based on “four principles namely: perceivable, operable, understandable and robust”. The guidelines suggest that the content of ADTs should be provided in multiple formats including text, audio, video, sign language etc with turn-on and turn-off features. Further, ADTs should provide flexibility to CwDs to respond to its content/exercises in multiple ways.
“These guidelines will initiate the creation of high-quality content for digital education to children with special needs. They are dynamic by nature, to be improved based on experience and advent of better technology,” said the ministry.
The use of digital technology to provide accessible e-content to Divyang students is among the recommendations suggested under the new National Education Policy (NEP-2020).
Guidelines also suggest the training of teachers and educators. “Teachers need to be trained to recognize different learning styles in the classroom and modify the content and pedagogy appropriately to meet the specific needs of learners in the classroom which is fit-for-user. Teachers may also require education and support on the use of technology to efficiently and effectively adapt it to achieve learning outcomes,” states the report.