After an eventful take off in 2019-2020, the project put into action the various programmes. A Project Implementation Plan was developed. Detailed reports were sent to APPI after nine and twelve months on the activities, outputs, outcomes and the learning’s and reflections which emerged during this period. A brief summary of the progress of the project is given below.
The pandemic led to the shutting down of all institutions and all our services moved online. Teaching had to become a blend of both, synchronous (happening in real time, through phone calls, zoom, live chats, allowing discussions) and asynchronous (unscheduled and self-paced through discussion boards, recorded lectures, videos, allowing students to complete assignments at their own time and pace) methods.
The present projects are all a part of ADAPT’s programme and are being partly supported by APPI. Under this project, beneficiaries, including children and youth with various disabilities and parents received support through online sessions. Along with academic sessions, they received treatment services like therapy, counselling and extra – curricular activities which facilitated holistic development even during the difficult times of lockdown. Beneficiaries and their families from all 4 centres were approached by our social workers who coordinated with the transdisciplinary team to provide the recommended services. Partnering and actively engaging with parents ensured that the health, physical and educational progress of our beneficiaries did not deteriorate. Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Individualized Development Plans (IDPs) were developed in the beginning of the year for each beneficiary and were reviewed every quarter to track progress. Long term and short term goals have been planned for every beneficiary. Co and extra – curricular activities such as music, dance, drama and art classes have helped maintain positivity.
Individual sessions increased as parents resumed work and could not attend the regular chasses. An increase in manpower has helped us to focus on the needs and challenges and to keep up the persistent follow up required.
Taking all the challenges in their strides, the beneficiaries prepared for their final exams which were in March. Despite the obstacles, all of them have done well with either an A or B grade. Alternate support was also provided to our beneficiary families through ration drives and travel support. Our services are transdisciplinary and the entire team worked together and tracked progress. To measure the success, parents were interviewed and sessions tracked and logged. Almost 200 meetings were held with parents both individually and in groups to address fears and challenges. As an outcome, parent support groups are being formed under the guidance of Dr. Mithu Alur and Dr. Pravina Shah. 200 virtual staff meetings of teachers and therapists have been held, and strategies for effective online teaching and therapy have been shared. Webinars were conducted and attended by staff on varied topics including counselling and behaviour management. Review and update Meetings took place by Dr. Alur and Dr. Sen to problem solve and address the challenges. Regular case conferences as well as in service training helped achieve the expected outcomes.
A system of collecting beneficiary data in the digital format has begun and we hope will support ease of data collection and improve the scope of monitoring support being provided.
A Project Implementation Plan (PIP) has been created which encapsulates the context and rationale for the project, the Key Deliverables of the Four Programmes, the Work Breakdown Structure, the Roles and Responsibilities and the Ornigram. This has enabled the team to meet the projected outcomes.
Some of the key learnings have been that the thrust has moved towards family centered interventions. Entire families have been involved in the provision of educational and therapeutic services to their children. There is more involvement of the fathers, which we have not seen earlier. During this time, families needed to connect often and regularly, else they felt disconnected. They had to be constantly reassured that the ‘virtual door’ was always open.
A field visit was organized for Ms. Archana Sudhakaran from APPI. She visited our centres at Bandra, Dharavi and the Skills Development Centre at Chembur and was extremely happy about the ongoing activities and appreciated our documentation and social model approach.