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The Counselors’ Club , Parwarish, a platform to build a community of caregivers such as counselors, special educators, teachers and students pursuing their masters in psychology and allied field, held its session, ‘Disabling Disability: Paving the Way for inclusive classrooms on 2nd November 2019. It was the third session for Counselors’ Club in 2019.
This session was centered on changing the narrative of Disability, or the perspective of looking at persons with Disability- from Sympathy to Empathy. It was also aimed at de-constructing the idea of the ‘normal’, with the standpoint that normalcy is a label created by the society and similarly, that which is ‘away from the normal’ is also a label given by society. The intention of this session was to create classrooms of empowerment in schools all over Delhi and further in the nation.
The session was attended by 40 participants- counselors (school counselors, free lancers, career counselors) government and private school special educators, social workers from several organizations, teachers and students pursuing their masters. The schools that sent in their educators included St Colomba’s, Ambience School, Pragyanam, Apeejay School, and Lovely Public School. Special Educators and teachers from South Delhi Municipal Schools of Madangiri, Katwaria Sarai Girls, RK Puram sector 12 and Malviya Nagar also attended the same, through the permission of the zonal head and Deputy Director of Education, South zone, Delhi- Mr Surender Kr Bhandoria. NGOs such as Lakshya- Ek Prayas, The Study Hall and Delhi Council of Children welfare also sent in their resource personnel.
Various esteemed personnel working in the field of empowerment of persons with Disability were invited as guest speakers for the session. Mr Faisal Ashraf, a disability activist and founder of Glad Wheels Life, a start up with automobile solutions for persons with locomotive disability, Ms Nirmit Goel- the author of ‘My Experiences in the Zoo’, Mr George Abraham- the founder of the World Cricket Council and Cricket World Cup for the blind, and Founder and Chairperson of Score Foundation, Mr T D Dhariyal- the State Commissioner for Persons with Disability, New Delhi; who shared their lived experiences and varied accomplishments in this field.
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The Participants had several powerful takeaways- a) being present to and removing the labels which restrict children with disability (such as weak, vulnerable, dependent, helpless) b) recognizing the inherent potential in all children to achieve their goals in life- ‘no limitness’, c) providing access or exposure of all kinds- resources, different inclusive methods of teaching, a supportive environment to children in classrooms and thus creating classrooms of empowerment across all schools.

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