Manoj Godara, Chandigarh, September 30: The inaugural session of two pre-conference workshops of the 13th International Portage Conference was held at ICSSR complex, Panjab University, Chandigarh.
After welcoming the delegates, Prof Tehal Kohli, President INPA and Chief Organizer of the conference (13th IPC) gave an introduction of INPA (Indian National Portage Association) and its 30 successful years of service.
Mollie White (USA) introduced the theme of the workshop. She said that the biggest challenge today is the communication between children and the adults. She proposed to discuss the related issues during workshop.
Kabeljit Atwal, (USA) also gave a peek into what she planned to cover in the workshop on Autism.
Ram Niwas, Home Secretary-cum-Education Secretary was the Chief Guest. In his Inaugural address, he highlighted that despite the policies and programmes floated by the government, persons with disabilities continue to suffer. Though there is reservation for persons with disabilities, yet the recruitments are rampant with biases. Interventions are missing and whatever is available is mostly in form of cosmetic interventions. He informed the delegates that Chandigarh Administration has won the 1st prize for the Welfare Schemes for the disabled. He invited the NGOs to partnership with the Chandigarh Administration so that the underutilized infrastructure can be utilized to the optimum. Listing the numerous initiatives by administration, he further stressed that still there is a lot of scope for improvement. On Prof Kohli’s request for space, he readily offered the space available at Ashadeep in sector 46.
Prof Ajaib Singh from the Department of Adult and Continuing Education, Panjab University gave the presidential address.
Prof Yamaguchi and Machiko, both from Japan Portage Association, Japan conducted the workshop on Group Portage Training in Regular Classrooms. They discussed the basic technique of early intervention. The objective of the technique is to attain certain behaviour targets among children.
Simultaneously, Kabeljit conducted a workshop on Autism Spectrum Disorder wherein she discussed the symptoms, assessment and programmes for the children having autism.
Both the workshops continued till 5pm. The International Conference will start tomorrow and will continue till 3rd October, followed by a post-conference workshop on Joyful Inclusion.