Winner: NIEPMD [National Institute for Empowerment of People with Multiple Disabilities] – Early Stage
Specific Learning Difficulty (SLD) is a disorder, manifesting as the inability to read, write, process languages or perform calculations. As SLD affects particular learning areas, there is no overall intellectual impairment. It is estimated that 1 in 5 school-going children in India has SLD but since it is a hidden disability, its prevalence is frequently underestimated. Aside from academic barriers, these children suffer from environmental barriers like stigmatisation, lack of empathy and parental acceptance, one-dimensional teaching/learning methodologies and lack of awareness. These factors culminate in delayed identification, thereby impeding access to timely and the right intervention.
DL is an innovative learning platform that promotes early identification, awareness and sensitivity on SLD. DL addresses the problems caused by delays in screening a child by offering an easy to use screening tool thereby negating the need for a technical expert in screening. The screening tool, available in multiple vernacular languages can be used by parents, teachers at the comfort of their homes. Equipped with built- in awareness videos, scientifically validated, screening questions and content that it easily understandable, it is envisaged that this platform will help in early identification, enhance parental empathy and improve sensitivity on SLD.
Blink Foundation, founded in the year 2015 is an organization working for children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD) like dyslexia. Started by Mr Arun Fernandez, a dyslexic, Blink focuses on promoting awareness, early identification and timely remedial education with a view to improve the academic performance and well-being of SLD children. Since inception, Blink has screened 15784 children and sensitised 1280 people. The foundation has recently developed an online screening and awareness platform called DL (Different Learners). Through this platform, Blink hopes to empower parents and communities to bridge gaps, inspire action and positively impact children with SLD.