Inclusive Education - The Time of the Hour

Inclusive Education - The Time of the Hour


Vasudha Prakash, who is a professional academician and counsellor, with a doctorate in Special Education from Rutgers University, New Jersey, founded the V-Excel Educational Trust in 2001. What once started as a small learning centre with just 11 students has now become a registered charitable trust that has impacted over 35,000 special-needs individuals.
Vasudha has always had a burning passion to work in the education sector in India. During her doctorate days in the US, she would base her research papers on India, trying to grasp the status of special education in this country. After moving to India, she made an appearance on a TV programme that garnered a lot of attention from parents, who brought to her notice that there weren’t enough schools or services for special-needs children. This sparked something inside her and she vowed to do something for the current state of things.
After doing some extensive research and planning, she went on to start V-Excel. Today, V-Excel has nine satellite centres across India, including Chennai, Tirunelveli, Erode, and Nashik. They are called a lifespan education centre as they start with early intervention and assess the child through, mapping them for a suitable future for themselves.
V-Excel holds workshops to spread the message of inclusivity and help people understand the idea. They work with over 100 schools, constantly helping them to understand the concept and method of inclusion. They conduct a three-day workshop called Class Apart with primary and senior school teachers. They also conduct workshops for doctors and advise them to refer children with special needs to early intervention, and not to medicate them unless they have seizures or other neurological problems. Vasudha is pretty active herself, as she holds workshops for parents in the giant corporate sector and never misses a chance to talk on various forums, either.
Along the lines of providing early intervention for children between the age of 0-7, the centre also puts emphasis on education, vocational training and recreational activities. Their activities range from using art, music, movement, play, occupational therapy to providing remedial intervention for children from regular schools who have difficulty coping with academic and non-academic level expected of their age, to children with developmental disabilities.
The centre also plans to create a mobile-based application for early intervention assessments, as Vasudha feels apps have a much better reach in today’s day and age. Lastly, Vasudha plans to open more centres, approximately 10 to 15 centres in the upcoming years.