Last year’s Tata Interactive Learning Disability Forum (TLDF) attracted delegates from around the world, comprising pediatricians, psychiatrists, instructional designers and special needs educators, as well as parents of children with learning difficulties.
Conducted in association with the LTMG Hospital, the event takes place on 27th November in Mumbai, India. Other organisations supporting the event include:
• nasen is the leading UK professional association embracing all special and additional educational needs and disabilities, promoting the education, training, development and support of all those working within this field. Membership of nasen is an invaluable source of advice, support and practical solutions, offering an exclusive and vital range of benefits that support teachers, governors, teaching assistants and the entire education support network to deliver high quality inclusive practice. nasen also contributes greatly and has a strong influence on policy and practice in the area of special educational needs through consultation and joint projects with other professional bodies.
• Maharashtra Dyslexia Association (MDA), a non-profit body of parents and professionals committed to safeguarding the rights of people with learning disabilities to an appropriate education.
According to J C Mistry, who heads the LD initiatives at TIS: “Learning disability is a life-long disorder that affects the manner in which individuals select, retain and express information. They are also termed as ‘learning differences’, based on the fact that certain individuals learn differently.
”Although several products are available for the identification and remediation of learning disabilities, most of these are either unable to sustain the progress of a disabled child or not aligned to government standards. To overcome this limitation, we develop end-to end solutions that screen and identify children with learning disabilities, and offer remedial action as well as a tracking system to monitor their progress,” Mistry added.
Topics at this year’s TLDF include pre-testing in schools; handling the LD student in class, and counselling the LD child and her/his parents. Lorraine Petersen, CEO of nasen, gives the keynote speech – on ‘multidisciplinary approaches to learning disabilities’.
Other speakers include Dr Madhuri Kulkarni, dean of LMTG Hospital in Mumbai; paediatrics specialist Dr Sunil Karande; Patricia Barthorpe, the UK-based special education needs consultant; and Dr Kersi Chawda, a consultant child psychiatrist at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai.
“While the TLDF 2006 successfully spread awareness around the issue of LD, TLDF 2007 takes it forward by focusing on multi-disciplinary approaches to LD certification and remedial interventions,” explained TIS’s CEO, Sanjaya Sharma. “The aim is to involve the different levels - schools, counsellors, parents, hospitals and so on - and bring them together in an attempt to recognise and support LD children by making the LD certification process more efficient and working on remedial interventions with the LD child.”
Among the last conference’s findings were that technology, especially computers, being non-judgmental and fast, could aid children with LD to learn since they allow them to practise their lessons and, by giving them the control over that learning, can also empower the children to learn.
“And, while experts can tell us what needs to be done, TIS can actually make it happen by bringing its project management approach to the challenge,” Sharma pledged.
About Tata Interactive Systems and the TLDF
The TLDF is organised by Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), a global e-learning leader with experience and expertise in every stage of learning disabilities’ (LD) remediation: pre-assessments, screening, courseware, post-assessments, reporting and teacher training. Beyond developing solutions for clients, TIS regards the solution of LD issues as a corporate social responsibility.
Some of TIS’s LD-related initiatives include:
• Supporting the LD Clinic (Sion Hospital, Mumbai), one of the few certified institutions of its kind in India, dedicated to detecting and treating LD.
• Developing a unique book, ‘Brain Teasers’, designed to nurture the innate creativity of these special children and empower them to achieve their potential
• Providing free-of-cost remedial courseware, developed for clients, to help students at the LD Clinic discover the joys of learning
• Providing and facilitating a Special Needs Educator Certification Course aimed at increasing the number of certified Special Needs Educators, specifically to deal with India’s large population.
About Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)
Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), a global leader in e-learning, is a part of the $22bn Tata Group. Truly international, TIS has a presence across the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Japan, India, and mainland Europe.
Further information from:
J.C Mistry, Tata Interactive Systems, +91 22 66438000