1. Background and Rationale:
The National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 and the Programme of Action (1992) gives the
basic policy framework for education, emphasizing on correcting the existing inequalities. It
stresses on reducing dropout rates, improving learning achievements and expanding access to
students who have not had an easy opportunity to be a part of the general system. The NPE,
1986 envisaged some measures for integrating of children with physical and mental handicap
with the general community as equal partners, preparing them for their normal growth and
development and enabling them to face life with courage and confidence.
India has also been a signatory to international declarations like the Salamanca Statement and
Framework for Action on Special Needs Education (1994) and the Biwako Millennium
Framework for Action (2002) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
2006 that emphasize the need for fundamental educational policy shifts to enable general
schools to include children with disabilities.
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Integrated Education for the Disabled Children (revised
1992) is presently being implemented in States and UTs in over 90,000 schools benefiting over
2,00,000 children with disabilities. The scheme was introduced with a view to providing
educational opportunities for children with disabilities in general schools, to facilitate their
retention in the school system. It provides for facilities to students with disabilities including
expenses on books and stationery, expenses on uniforms, transport allowance, reader
allowance, escort allowance, hostel accommodation and actual cost of equipment. The scheme
also supports the appointment of special teachers, provision for resource rooms and removal of
architectural barriers in schools.
An important policy development after 1992 has been the enactment of Persons with
Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protections of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
Article 26 (a) of the Act makes it a statutory responsibility on the part of Central, State and
Local Governments to provide free education in an “appropriate environment” for all children
with disabilities up to the age of 18 years. Article 26(b) of the Act calls upon appropriate
governments and local authorities to promote the integration of students with disabilities in
normal schools. In addition, the Act stipulates that the appropriate Governments and the local
authorities, inter alia, shall make schemes for varieties of educational initiatives and strategies.
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has set time-bound targets
for the achievement of Universal Elementary Education (UEE) by 2010. With “zero rejection’
as its cornerstone, the programme provides support for the inclusion of children with
disabilities in general schools at the elementary level. SSA has a provision for the inclusive
education component @ Rs.1200 per child with special needs per annum. Under the
programme, over 20 lakh children with disabilities have been identified and over 15 lakh
children with disabilities in the age group 6-14 years have been enrolled in general schools. The
increase in enrolment at the elementary level is expected in the coming years to lead to a surge
in the demand for secondary education. This will include children with disabilities.
The National Curriculum Framework on School Education (NCF - 2005) recommends
making the curriculum flexible and appropriate to accommodate the diversity of school children including those with disability in both cognitive and non-cognitive areas.
a. The CABE committee report on the Universalization of Secondary Education
(June, 2005) recommends that the guiding principle of Universal Secondary Education
should be Universal Access, Equality and Social Justice, Relevance and Development, and
Structural and Curricular Considerations. The CABE Committee Report on “Girls’
Education and the Common School System” has recommended making the curriculum
flexible and appropriate to accommodate the diversity of school children including those
with disability in both cognitive and non-cognitive areas.
The National Action Plan for Inclusion in Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities
(IECYD) developed by the MHRD (November -2005) emphasizes the inclusion of children and
young persons with disability in all general educational settings from Early Childhood to
Higher Education. The goal of the Action Plan is –“to ensure the inclusion of children and
youth with disabilities in all available general educational settings, by providing them with a
learning environment that is available, accessible, affordable and appropriate.” Outputs 1, 2
and 4 of the Action Plan are of relevance to secondary education.
Currently accurate data are not available in respect of the exact number of children with
disabilities transiting from the elementary to the secondary level. As per census 2001 about 2%
of the total population constitutes persons with disabilities. Projections relating to the number
of children with disabilities entering the secondary level will need to be made therefore on
certain key assumptions:
a. Sufficient inputs and crucial necessary interventions would have been provided at
the ECCE and Elementary level for children with disabilities to ensure their
retention and achievement levels through classes which would prepare them
adequately for entering the secondary sector.
b. The secondary school system would adopt structural, curricular and pedagogical
reforms that will extend the access of secondary education to this hitherto
marginalized section of society and make their participation at this level genuinely
Children with disabilities constitute one of the largest groups that are still outside the fold of the
general education system. Under the existing IEDC Scheme it has not been possible to cover all
disabled children primarily because implementation has been based on receipt of viable
proposals from the implementing agencies. No conscious effort has been made to target all
disabled children. As SSA supports inclusion of children with special needs at the early
childhood education and elementary education level, it is desirable to introduce a scheme for
the disabled children at secondary stage. The scheme for IEDSS is therefore envisaged to
enable all children and young persons with disabilities to have access to secondary education
and to improve their enrolment, retention and achievement in the general education system.
Under the scheme every school is proposed to be made disabled-friendly.
2. Aims and Objectives
The Centrally Sponsored IEDSS Scheme aims to:
a. enable all students with disabilities completing eight years of elementary
schooling an opportunity to complete four years of secondary schooling (classes IX
to XII) in an inclusive and enabling environment
b. provide educational opportunities and facilities to students with disabilities in the
general education system at the secondary level (classes IX to XII).
c. support the training of general school teachers to meet the needs of children with
disabilities at the secondary level.
The objectives of the scheme will be to ensure that
a. Every child with disability will be identified at the secondary level and his
educational need assessed.
b. Every student in need of aids and appliances, assistive devices, will be provided
c. All architectural barriers in schools are removed so that students with disability
have access to classrooms, laboratories, libraries and toilets in the school.
d. Each student with disability will be supplied learning material as per his/ her
e. All general school teachers at the secondary level will be provided basic training
to teach students with disabilities within a period of three to five years.
f. Students with disabilities will have access to support services like the
appointment of special educators, establishment of resource rooms in every block .
g. Model schools are set up in every state to develop good replicable practices in
3. Target Group
The scheme will cover all children of age 14+ passing out of elementary schools and
studying in secondary stage in Government, local body and Government-aided schools, with
one or more disabilities as defined under the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995) and the
National Trust Act (1999) in the age group 14+ to 18+ (classes IX to XII), namely
b. Low vision
c. Leprosy cured
d. Hearing impairment
e. Locomotor disabilities
f. Mental retardation
g. Mental Illness
i. Cerebral Palsy
And may eventually cover (i) Speech impairment and (ii) Learning Disabilities, etc.
Girls with disabilities will receive special focus and efforts would be made under the scheme
to help them gain access to secondary schools, as also to information and guidance for
developing their potential.
4. Type of Scheme
This is a centrally sponsored scheme under which the Central Government will assist the
States/Union Territories and autonomous bodies of stature in the field of education in its
implementation on the basis of the criteria laid down. Assistance for all the items covered in the
scheme will be on 100 per cent basis but assistance for the programme would be subject to policy
guidelines issued and initiatives to be taken by the appropriate government for implementing the
educational provisions of the P.W.D. Act.
5. Components of the Scheme
5.1 It is proposed to provide for educational facilities under this scheme for all children
with disabilities that are included in general schools at the secondary and senior secondary
level (classes IX to XII).
5.2 The Scheme will include assistance for two kinds of components, viz.:-
I Student-oriented components, and
II Other components (e.g. those relating to infrastructure, teacher training,
awareness generation, etc.)
5.2.I For the first group of components, it is proposed to provide assistance to States/ Union
Territories / Autonomous bodies @ Rs.3000/- per disabled child per annum for specified items, on
the pattern of SSA which provides assistance @ Rs.1200/- per disabled child per annum for the
elementary level. (This rate was fixed in 2001-2002). The State Government will provide a top up of
Rs.600/- per child per annum towards scholarship for each child. This amount of Rs.3000/- per
disabled child per annum may be spent on the following components:-
(i) Identification and assessment of children with disabilities. The assessment team
may include an interdisciplinary expert team of special educators, clinical
psychologists, therapists, doctors and any other professional support based on the
students’ needs. (Sr. No. I. 1 of Appendix-I)
(ii) Provision of aids and appliances to all students with disabilities needing them, if
these are not already being provided for through existing schemes like ADIP,
State Schemes, voluntary organizations, Rotary clubs etc. (Sr. No. I.8 of
(iii) Access to learning material ensuring that each disabled student will have access to
learning material as per his/ her requirement like Braille textbooks, audiotapes,
talking books etc, textbooks in large prints and any other material needed. (Sr.
No. I. 8 of Appendix-I)
(iv) Provision of facilities like transport facilities, hostel facilities, scholarships, books,
uniforms, assistive devices, support staff (readers, amanuensis). (Sr. No. I.1 to I.5
and I.7 to I.11 of Appendix I). A suggested list of assistive devices as per different
disability needs at individual child level and at resource room level is provided in
Appendix II. This, however, may not be taken as the exhaustive list.
(v) Stipend for Girl Students with Disabilities Since Girl students with disabilities
face discrimination, they, in addition to availing facilities under all schemes
specially targeting girls’ education, will be given a stipend @ Rs.200 per month at
the secondary level to encourage their participation up to senior secondary level.
(Sr. No. I.6 of Appendix-I).
(vi) The use of ICT: Access to technology is especially relevant for the disabled as it
increases their access to a vast amount of information not otherwise available.
Computers provided to students in secondary schools will also be made accessible
to those with disabilities. The scheme will provide for the purchase of appropriate
technology by way of special software such as Screen Reading software like
JAWS, SAFA, etc. for the visually impaired and speech recognition software for
the hearing impaired to develop computer vocabulary for the hearing impaired
and modified hardware like adapted keyboards. (Sr. No. I.13 of Appendix-I).
(vii) Development of teaching learning material :-The scheme will cover the expenses
incurred on organizing the mobilization of such support as certified by the School
Principal/Educational Administrators. Financial assistance under this scheme will
be available for purchase/production of instructional materials for the disabled
and also for purchase of equipment required therefore. Wherever necessary, the
available material will be translated and produced in regional languages. The
scheme will also support workshops for adaptation in the curricular content and
development of supplementary material, self-learning material for teachers and
students at the secondary level of school education. (Sr. No. I.14 of Appendix-I)
(viii) External support from an interdisciplinary team of experts such as educational
psychologists, speech and occupational therapists, physiotherapists, mobility
instructors and medical experts has to be coordinated at the local level. Support
can be made available at the cluster level and needs of children with disabilities in
a cluster of schools may be addressed. The expenses incurred on mobilizing such
support in the form of TA/DA and consultancy fee will be covered under the
scheme for children and young persons with disabilities at the secondary school
level. Funds may be drawn from the child specific funds of Rs. 3000/- per child.
(Sr. No. I.12 of Appendix-I)
5.2.II Costs of non-beneficiary-oriented components like teacher training, construction
and equipping of resource rooms, creating model schools, research and monitoring,
etc. will be covered separately. These components would be as follows:-
(i) Removal of architectural barriers to ensure that students with disabilities have access to
each classroom, laboratory, library and toilet in the school. A detailed manual laying out
norms and guidelines for accessibility required by different types of disability will be
developed at the central level with the help of the Office Chief Commissioner of Persons
with Disabilities (CCPD), and the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). The scheme will
support development of the accessible physical environment in existing secondary school
buildings. (Sr. No. II.8 of Appendix-I)
(ii) Training of special/ general school teachers : Special teachers to be trained through
regular programmes run by the National Institutes/Apex Institutes of RCI or under
any other programme of the States. There should be a component of in-service
training for resource teachers to equip them with handling of other disability area.
All general teachers at the secondary level will be trained in particular strategies
like making educationally useful assessments, planning an individualized and needspecific
curriculum, teaching styles which include audiovisual aids, appropriate
instructional strategies, etc. (Sr. No. II.4 of Appendix-I).
(iii) Orientation of principals, educational administrators: This training will include
developing strategies for management of inclusive education. This will include
teachers (both special and general), local educational administrators, Principals /
Headmasters of Institutions, parents/ guardians of the disabled children. (Sr. No.
II.5 of Appendix-I)
(iv) Strengthening of training institutions and assistance to existing organization/NGOs
to develop teacher's training programme in inclusive schooling and for
educational interventions for specific disabilities. (Sr. No. II.9 of Appendix-I)
(v) Provision of resource rooms and equipment for the resource rooms in one school
per block/urban cluster. Norms in terms of size, accessible features will be
developed with the support of relevant agencies at the Central and State level. A
suggested list of assistive devices/equipment for the resource room is given in the
Appendix-II. (Sr. No. II 6 & 7 of Appendix-I)
(vi) Appointment of Special Educators: Support from special educators will differ at the
secondary level from that at the elementary level. Special Educators will be
appointed in the ratio 1:5. Ideally every school where disabled children are enrolled
should have the services of at least one special teacher. If the numbers of children
are less, this teacher could also work for other schools in the cluster. For note on
Appointment of Special Educators/Resource Teachers see Appendix III. (Sr. No. II.1
(vii) Development of some existing schools as Model Inclusive Schools so as to accelerate
the process of education of children and youth with disabilities with initiatives from
parents, teachers, community and respective governments. Norms will be developed
at the central level with the help of relevant state and national level agencies, to
provide the whole range of support for these schools. Funds for these will be
charged towards the research component. (Sr. No. II.10 of Appendix-I)
(viii) Administration, Research &Development, and Monitoring & Evaluation. These will
form an integral part of the IEDSS Scheme. The State Government/NGOs/
Autonomous bodies will have to formulate proposals for designing and developing
new assistive devices, ICT technology, teaching aids, special teaching materials or
such other items as are necessary to give a child with disability equal opportunities
in education. Every year 5% of the funds available at the Central level will be
earmarked for administration, innovative and R&D projects and monitoring and
evaluation. (Sr. No. II.10 of Appendix-I)
(ix) Environment Building Programmes upto Rs.10,000/- per programme at local level. The scheme will provide funds only in cases where there are no other provisions for the
items under other schemes operative at State/Central level.
5.3 Statement at Appendix 1 gives the proposed financial parameters.
6. Other support-
At the secondary level, all children with disabilities included under the general education
system may not require adaptations in the teaching learning process and evaluation
procedures. However there may be some who would require some adaptations. The
States/UTs/ Autonomous bodies can take the support of special teachers, SCERTs, DIETs,
Special Schools, Resource Centres, Non-Governmental Organizations, State Boards and
any other community institutions available at the local level for this purpose.
Adaptations in Examination procedures: Some children with disabilities may require some
adaptations in the evaluation procedures according to their special needs. The existing
evaluation procedures can be reviewed at the State level and modified accordingly.
Provision for alternative modes of examination for children and youth with disabilities
should be considered and provided by the Boards of Examination. This is being visualized
mainly as a process of issuing appropriate orders and notifications by the Boards
concerned. Separate budget as such is not planned under the scheme.
7. Partnerships and Linkages
Linkages with the different Ministries/Organizations like Ministry of Social Justice &
Empowerment, Government of India, Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI); National
Trust etc. will help in creating convergence of resources and funds for addressing the needs
of children with disabilities. Coordination Committees at various levels i.e. State, District
and sub- district levels will help the planning and implementation of inclusive education at
the secondary level.
Formation of Parents / Guardians Groups at community/ village level for sharing of
information regarding benefits available from the scheme for their wards will be
8. Regulations for Relaxation of Rules
State Governments/UT Administrations/ Autonomous bodies/ other implementing agencies
will make provisions for relaxation of rules relating to admissions, minimum or maximum
age limit for admission, promotion, examination procedure so as to facilitate in improving
access of children with disabilities to education. At the Secondary level, young persons with
disabilities beyond 18 yrs. will be supported for a period upto 4 years to help them complete
9. Implementing Agencies
The Scheme will be implemented by the Education Departments of State Governments / UT
Administrations directly. The States / UTs may involve Non Governmental Organizations
(NGOs) having experience in the field of education of the disabled in the implementation of
the scheme. The Scheme could also be implemented by autonomous organizations of stature
having experience in the field of education and / or rehabilitation of the disabled. There will
be an inbuilt-flexibility in implementation strategies and practices, depending upon the
contextual needs and the authority to interpret or reinterpret the provisions of the scheme
will lie with the Secretary, School Education & Literacy, Government of India.
10. Monitoring and Evaluation
Appropriate structures will be established at the Central, State, District, and block and city
level to ensure obtaining feedback from functionaries at different levels.
The implementing agency should set up an Administrative Cell to implement, monitor and
evaluate the programme. The existing Administrative Cell set up under the IEDC Scheme
should serve the purpose. In States / UTs where the Administrative Cell has not been set
up, the State Education Department will initiate action to set it up. The Cell will consist
of Deputy Director (in the scale of pay applicable in the State Government), a Co-ordinator
(who will be a psychologist) in the scale equable to University Lecturers), a Stenographer
and an LDC in the pay scale applicable to such posts in the State Govt. / UT
At the national level, a comprehensive monitoring mechanism would be evolved in MHRD
with involvement of National Apex level Institutes like the NCERT and / or NIEPA and / or
reputed voluntary organizations and /or individual experts and /or autonomous bodies.
Data on Enrollment and performance of children with disabilities at the secondary stage in
proforma to be developed at the central level will need to be maintained by the states.
The State Governments will oversee the utilization of money and collect the quantitative
data, and prepare state specific report and forward it to the MHRD monitoring unit. State
appointed local monitoring agency/ authority would follow the guidelines and use the
common evaluation format. The monitoring arrangements will include both qualitative and
quantitative data. In addition to monitoring, review exercises can be undertaken
periodically. Parents and village education committees will be involved in the monitoring
process especially for qualitative aspects in schools.
Collaborations with SCERTs, State and District Resource Centres, block, cluster level
resources will be developed for this purpose. University Departments, IASEs and CTEs will
be involved, wherever available and feasible. In all these endeavors, performance w.r.t.
girls and members of SC/ ST will be specially monitored.
Both State and Central Government may engage outside agencies like Institutes and NGOs,
which have experience in the field of education to evaluate the impact of the scheme. Such
evaluation can be financed under the scheme.
5% of the total budget will be earmarked towards administrative cost, research, monitoring
and evaluation. (Sr. No. II.10 of Appendix I).