Teachers play a crucial role in the growth — academic and mental — of students. For children with disabilities, their teachers’ importance is even greater because they require specialised attention and assistance. On Teachers Day, TOI met educationists who have gone that extra mile for children with special needs, from initiating change in government schools and making scientific interventions available to the needy to nurturing their potential through sports.
Seema Tuli, principal of Amar Jyoti School in east Delhi, will long be feted for her step to make sign language a compulsory third language in her institute, irrespective of whether the student is hearing impaired or not. “In my school, there is a ratio of 60:40 of children with and without disability,” Tuli said. “I decided to ensure that everyone communicated in the same way and so I made learning sign language mandatory as part to the three language formula. Children as young as four years are growing together with others in the school, so the teachers don’t need to tell the regular students to help others.” The walls of Amar Jyoti School have sign language symbols painted on them for constant familiarity.