The onslaught brought on by the pandemic left us scurrying to deal with the sudden digitization, but it also taught us that in distance learning the online mode can be impactful if paired with adequate technological infrastructure, digital learning resources and empowered trainers. It not only increases the outreach but also reduces major expenses on travel, boarding etc. By creating an adequate and appropriate infrastructure, quality learning resources, capacity building of trainers we aim to overcome the above barriers.
Muskaan has created services for adults with intellectual disabilities and we have always linked skill training to employment. Each new trainee is provided training in soft skills as well as vocational skills to prepare them for employment. Three successful models of employment have been created to cater to diverse abilities. These are Mainstream employment, Assisted employment centres and Art & activity centres. Trained candidates are placed in hotels and corporates for various job roles and are earning at par with other employees. In our Assisted employment centre, they produce a range of quality products for retail and bulk sale and are paid stipend for the same. Art & activity centre engages PwIDs requiring high support, in many simple craft activities which provides self-worth to them.
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We have been Addressing the opportunity gap that exists for PwID’s and enabling them to lead lives of dignity and impact others around them.
We have trained more than 1000 students and in the last few years 200+ have been gainfully employed in various models of employment created by Muskaan. 1000s of families have benefited by capacity building & counselling services. Through various outreach programs we have connected with over 500 professionals working in different fields which makes our indirect reach to more than 5000 persons with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities. Our awareness efforts have impacted lakhs of people in diverse sectors.
We have taken up this new initiative to build a Digital Resource Library - Learn with Muskaan one of a kind for adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Through this we want to build the capacity of millions of trainers who will then create better lives for PwIDs by building their capacities.
In this Digital world where PwIDs are not even allowed to touch devices as these can be spoilt, we have been using these devices with them over the years to strengthen their cognitive skills which improves their learning potential. Pandemic pushed us to think beyond and we successfully built online training programs for them with use of digital learning content. The success of this program, which was visible through participation of 150 students including those who had difficulties in attention, inspired us to build resources for a larger outreach as there are millions of people with intellectual disabilities devoid of any services. We aim to reach out through other NGOs and organisations. We also aim to develop a team of Master trainers & related professionals at Muskaan who will sustain these initiatives in future.
Apart from outreach, this platform will provide an opportunity to preserve and share the wealth of experience of Muskaan in training and Employment of PwIDs as we started our first vocational training program for adults with ID when no one was even thinking about the adulthood needs of this section of the population. We created our first and most successful model of employment when society did not view them as worthy of contributing anything and being part of the workforce.
In this Library, there will be sections for Professionals/Teachers and Families.
In the Teachers' section there will be various courses on Life Skills and Vocational Skills.
Each Course will further have different modules based on Curriculum developed and used successfully over years by Muskaan Teachers. Each course will have a facilitator’s Guide supported by content in form of Videos and PPTs for self- learning and content for training of PwIDs.
This library will be an evolving library so with time more and more content will be uploaded on this portal, and this will keep developing with the feedback of people who will be using it.
We aim to convert our wealth of experience into a resource which can be widely used & shared for a maximum outreach. Our Digital Resource Library will pave the way making facilitation easier and provide ready resources, something we didn’t have when we started. By putting the right kind of marketing initiatives, we can facilitate change to provide a quality of life to PwIDs in a wider geographical area phase wise.
We thrive when coming up with innovative ideas but also understand that a smart concept should be supported with faucibus sapien odio measurable results.