Learning Centres have been established in the four regions of the country to develop expertise and knowledge on deafblindness. The Regional Learning Centres (RLCs) assess information gaps and requirements of the region and accordingly develop programmes and learning materials for deafblind children and adults, families of deafblind individuals, educators, medical practitioners, government official and general public. These materials are developed and designed in user friendly formats.
The information developed will support early identification at health centres, increase knowledge on working with deafblind children, promote the rights of deafblind people, make resources available for family members, provide training modules for government programmes etc.
Currently there are three Regional Learning Centres:
- Blind People's Association (India), Ahmedabad – RLC West
- National Association for the Blind, New Delhi – RLC North
- Holy Cross Service Society, Trichy – RLC South
The RLC concept is further decentralised to the state level with the setting up of State Learning Centres (SLCs) on deafblindness in five states of India. These are:
- National Association for the Blind, Unit Maharashtra- SLC Maharashtra
- Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind, Karnataka- SLC Karnataka
- Caritas Goa, Panjim- SLC Goa
- Kottayam Social Service Society, Kottayam- SLC Kerala
- UMA Educational & Technical Society, Kakinada- SLC Andhra Pradesh
There is a need to develop human resources that can address the care, rehabilitation and education of deafblind childen and adults. To meet this gap, we developed the first curriculum for a diploma course on deafblindness in India in 2000. There are now three institutes in India that offer this course and every year about 60 teachers graduate from these institutions.
Since we began, we have trained 2600 teachers on appropriate techniques for teaching children with deafblindness in mainstream schools and issues relating to deafblindness.