Mobility Research and Training Program
Early in the development of the India pilot program, the directors recognized that a safer and more durable design for assisted mobility was only one aspect of a comprehensive solution for children with impaired mobility. To give children an excellent form of enhanced mobility with no place to go is an incomplete promise. What really is accomplished if these children are still excluded from the very limited educational and vocational opportunities that exist in the villages or communities where they live?
To genuinely address the underlying issues faced by children with impaired mobility, parallel resources and opportunities were developed that tap into the latent energies, dreams and aspirations of these children and youth. This includes:
The 26 children initially selected to participate in this program represent
a wide range of abilities and disabilities. Each of these children has shown
a strong capacity for helping to engage and inspire other children with
disabilities, as well as peers who are able-bodied but vulnerable or disadvantaged
in other ways. One of the most uncommon features of this pilot program
is that the students themselves have taken the lead in identifying what
they find to be the most worthwhile and engaging mediums for social inclusion,
building self-confidence and learning skills. This was unexpected and yet
is one of the most valuable aspects of the entire program.
- Education re-entry opportunities for children who recognize the value
of continuing their education
- Vocational training in beekeeping, honey processing, sewing, computers,
and medicinal herb cultivation
- Metal fabrication and mechanical skills training for building, servicing
and repairing the mobility cycles
The ages of children and youth range from 10 to 22.
Whenever possible, children who have not received an education are re-integrated into the education process. When that is not realistic, literacy skills are introduced within the context of vocational training.
Children who are attending school come to the Mobility Center weekly on Saturdays and school holidays. Older children and youth who are not able to re-enter school attend the program on a daily basis.
Vocational training program includes workshop fabrication of the mobility cycles, sewing, literacy skills and computer skills.
Theater & and music program for confidence-building, enhancing social skills and building trust among the participants.
Daily use of the mobility cycles is recorded in children's
notebooks. Suggestions, observations, level of confidence in servicing
and repairing cycles.
Orthopedic workshop program for assembly, service, repair, field reports.
Family outreach program for monitoring and support of parents and children in impoverished villages who are challenged by the issues of disability.