Innovative Practice 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

Free online platform supporting families of children with intellectual disabilities

Based in Hyderabad, India, Nayi Disha Resource Centre is an NGO that supports families of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Its free online platform offers evidence-based information on topics such as education, therapies, and future planning for their children, as well as an online peer support community and a directory of verified services. Offline support is also available through workshops and support groups. The platform receives between 600 and 800 visits a day, mainly from parents across India. Nayi Disha has started translating its content into Telugu and Hindi to support expansion to other Indian states.

“Nayi Disha helped me find new avenues for my daughter. I found an art group, a vocational centre, and much more in the directory.”

Deepali SengarParent
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Online platform for empowering parents of children with intellectual disabilities
Organisation:Nayi Disha Resource Centre
Country
of Implementation
India
Start Year2015

FACTS & FIGURES

  • The online platform has received 110,000 visitors since it was launched in 2015.
  • The online service directory lists 1,450 services across 64 cities in India.
  • The website hosts 330 articles on different themes and age groups.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

There is a lack of awareness and information for families of children with intellectual disabilities in India, which leads to delayed diagnosis and reduced uptake of services.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

Nayi Disha Resource Centre has three sections online: a pan-India directory of services, a knowledge hub, and an online parent community. The directory includes doctors, therapists, schools, and community support services. There are various search options, for example, by location or age of the child, and the directory also includes reviews from other parents.

The knowledge hub has evidence-based information in Hindi, English, and Telugu. Topics include diagnostic assessments, therapies, and age-relevant information, such as for early childhood or adolescence. The online support groups for parents allow families to share blogs, educational videos, and other information. Nayi Disha also offers offline support, including workshops, support groups, and family events, including some run by parents.

Since 2015, over 4,200 families have accessed online support or attended offline events. Increasing access to information supports families to become better informed about their child’s condition and the evidence-based practices available, and to find appropriate services.

A father and his daughter are looking at information material at a information stall.

The Knowledge Hub has books and learning materials in Hindi, English, and Telugu covering a variety of parenting and teaching-related topics.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

Nayi Disha was initially set up with no external income, and is now funded through corporate and individual donations, sponsorships, and parent contributions, with an annual budget of $76,000 in 2019. The organization is currently looking to diversify its future income.

Since its launch in Hyderabad, Nayi Disha’s programme has been replicated in other Indian cities, including Pune, Mumbai, and Bangalore. The replication model is to identify early adopters to train as parent champions, develop networks with the local healthcare system, and partner with credible local organizations, providing them with the resources to adopt the model. Nayi Disha is currently creating multilingual information resources and upgrading its technology to support such replication.

 

FACTSHEET

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LINKS AND FURTHER READING