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Index for Inclusion

Index for Inclusion is an instrument to promote real and practical inclusion through public schools by using own resources

Photo of Azat

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What problem does your idea solve?

Kyrgyzstan has roughly 20,000 children with disabilities that do not have access to education. Few thousands have special education in special school or residential institutions. Even in those schools children are not taught and prepared to integrate into society. The Ministry of Education has been implementing several inclusive education projects but with no visible success so far. They got interested in the Index for Inclusion and there is a genuine interest in the Index.

Explain your idea

Two years ago Kelechek Plus NGO had implemented for a year the Index for Inclusion tool that helps public schools to create inclusive environment by involving in planning and execution teachers, students, administration, and parents. The tool was developed by UK professors and now translated and implemented in over 40 countries around the world. This tool is like a manual that guides school step by step through several phases which is similar to project cycle. It helps participants do needs assessment, prioritize their problems, plan how to solve them and work on their implementation. The Index for Inclusion is done together with school planning and is very simple to follow and implement.

Who benefits?

Direct beneficiaries - around 100 children aged 5-10 who will go to preschools/schools. Anastasia (in the photo) is one of them. She's 7 yo beautiful girl with cerebral palsy who cannot walk and sit but speaks and understands. She wants to go to school and the project will support her. Indirect beneficiaries - several hundreds of children who already go to public schools, and around 2-5 thousands of children who are able to go to school and whose parents will hear about the project.

How is your idea unique?

The Index for Inclusion was only implemented by Kelechek Plus in two local schools during 2014-2015 and we received positive feedback from teachers and students including those with disabilities. It was a one-year project supported by the Soros Foundation- Kyrgyzstan.

Tell us more about you

Kelechek Plus is a small local NGO that has been working since 2008 on capacity building of NGOs of parents of children with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan. We are one of the few NGOs that work towards promoting inclusive education in the country. We currently work along 2 lines: - promoting inclusive education, - capacity-building of parent-led initiatives, groups and NGOs. There are 5 regular members of staff and several others are added if necessary for projects implementation.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

Will the Ministry of Education go further than several schools? How do we deal with teachers and parents who oftentimes are the first barriers to inclusion?

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Kyrgyzstan

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Idea Maturity

  • Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.

How has your idea changed based on feedback?

After initial submission of the idea we have had several meetings with Kelechek's team, parents of children with disabilities, teachers, Ministry's officials (two of them), and talked to representatives of several international organizations - Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan (which funded the first pilot in 2014-2015), Eurasia Foundation (EF) in Central Asia and World Bank's (WB) project on preschool education. Our team, parents, and teachers worked out the idea (see some drawings), whereas the Soros, EF and WB have expressed their interest and we are planning to have additional meetings to discuss how we can cooperate within the new project supported by OpenIdeo. One of the options we can work with schools they have already been supporting (but none have Index), another is we can share resources, experience, and skills to jointly promote inclusive education. We have already made several presentations to the Soros, Ministry of Education and the WB; the latter is willing to learn more.

Who will implement this idea?

Kelechek Plus will implement the project in partnership with the Ministry of Education and/or city education department and will work with Nazik Kyz NGO (empower young disabled and change attitude), Soros, EF and WB (share resources, expertise) as well as with local parent-led NGOs whose children with disabilities go or want to go to school. They will be involved in relevant activities. Partners' main offices are located in Bishkek. There will be 5-10 full/part-time staff and experts involved.

Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?

In big strategic decisions we usually involve Kelechek Plus' team members, some of them are parents, and may invite experts/trainers (such as for strategic planning or fundraising planning). We usually consider everyone's opinion and come to the consensus as we base our decision-making on equal-to-equal participatory approach. However, despite the fact we have parents of disabled kids as members of our team and try our best to consider them in our decisions and when designing projects we often overlook them. The User experience mapping exercise was very useful as we finally saw and put the child into the picture whereas before these were wordings. For next big decisions re Kelechek Plus and people as well as for project design, we'll use the User experience map for clarification.

What is it that most attracted you to Amplify instead of a more traditional funding model?

We have never heard of Amplify and the Challenge before so to be honest when done with open submission (which was a pleasant surprise to us), we then expected to have something complex and behind-the-doors 'politics'. So far we love this transparent process (even though only two people know English and just one can communicate - but we see the pictures :) of every step we go forward. We'd love to have this kind process done one day in Kyrgyzstan where donors guard their secrets.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

1) Our boys and girls with disabilities' inability to go to the world, have fun and make friends. They say about and want simple things. Grown-up children are aware of their limitations but they often repeat what their close relatives say to them. So there are many barriers but among them are their parents (often are not aware of that), followed by societal attitude and stereotypes, inaccessible physical environment. If children with disabilities go to school, they often miss and drop out of schools and nobody cares, so many do not get certificates. 2) In terms of education, these are the societal stereotypes of administration, teachers, students and their parents, as well as methodology/curriculum and resources (books). There is a law but it lacks clear realization mechanisms and funding

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question you need to answer to get there?

1) By 2021 we aim to have about 10,000 children with disabilities mainstreamed in all kindergartens and public schools of Kyrgyzstan through adopting new law, new or additional special curriculum, new methodology including Index for Inclusion and getting necessary resources. 2) How do we challenge and change societal attitude and stereotypes that are one of them main obstacles to inclusion?

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this idea together?

  • Between 6 months and 1 year

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed idea live?

  • Between 5-10 paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country you intend to implement your idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • Between $50,000 and $100,000 USD

If your team/idea/organization has a website, please share the URL below.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Bob Achgill

Hello Azat,

You may consider using the free His Hands Reader mother tongue literacy videos able to run on low end user smart phones as your ICT path to turn the hearts of young children entering the Normal schools toward these children with disability.

It's synergistic strategy of Hearing children helping Deaf children will enable Deaf children to be mainstreamed into the Normal school. Usually access to interpreting resources is the largest deterent followed by Hearing children not being able to communicate with Deaf classmates... The "wall of separation" that causes inclusion to fail.

Someday soon in the smallest village of Kyrgyzstan two Deaf children will be walking down the street and every Hearing child will be looking at the two Deaf children as if they are rock stars. They will be trying to "listen in" to their hand sign conversation because they too have learned those same hand signs "accidentally" as they learned to read using the HHR mother tongue literacy videos in preschool and first grade.

You see... the kinematic stimulas of seeing hand signs with each word in the His Hands Reader mother tongue literacy videos also helps the Hearing child to grab hold of the word meanings making reading practice less stressful and fun.

Children who feel over age to come to their grade level or girls who need to miss school or children whose situations keep them at home can continue practice at home... And even get ahead in learning to read foreign languages.

By the point that you have all 1st grade Hearing children in a village or set of schools having learned to read using His Hands Reader videos you will have changed the cultural perception toward "disability". Parents will see this new world through the eyes of their Hearing child plays with "their" Deaf friend.

I bet you may not have even considered including Deaf children since your country may have some schools for the Deaf. But maybe consider including them too because with HHR it is your path to change the minds of everyone... Not just about Deaf... But every disability.

Oh... If every 1st grader knows hand signs. Then you have a class full of potential aspiring Sudo-Peri-Hochets. ;-)

Volunteers have added either their mother tongues and/or hand signs for these literacy videos in Cameroon, Afghanistan, Jordon, China, Nepal, France, Germany, Netherlands, Russia and Ethiopia.

Here is some detail about the growing His Hands Reader volunteer literacy initiative...

Imagine a time when every Hearing and Deaf child can learn to read from the smart phone in their village...hearing and seeing their mother tongue and hand sign on the app?

The time is now!

Do you know someone who would like to volunteer to add their mother tongue or hand signs to the free His Hands Reader literacy system?

The mother tongue literacy videos with hand sign assist opens a path for total inclusion of deaf children among hearing. As hearing children use the mother tongue literacy videos with hand sign assist they naturally learn the means to communicate with deaf playmates.

And don't over look that the mother tongue literacy videos help Hearing children in the Multi lingual Education classroom.

It takes only 30 hours to add your mother tongue. Here are the instructions to volunteer...

Here is an example of the result of volunteers in Jordan who added their local business and mother tongue languages and local hand signs...


Bob Achgill
Helping Deaf and Hearing learn to read so they can read His Word

Here is a little more detail...

Would you like to volunteer to add your hand signs or mother tongue to

These are the ONLY qualifications needed to add your Mother Tongue language or hand signs to the :
1) Native speaker of your mother tongue or hand signs.
2) Read and write your mother tongue (not needed for adding hand signs)
3) Know English well enough to translate the 1742 basic Words to your MT or hand signs
4) Access to Android phone to use the HHR app to add your language. (1.5GB RAM, 3 GB free space)
5) total 30 hours to add your text with voice or video your hand signs.

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