- SWID has been working for the cause of Intellectually Disabled and Autistic Children through establishment of Special Schools since 1978.
- Presently it is organizing 135 schools at 61 Districts under 8 Divisions covering Districts Head Quarters to Upazila and UP areas of the country provided Special Education, Vocational Training and Integrated School & Inclusive Education through parents and social cooperation to achieve normalization of the PWID and Autism with the Family and Community Based Rehabilitation.
- No. of beneficiaries/Students with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism raised to 12000.
- Providing clinical and therapeutic services with assessment of the clients, counseling to the parents, speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and intensive care for the children with Down syndrome and Cerebral palsy under the National Institute for the Intellectually Disabled & Autistic (NIIDA).
- Organizing the `National Institute (NIIDA), Laboratory Model School and Teachers Training College with B.S.Ed. course under the National University for making resource persons with capacity building in the field of disabilities.
- Promoting Co-curricular activities with Sports & Games, Cultural Events, Scouting, Painting and Vocational Training for the adult students with PWID and Autism for productive Skills development to be self-reliant in the Society.
- Conducting of Training courses on Basic Special Education, Class Management, Advanced Training Courses (short and Long Courses) for Teachers, Parents and Professional of other Organizations, College/ Institution and University Students.
Society for the Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled, Bangladesh (SWID Bangladesh) runs the following programs:
I. National Institute for the Intellectually Disabled and Autistic (NIIDA)
- Special Education Teachers Training College: This division caters various programs for the improvement of human resource development. Teachers and other staff of SWID, other NGOs, and parents are trained.
- Laboratory Model School: A Laboratory Model School for the intellectually disabled is running now and an Inclusive school will start functioning very soon to facilitate practice of teaching and research programs within the operations and activities of Laboratory Model School (proposed).
- Research and Publication: Different information and disability related educational materials are published and researches are conducted on the different issues of intellectual disability.
- Clinical services: Psychological, speech and physical assessment, speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and medical treatments of the intellectually disabled, and guidance and counseling to the parents;
- Sports and cultural programs: Intellectually disabled children are trained on sports and cultural activities and competitions are organized within the country and participation in international events.
- Awareness programs: Workshops/seminars and other programs are organized on intellectual disability.
- Academic program: Monitoring educational programs at school level, development of educational materials and curriculum, training of the teachers, parents and others.
II. Special Education Programs
One of the main objectives of SWID Bangladesh is to create facilities for education of the intellectually disabled children. Intellectually disabled children need special education and no mainstream organization of the country is capable of providing such education to them, so SWID Bangladesh itself has organized Schools for the Intellectually Disabled for catering special education to the intellectually disabled children.
Key features of the special education program:
- Special curriculum – The special education system follows special curriculum, different from existing mainstream curriculum, to fulfill the unique needs of the intellectually disabled children of different level of severity. Considering low level of behavioral competency and significant sub-average mental age comparing to his/her chronological age of the intellectually disabled children, SWID has developed such a curriculum to follow in the Schools for the Intellectually Disabled under SWID Bangladesh.
- Special qualification of the teachers– Teachers with higher educational qualification (preferably graduation) is engaged and trained on teaching of intellectually disabled children.
- Teacher-student ratio– Children with intellectual disabilities need individualized attention for effective teaching. To ensure effective teaching SWID maintains 1:7 teacher-student ratio in the classes of Schools for the Intellectually Disabled for the intellectually disabled children.
- Supportive services– Special education of the intellectually disabled children needs extra professional supports which include assessment of intellectual disability condition, speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy for the intellectually disabled children, and counseling of the parents. To meet these needs Psychologists, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists are engaged with the special education program of SWID Bangladesh. Sports teachers and music teachers are also engaged with the special education program to develop intellectually disabled person.
- Special physical environment– Considering the need for close contact and supervision and space to play, the physical environment including furniture is designed for the classes of intellectually disabled children.
- Parent involvement– Like all other children, the intellectually disabled children spend most of their time with their parents, and many behaviors/skills need to be taught at home. Therefore, parents are required to be trained to train their children at home, and also to comply with the principle of involving parents in the decision making regarding their intellectually disabled wards.
- Class division– Considering the nature of special education and characteristics of the intellectually disabled children (low level of behavioral competency and significant sub-average mental age comparing to his/her chronological age) classes of School for the Intellectually Disabled of SWID Bangladesh are divided into following categories: