Within just a week of opening registrations to the 2nd Edition of the National Conclave on Specific Learning Disability (Dyslexia), the designated seats were full and we had to make arrangements to accommodate the participation requests that were pouring in. It was extremely encouraging to see the overwhelming response and enthusiasm to participate from professionals working in the field of Education.

A packed audience

This two-day conclave held on 8–9 Feb 2020 in Mumbai provided a platform to share best practices in Inclusion and Intervention, and offered an opportunity to discuss government policy and implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.

The Keynote by Dr Satendra Singh set the tone for the Conclave by highlighting the barriers and enablers in the implementation of the RPWD Act 2016. Subsequently, an illustrious line up of experts touched upon the importance of inclusion and its impact on mental health, standardization in screening and assessment as well as evidence-based interventions and the need to include assistive technology to enable learning.

The highlight of the Conclave was the panel discussion with our alumni that was facilitated by Mr Kabir Bhogilal. These young adults displayed immense courage in sharing their experiences with Dyslexia with nearly 250 strangers during the session on ‘Life After School’. It was extremely inspiring to hear how they overcame challenges, persevered to find their calling, and set out on the path to successful careers.

Our alumni featured in Mumbai Mirror

According to Mr Prakash Mahtani, Managing Partner at ELDORA Group, “The National Conclave 2020 was a real eye-opener to the excellent work MDA is doing across the country. I strongly feel we need to build a community for self-help considering that most of the children with such difficulties are in many ways being ignored and even isolated by the mainstream education system. It is time we come together to learn and help each other deal with these issues in the best possible way and with the guidance and support of MDA.”

Ms Radhika Misquitta, Director of Research and Outreach, The Gateway School of Mumbai, shared, “Each speaker had something unique to share and there were so many takeaways for me. It was so heartening to hear all the wonderful work that is going on in India. Masarrat, I was blown away with the work you and Rameeza are doing, especially knowing the context. I do hope that you will be developing this into a curriculum to share as I can see this being a huge asset to so many others.”

Ms Payel Das, Business Head — India, Scanning Pens, said, “Thoroughly loved every bit of this amazing Conclave. MDA brings together the best in practice.”

The generous feedback and encouragement we have received from speakers and participants strengthens our resolve to keep working to ensure that every student with a learning disability gets an equal opportunity to succeed in all walks of life.

A not-for-profit organisation committed to building an integrated support system for individuals with Dyslexia. www.mdamumbai.com