Logo of the Office of The State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Meghalaya.

Society for the Welfare of Disabled

The Society for the welfare of the disabled was started in the year 1989. With the aim of providing qualitative education to children with special needs in a proper inclusive setup.

Our Projects:

  • Mary Rice Centre for Special Education
  • School and Centre for Hearing Handicapped Children.

Mary Rice Centre for Special Education

Mary Rice Centre for Special Education, a unit of the Society for the Welfare of the Disabled, is a non-profit, secular organization which has been catering to the needs of children and young adults with disability, and their families since 1989.

A brief history of Mary Rice Centre For Special Education:

It started as the Centre for the Disabled Child in August 1989 to ensure that special needs of children with disabilities would be provided for, at affordable cost. For the first few months individual home-based and centre based services were provided for about 30 children with different disabilities. The parents expressed the need for a day school for their children, so in February 1990 a school was started. There was one Special Educator, one Teacher and one Office Assistant.

In August 1990 the Society for the Welfare of the Disabled was registered, with the Centre for the Disabled Child under it. In 1992 the Centre was divided into 2 units, the School and Centre for Hearing Handicapped Children, and the Centre for the Disabled Child.

Being able to concentrate attention on children with developmental disabilities such as Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy, Specific Learning Disabilities, Autism, Attention Deficit and hyperactive Disorder (A.D.H.D.), and Multiple Disabilities the Centre grew. The Congregation of Christian Brothers gave us land to be used for the purpose of providing services to children with disabilities, and funding for a low cost building was obtained from Meghalaya I.C.C.W. The new School was named 'Mary Rice Centre for Special Education' in the memory of Mary Rice, the disabled daughter of Edmund Rice, founder of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. The building was made for about 50 persons. By January 1995 the School shifted to this new building from the rental premises in 'Holy Cross Villa' on Red Hill Road, Laitumkhrah.

By 1998 it was clear that the building could not contain 80 many children, adult and staff, and applications for a new building were made. That building of the Ground Floor was funded by Light for the World, Austria,  and the First Floor by Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India.

School and Centre for Hearing Handicapped Children (S.C.H.H.C.)

The School and Centre for Hearing Handicapped Children (S.C.H.H.C) a unit of the society for the welfare of the Disabled (S.W.D.) which is a non-profit secular Organization Catering to the needs of those with hearing impairment since 1989.

A Brief History of S.C.H.H.C.

It was in the year 1989 two Children with Hearing Impairment were admitted to the mini hostel of SWD. There, they joined the others already in residence, Children who were suffering from various forms of mental and Physical Disability. Over the next couple of years, more children with hearing impairment were to follow. By the end of 1991, the increase in numbers led to accommodation problems. It was decided by the SWD, therefore , to set up a separate unit for the children with Hearing Impairment. So the SCHHC was inaugurated at Holy Cross Villa on 16th March 1992. In July of that same year, it was shifted to Cathleen cottage at Nongrim Hills .During this year, one Directress, one co-ordinator Special Educator, one Speech therapist cum Audiologist and four full time teacher with Dr Vindo Gondalia (Consult and E.N.T. Surgeon) were engaged in teaching and serving in different capacity.

In August 1990 the Society for the Welfare of the Disabled was registered, with the centre for the Disabled Child under it. In 1992 the Centre was divided into 2 units, the School and Centre for Hearing Handicapped Children and the Centre for the Disabled Child.

However, as it continued to grow, other problems arose, lack of accommodation and the difficulty in carrying out academic and vocational training in congested quarters. Then, Saint Edmunds College came to the rescue, providing rooms on campus , in which The Vocational Training Centre (V.T.C.) was inaugurated. So on 1st March 1996, 18 Senior students were transferred to the ocational Training Centre and remaining children of the S.C.H.H.C. continued to pursue the academic courses following the syllabi of the Meghalaya Board of Secondary Education. The School was shifted to this present building in the year 2000.

In the S.C.H.H.C., special education is imparted to children with speech and hearing impairment of various types and degrees through such self-help skills as language training. Speech therapy and speech reading. In all of this process efforts are made to keep the parents of the children informed and to educate and counsel them on ways and means of continuing in the home and procedure being followed at school. Apart from its main objectives of educating the children, the School aims also at their rehabilitation and their integration in family and society through the teaching of functional communication skills.

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