In an era where industries emphasize diversity, inclusion, and support for people with disabilities, the Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF) stands as a pioneering force. In 1986, NTTF dedicated its efforts to empowering the people with disability through a specially tailored training program. By 1992, the institution had taken a significant stride by launching a two-year ITI program explicitly designed for people with disability, offering a lifeline to numerous young people facing challenges in securing sustainable livelihoods.
NTTF’s commitment to this cause garnered significant recognition, culminating in the prestigious President’s Award in 1998 for its consistent contribution to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. Proudly reflecting on three decades of continuous support, NTTF remains at the forefront of making a meaningful impact. These specially-abled students possess unique abilities and demonstrate an unwavering determination to navigate diverse workplaces and contribute meaningfully to society.
To learn more about the NCVT certification training program at NTTF for persons with disabilities, the teaching methods, curriculum for the specially-abled students, industry-aligned training experience, two-year ITI program designed for people with disabilities, employment opportunities, we spoke with Ms. Vani HS, Deputy Manager, Training, NTTF.
Below are a few excerpts from our conversation. You can watch the full video on our YouTube channel.
Q. Could you please share some of the key highlights of the NCVT certification program at NTTF?
A. I completed my diploma in electronics in April 1998 and subsequently joined the department called NCVT (National Council for Vocational Training). I enrolled in a 2-year ITA program designed for physically disabled students as a social initiative. DGT (Directorate General of Training) is the awarding body for NCVET (National Council for Vocational and Education Training), affiliated with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
The program spans two years, with a prerequisite of a 10th-grade pass. We select students from various parts of Karnataka and other states, providing education on ITI in the trade of Electronic Mechanics. Affiliated with DGT, the students undergo an All-India Trade Test upon completion, receiving National Trade Certificates from Delhi.
Q. How does the NCVT program for special children ensure a holistic approach, taking into account their unique needs and requirements, to provide a comprehensive and inclusive educational experience?
A. In 1998, when we initially joined the entity, our student demographic primarily consisted of individuals with physical disabilities, including orthopedic conditions, locomotor disabilities, dwarf hunchbacks, and various other categories. Initially, we had only one or two hearing-impaired students who relied on lip movements for communication.
However, starting around 2013, due to the polio eradication, we faced challenges in recruiting students. In response, our management decided to extend support to a different category of students, specifically those with hearing impairments. Since 2018, the majority of our students, around 95%, belong to the hearing-impaired category.
Q. How do you tailor the teaching methods, curriculum, and practical aspects for students with hearing impairments? Are there specific methodologies you use to enhance their learning experience?
A. Since 2018, we’ve adapted our teaching methods for students with hearing impairments. We’ve learned sign language, with the management providing additional training. Our approach involves using videos, charts, and bilingual board explanations in Kannada and English, supplemented by Indian sign language. Many students enter without prior sign language knowledge, posing a challenge. Moreover, given the exemption of English until the 10th grade, we find it necessary to focus on fundamental aspects such as teaching alphabets during the early stages. Despite these challenges, our approach includes the seamless integration of theory classes, ensuring comprehensive preparation for students as they embark on their future careers and placements.
Q. How do students from the program transition to industry employment, especially in roles accommodating sign language? Are there specific measures in place to support their communication needs in the workforce?
A. Since introducing hearing-impaired students in 2018 through our NTTF tie-up, all 24 joined Tata Electronics Pvt. Ltd. Hosur, garnering positive feedback. Originally providing support during the induction program, these students have progressed to working independently, a development that has garnered satisfaction from both the company and the students themselves.
Q. How have industries supported these programs? Could you mention key companies that have actively contributed to this cause?
A. In 2018, Cognizant partnered with NTTF, providing complete support, including free accommodation. Their focus is on ensuring placement and independence for students. Over the past five years, Cognizant has supported 612 students, predominantly physically challenged. To enhance communication and future placements, students are now being taught sign language.