Early Intervention has a significant impact for children who have delayed development in physical, cognitive, emotional, sensory, behavioral, social and communication domains of development. With quality early intervention services children can reach their potential, live a meaningful life and integrate into their communities.
The Enabling Inclusion program was started with the bold idea, that community rehabilitation workers can provide early intervention services to children in their own homes or in community centres by connecting these community workers with rehabilitation specialists through the use of the Enabling Inclusion (EI) app.
The Child Development webinar series will be conducted jointly by expert speakers from India, and Canada and is organized by Amar Seva Sangam, the University of Toronto’s International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation (ICDR), and Handi-Care Intl.
A total of eight online 90-minute webinars will be offered from January to June 2022; Six webinars for clinicians and two webinars aimed at management working in the field of child development.
* To deliver a capacity-building child development series to bridge the early intervention and child rehab knowledge gap of NGOs, rehab professionals, services providers in rural India.
* To provide knowledge translation on key best practice concepts to provide evidence-based intervention to children with developmental disabilities and their families.
* To create a platform for rehabilitation service providers/clinicians in rural India to exchange innovative ideas, share professional challenges and problem-solve within a community of practice.
This child development webinar series will serve as a catalyst in capacity building of NGOs, rehabilitation service providers and community workers across India, by gaining new insights from experts in India and Canada and acquiring knowledge of best practices, approaches, and interventions for serving their pediatric populations.
Members of community NGOs, including rehabilitation clinicians and service providers, educators, researchers, academics, and NGO management in India, and community workers providing or interested in providing early intervention and rehabilitation services to children within communities across India, with a focus on rural communities.
Each webinar lecture will be conducted by leading experts from both Canada and India, with clinical experience, academic and research expertise in child development and pediatric rehabilitation. Evidence-based best practices will be presented along with cross-national interaction, discussion, and bridge of the cultural perspectives.
Associate Research and Capacity Building Director
Marie Brien is a pediatric physiotherapist and clinician researcher based in Ottawa, Canada. She has dedicated 40 years to working with children and youth with developmental disabilities and their families. Her expertise is in cerebral palsy, family-centered care, ICF-based interventions. She is Associate Research and Capacity Building Director for the Enabling Inclusion Program at Amar Seva Sangam. She has contributed to the development of the Enabling Inclusion® model and app and has provided capacity building workshops in India and Bhutan.
She held a joint appointment with the University of Ottawa, PT Program as a lecturer, researcher, and Clinical Instructor at the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Center. She holds an MSc (Human Kinetics) and pediatric NDT trained. She has collaborated on multi-center studies led by CanChild Center for Childhood Disability Research. She has presented at many international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Franzina Coutinho is a pediatric occupational therapist and clinician researcher based in Mumbai, India. She is is an Affiliate member at McGill University, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Director of Inspirium Holistic Care and researchers and clinician at P.D. Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai, India. She has recently joined Amar Seva Sangam’s Enabling Inclusion program as Research Director. Her research over the past decade focuses on technology and its impact on therapeutic interventions and identifying ways in which technology can best be used to improve intervention provision, especially in the paediatric population. She has researched and published work on technology use in the Indian population and factors that contribute to development of effective home programmes.
CIO – Logistics and Training
Navamani Venkatachalapathy is a pediatric physiotherapist who has over 15 years of experience in promoting mobility and function in children with disabilities. She has working as pediatric physiotherapist in community based rehabilitation programs in India and Mongolia and has worked at Vidhya Sagar, CARENIDHI and Amar Seva Sangam. She is currently leading the implementation of the Enabling Inclusion program- a home based early intervention and school age program for children 0-18 with developmental disabilities and their families in rural Tamil Nadu, which has reached over 4500 children with disabilities, and nearly 10,000 caregivers. She is currently the Chief of Learning and Capacity Building at Amar Seva Sangam’s Enabling Inclusion program where she has provided capacity building and training workshops to rehab service providers and parents of children with disabilities across numerous states in India.
Assistive Devices Program Coordinator
Jeyanthi Somasundaram is a pediatric physiotherapist, who works as the Assistive Devices Program coordinator at Amar seva Sangam, Ayikudy, Tamil Nadu. She has 15 years of experience working in pediatric Early Intervention programs that help identify disabilities at an early age and provide therapeutic interventions. She has received training in assistive devices assessment and prescription and is a leader in the field of pediatric assistive devices provision in India, leading the largest assistive device provision program in Tamil Nadu with more than 650 assistive devices given to children with disabilities in the last 2 year . She has conducted capacity building and training programs for physiotherapists and occupational therapists in India on assistive devices assessment and prescription. Her vision is a barrier free world for children with disabilities.
Lead, Principal Investigator
S. Sankara Raman, a Chartered Accountant and a wheel chair user, affected by muscular dystrophy joined Amar Seva Sangam as the Honorary Secretary in 1992. Along with Padma Shree Awardee, Mr. Ramakrishnan, he helped build a Valley for the Differently Abled in a 30 acre land at Ayikudy, Tamil Nadu as a Rehabilitation and Development Centre and developed models for self-help initiatives by integrating individuals with disabilities within society for improved living conditions, benefitting over 100,000 people with disabilities. He is the visionary behind Amar Seva Sangam’s globally recognized Enabling Inclusion program which provides access to early intervention and child rehab services to children through the use of the award winning Enabling Inclusion app. He has helped scale-up the Enabling Inclusion model to 4 states in India, with plans to expand to many more and globally. He is an Ashok fellow and graduate of Harvard University SNMI (Strategic Nonprofit Management India) program.
Director of Strategy
Dr. Dinesh Krishna is a Lecturer and Chair of the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation - India at the University of Toronto and a physician at the North York General Hospital’s Emergency Department and Assessment & Wellness Centre with a clinical focus on emergency medicine and rehabilitation medicine and an educator and researcher with numerous publications. He is the Director of Strategy at Amar Seva Sangam’s Enabling Inclusion program, and helped conceptualize the concept and entire program which provides access to early intervention services for children with disabilities using a technology leveraged solution, called the Enabling Inclusion app. He is the winner of the prestigious MIT Solver Award, the Canada-India Healthcare Innovator Award and the Anna Jarvis Award for Teaching Excellence.
Chief Business Development & Marketing
Aravind Bharathwaj is a physiotherapist with over 10 years’ experience working in rehab and development programs for children with disabilities. He understand the need for multidisciplinary rehabilitation to improve the function and potential of people with disabilities, particularly children. He has worked his way from a clinical physiotherapist to Chief of Business Development, Marketing and Customer Support at Amar Seva Sangam’s, Enabling Inclusion program where he helps grow services for children with disabilities through replication and scale-up of the award-winning Enabling Inclusion model app by developing and supporting government and NGO partnerships in India and globally.