BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS THAT EXCLUDE DISABLED PEOPLE FROM MAINSTREAM SOCIETY
IMAGE stands for Indian Mixed Ability Group Events. It is a programme that uses sport to bridge the communication gap between the able-bodied and disabled communities, whilst redefining the way ability is characterised and judged.
||State of Rajasthan (India)
|Organisation||Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan (SKSN) Institute and Indiability Foundation
||2005 – ongoing
|Target group age
||8-18 years old
||Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
||In 2005, the first SKSN IMAGE Club was piloted at the SKSN Institute with 195 disabled 8-12 year olds and 195 able-bodied 8-12 year olds from local schools of various socio-economic backgrounds. There are 18 IMAGE clubs dotted around Rajasthan with a total membership of 1,000. The programme has now begun to expand beyond the borders of Rajasthan.
IMAGE is a programme which has been operated since 2005 by the SKSN Institute and the Indiability Foundation, where able-bodied and disabled children take part in an everyday activity, side by side on an equal footing, creating a model for other areas of life. It provides direct social re-education, creating integrated communities, where all abilities are respected and their contribution valued. IMAGE is predicated on influencing young minds through experiential learning delivered using sport. It is implemented through a network of clubs that come together annually in the Indiability Games to which parents and the community are invited to spectate, support teams and learn more about the clubs.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Integration of disabled and able-bodied communities
The programme is unique as it is the first time that the disabled and the able-bodied communities have been brought together on an equal basis to take part in an everyday activity. The core of the curriculum consists of specifically designed sports events intended to allow able-bodied and disabled children to compete together, to allow able-bodied children to compete using equipment needed by the disabled, and to allow the disabled to emphasise their abilities.
Knowledge and expertise of the parent organisation
The SKSN Institute is a school with a 20-year track record of providing education to physically disabled children in rural areas. The Institute was set up with the aim of enabling their alumni to live independent fulfilling lives. Its pioneering use of sport has imbued greater confidence and enabled these children to be proud of their achievements. IMAGE contributes to this vision by changing mindsets and promoting acceptance of the disabled in the mainstream.
SKSN Institute and Indiability Foundation
SPORT FOR ALL OBJECTIVES
Provide equal access to sport
The main aim of IMAGE is to break down barriers, build understanding, drive acceptance and instil respect through sport. The clubs create the opportunity to challenge preconceptions and inform minds in a neutral, informal way. The Indiability Games expand this influence into broader communities.
Improve public health and well-being
Many of the IMAGE members with disabilities are affected by polio – a disease contracted orally from faecal matter that can be prevented by the simple washing of hands with soap and water. The IMAGE members with disabilities are examples of what happens when there is a lapse in the proper care and attention to health and hygiene measures.
Support active societies
The whole project is built around schools and the IMAGE clubs run once a week during the normal school term. Teachers are positively influenced through their assistance and support with running the clubs and witnessing change.
HOW IS THE PROGRAMME COMMUNICATED?
The communication for the programme is achieved through direct interaction with schools via regular meetings, and through close collaboration with the parents, community and local media.
HOW IS THE PROGRAMME EVALUATED?
IMAGE utilises a combination of quantitative surveys and discussions, but mostly relies on informal qualitative-type responses from stakeholders to evaluate the programme. More robust evaluation processes are in the process of being implemented through various tools.