In the wake of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic that struck the world in March 2020, many found themselves confined to their homes, grappling with uncertainty and isolation. It was during this challenging time that SINI BIJU JOSE, a visionary, and a determined advocate, embarked on a journey that would create ripples of change in the lives of countless individuals. What began as a simple WhatsApp group to share insights garnered from her daughter’s academic journey with Specific Learning Disability (SLD) quickly transformed into a beacon of hope and support for parents and children facing similar challenges .
SINI BIJU JOSE’s brainchild, ‘Achievance Alternative Learning Space’, emerged as a dynamic platform providing Free & Continuous Support and Guidance for parents navigating the intricacies of SLD, Dyslexia, ADHD, and academic difficulties. Under SINI’s leadership, this initiative has blossomed into a safe haven for parents and caregivers seeking comprehensive insights, practical advice, and a nurturing community.
Founded in April 2020, Achievance ALS has made remarkable strides in raising awareness about SLD and dispelling misconceptions surrounding it. The core belief that each child possesses unique strengths and learning pathways forms the cornerstone of SINI’s approach. The journey has been one of tireless dedication and unwavering commitment to eradicating the stigma that often shackles individuals with SLD.
SINI’s personal journey as the mother of a daughter diagnosed with SLD propelled her into the realm of advocacy. Recognizing the gaps in understanding and the prevailing stigma, she resolved to channel her experiences into something transformative. Guided by a deep understanding of the challenges these children face, SINI has fostered a culture of acceptance and celebration of differences within Achievance ALS.
The presence of dyslexia does not indicate a person’s intelligence. Dyslexic minds frequently have profoundly different perspectives on the world and frequently perform exceptionally well in tasks requiring creativity, problem-solving, spatial awareness, and holistic thinking. From Steve Jobs to Albert Einstein, a number of well-known people exhibited dyslexic characteristics. Their groundbreaking achievements benefited greatly from their distinctive cognitive processing.
However, in India, the very characteristics that might spur innovation and original problem-solving are being stifled by ignorance and prejudice.
India, a country with a long history, diverse culture, and a tradition of innovation, is on the verge of a quiet crisis. A neurological irregularity called dyslexia, which affects people’s ability to read, write, and spell, is thought to affect between 10% and 15% of the global population. This translates to a staggering 35 million children in the Indian population. However, social stigmatisation is stifling these individuals’ potential rather than creating an environment that supports their distinctive minds.
At Achievance ALS, the mission revolves around empowering parents and educators with the knowledge needed to support children with SLD effectively. The range of services offered includes free consultation and counseling for parents, awareness campaigns, remedial interventions for children, and training programs for both parents and teachers. Additionally, Achievance ALS collaborates with schools, colleges, and boards to set up inclusive learning environments that cater to diverse learning styles.
Here’s how the stigma attached to dyslexia is causing damaging silence:
Alienation in the classroom: Students who struggle with dyslexia are not well-served by conventional educational techniques. These pupils are frequently mischaracterized by teachers as being lazy, inattentive, or stupid without their knowledge or training. These students usually perform below grade level without the proper assistance and support, which has a negative effect on their self-esteem and future prospects.
Psychological and Emotional Scars: Constant peer comparison and social expectations can cause severe emotional harm. Many dyslexic people internalize the criticism, which can cause anxiety, despair, and in very extreme cases, suicidal thoughts.
Wasted Potential: Dyslexic people’s intrinsic abilities go untapped when they are not provided with the proper resources or surroundings. India cannot afford to exclude a sizable portion of its potential innovators if it hopes to become a worldwide leader in a number of fields.
Societal Myths: In India, many still hold the misconception that dyslexia is caused by indifference, a lack of effort, or low IQ. Such beliefs not only exclude dyslexic people but also discourage them from getting the assistance they need.
It is quite clear that awareness, acceptance, and action are necessary right away. Schools must create instructional strategies that accommodate dyslexic children. Teacher education programs must provide educators with the knowledge and resources they need to develop these minds. Research, intervention programs, and public awareness campaigns require investment from the government, NGOs, and corporate sectors. Here is how Achievance ALS is making all efforts to redefine dyslexia and spread awareness with all potential actions.
Achievance ALS has been urging every individual, organization, and society as a whole to know that destigmatizing dyslexia is not only socially necessary but also an educational issue. India can unleash a flood of creative thinkers and creators by appreciating and honouring the special qualities of dyslexic people.
Achievance ALS’s dedication has been instrumental in crafting a brighter future for children with SLD. Through their tireless efforts, the platform envisions a world where every child is embraced for their unique abilities and receives the tailored support they need to thrive academically and beyond. As Achievance ALS continues to grow, it stands as a testament to SINI’s unwavering commitment to fostering awareness, acceptance, and change.
In an era where awareness and acceptance pave the way for inclusivity, SINI BIJU JOSE’s journey shines as an inspiring example of how a single individual can catalyze transformative change. Through Achievance ALS, she has sown the seeds of understanding and compassion, fostering an environment where every child’s journey is met with unwavering support and boundless opportunity.