School for the Intellectually Disabled program 

SWID Bangladesh pioneered special education system in Bangladesh and still it is the largest organization which provides special education for the intellectually disabled through its special schools.

Establishment of SWID Bangladesh which is the pioneer organization in the field of Neuro-developmental Disabilities with scope of work on advocacy including disability movement, social awareness towards the disabled people, their education, socialization, social security, legal rights, entertainment employment rehabilitation and social dignity. Presently it is organizing 300 schools at 61 Districts under 8 Divisions covering District Head Quarters to Upazila and UP areas of the country, providing Special Education, Vocational Training and Integrated School & Inclusive Education through parents and social cooperation to achieve normalization of the PWID and Autism with the Family and Community Based Rehabilitation. No. of beneficiaries/students with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism raised in 15000.

Providing clinical and therapeutic services with assessment of the clients, counseling to the parents, speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and intensive care for the children with Down syndrome and Cerebral palsy under the National Institute for the Intellectually Disabled & Autistic (NIIDA).

SWID is in the mainstreaming and social dignity of the nation child with intellectual disabilities, Autism Down syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.

In this movement SWID established a positive concept and environment in avoiding negative attitude of community people about intellectual disabilities and autism through its activities on special education and training. As a result, our disabled and autistic children have achieved bright success in winning the World Special Olympics gold medal.

SWID Supports in providing technical and professional cooperation to establish “Sena Sohayok School” under supervision of ‘Sena Paribar Kollayan Aamiti’ in 2006 at Dhaka Cantonment area which is now known as “PROYASH” (A special school for the children with special needs). In the beginning of this school, SWID provided assessment of disabled children, teaching with IEP and therapeutic services through its senior professionals & teachers. Now “Prayash” has become an international Standard School with its educational, cultural activities and infra- structural facilities. So SWID feels very proud of better development and expansion of schools at Chittagong, Jessore and Ghatail Cantonment areas.

In appreciation of SWID Bangladesh the government came forward with financial support. Govt established ‘Jatiyo Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation’ under the ministry of social welfare in cooperation of SWID.

SWID provided active cooperation to form ‘Jatiyo Protibondhi Forum’, organized various programs on Disability right for welfare of the PWD which became a Network organization of 380. Establishment of a National Institute for the intellectually disabled and Autistic (NIIDA) research on disabilities, PWID and autism, down syndrome and cerebral palsy.

Awareness development and government involvement 

  • Developed awareness among the common people regarding education and training of the intellectually disabled.
  • Drew attention of the government for development activities of the disabled people, as a result government has come forward to support educational program of the disabled by providing 100% salary support to the 463  teachers/staffs of special education program of SWID Bangladesh.
  • As a result of combined efforts of SWID Bangladesh and other organizations, government has developed National Disability Policy and Disabled Welfare Act 2001. Now, two laws have been enacted through changing the earlier law and the laws are ‘Disability Rights and Protection Law-2013’ and Neuro-developmental Disability Protection Trust Act-2013.

Professional development 

    • Developed a group of professionals, teachers and other staffs to work for the welfare of the intellectually disabled. SWID has organized training programs to develop a group of professionals who became the key professionals and trainers for the teaching staffs. Both the professionals and teaching staffs have been recruited locally as well as from abroad. They have trained staffs of other organizations to disseminate knowledge and skills of handling the intellectually disabled persons.

Promotion of inclusive education 

SWID Bangladesh has pioneered the inclusive education in Bangladesh. It promotes mainstream education of the intellectually disabled children. As a part of its initiative it took the following programs which had some positive impacts in promoting access of the disabled in the country:

  1. Govt. Primary School Teachers’ Training and Awareness Program: (Project Title: “Capacity Development of the Primary School Teachers and Social Awareness Creation for Inclusion of the Intellectually Disabled Children in the Mainstream Government Primary Schools in Several Districts of Bangladesh”) This program started in July 2004 and ended in July 2005. The project was funded by CIDA and approved by the Directorate of Primary and Mass Education. The objectives of the project were:
  1. Conducting 6-days training programs in 19 districts for 25 teachers in each batch to enhance skills in teaching the intellectually disabled and develop positive attitude in favor for educating intellectually disabled in the mainstream primary schools.
  2. Conducting one-day workshop in 19 venues at the end of each training program with the participation of local elites, NGO workers, teachers and government officials especially from the department of Social Welfare and Education.
  3. The project was implemented in the following places: Feni, Comilla, Kushtia, Barisal, Chittagong, Dinajpur, Rajshahi, Faridpur, Bagerhat, Bhola, Khulna, Satkhira, Pirojpur, Patuakhali, Madhupur, Sarishabari, Bogra, Gaibandha, and Brahmanbaria. 482 teachers of government primary schools were trained through this project. 1927 persons from local elites, NGO workers, teachers and government officials especially from the department of Social Services and Education participated in the workshops. ‘A Teachers Training Manual’ has been developed for conducting the training program. The key components of the training programs and workshop were basic information relating to intellectual disability and inclusive education. One of the achieved results is the involvement of Directorate of Primary Education in the program of disability. At the initial stage, the idea of inclusion of intellectually or other disabled in the mainstream primary schools was negative but at the end of the training program or workshop, they became motivated for educating the intellectually disabled in the mainstream primary schools. In the meantime, Directorate of Primary Education passed an order for admitting the disabled children in the Govt. primary schools. The teachers who have participated in the program have acquired basic skills and knowledge of handling and teaching the intellectually disabled persons. Another important result of the program is to analyse the possibility of inclusion of the disabled. It was revealed that there were some limitations in educating the disabled in the mainstream school but simultaneously it showed that there were some possibilities for inclusion. In the present situation few disabled can be admitted and if the education system and attitude were changed and facilities were created, more disabled children would be admitted. Above all, the participants were sensitized for educational rights of the persons with disabilities.
  1. Training program for the teachers of non-formal primary schools of BRAC: (Project title: Integration and Development of the Unreached Intellectually Disabled) The project was funded by Human Development Foundation and approved by BRAC. The objectives and locations of the Project:
  1. Identification of the intellectually disabled persons in the project area
  2. Promotion of admission and educating intellectually disabled in the non-formal primary schools run by BRAC
  3. Demonstrate inclusive education in the BRAC non-formal primary schools
  4. Motivate BRAC for inclusion of disabled children in their educational program

The results of the action: 

Number of teachers trained:

  1. In 2000/01 at Faridpur, Rajbari and Manikganj region= 143 teachers were trained
  2. In 2001/02 at Faridpur, Rajbari and Manikganj region= 297 teachers were trained
  3. In 2003/04 at Natore and Magura region= 203 teachers were trained

As a result of teachers training and demonstration of integration of the disabled people in the non-formal schools of BRAC, the BRAC authority started disabled children education program in their schools with their own initiative, which is a part of our achievement.

Formation of other auxiliary organizations 

SWID Bangladesh has taken some initiatives, for the establishment of other organizations for the benefit of the intellectually disabled persons of Bangladesh. Those are:

  1. Special Olympics, Bangladesh- SWID Bangladesh communicated with International  Special Olympics in 1990 and arranged a local independent body to form the ‘Special Olympics, Bangladesh’ in 1993 which is responsible for organizing Special Olympics games in Bangladesh and participation in the World Special Olympics by the intellectually disabled persons.
  2. Trust for the Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled (TWID)- TWID was formed in 1994 for rehabilitation of the intellectually disabled persons and has been acting as guardian for the intellectually disabled persons who have lost their legal guardians.
  3. SWID contributed in the formation of National Association for Sports of Persons with Disabilities (NASPD), National Paralympics Committee (NPC), ‘Prayash’ a school for the persons with intellectual disability, and convinced Govt. to establish National Sports Complex at Savar for persons with all types of disability.
  4. Convince and cooperate Govt. to establish National Centre for Special Education (NCSE) in 1993 by financial support from NFPU, NABP, NAD and NORAD of Norway.
  5. Motivate Govt. to form JPUF (NFDD- National Foundation for the Development of the Disabled).
  6. Convince authority of BBS (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics) in including the issue of disability in national population census and household survey of 2001 and 2011.
  7. Motivate Govt. to conduct a survey for detection of disability by DSS (Department of Social Service).
  8. Convince Govt. to establish disability service centers in all districts.

Networking with other organizations 

SWID Bangladesh maintains working relationship with organizations of same category to achieve its goal. It is a full member of Inclusion International, and Asian Federation for the Intellectually Disabled (AFID).



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