Inclusive Higher Education Best Practices - Sharing the IUA Experience

27 February 2021


Since the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (2016), there has been an increased discourse on how inclusion will be implemented in various institutions, including higher education. Given the diversity of our country’s higher educational institutions, there is a need for institutions from different fields to come together and have a dialogue on how we can make inclusive education effective.

Gauging this need, some of the leading institutes of higher education formed the Inclusive Universities Alliance (IUA) in January 2019. IUA’s members have met periodically to share their institutions’ best practices and learn from each other. IUA includes the countries’ leading Engineering, Management, Liberal Arts colleges, and organizations working in inclusive education.

We have now reached a stage where we would like to present our learnings through a workshop. The workshop aims to share the IUA best practices model for inclusive higher education. These best practices have stood the rigor of implementation in the respective institutes and will prove valuable to India’s academic practitioners and institutions.

Workshop Structure

Session I (9:00 AM – 11:00 AM) 

9.00 AM -9.15 AM: Introductions and Overview by IUA Member Institutes 

9.15 AM -10.00 AM: IUA Best Practices for Inclusive Higher Education- Part 1 & Q&A* 

10.00AM -11.00AM: IUA Best Practices for Inclusive Higher Education- Part 2 & Q&A 

[* Specific topics that will be covered include: formulating a vision for inclusive education, organizational structure for the delivery of services, beginning-of-year activities, academic provisions and services, non-academic provisions and services, physical infrastructure, student outreach, admissions, and placement services, and feedback mechanisms to review services. This session will be coordinated by these IUA member institutes – Ashoka University, IIM Bangalore, IIT Kanpur and St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai] 


Break (11:00 AM – 11:15 AM) 


Session II (11:15 AM – 12:30 PM) 

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM: Student Speak- Panel Discussion** 

12.15AM – 12.30AM: Conclusion and wrap-up

[**Student Speak is expected to be an engaging conversation of current and former students of a few IUA member institutes sharing their personal first-hand accounts of accessible practices and experiences related to higher education]

Student Speak - Panel Discussion

Nehal Tiwari

Nehal has always been in the news due to her sheer determination, hard work, sincerity and never say die attitude. She has been widely covered in the print and electronic media due to her achievements in Class X & XII. She has passed Class X (ICSE) from G D Somani Memorial School and Class XII (CBSE) from Gopi Birla Memorial School. She did her graduation in IT Stream from St Xaviers’ College, Mumbai. She also has learnt stone painting in one of the workshops held at the college. She is now working as Analyst in Technology Consulting at Ernst and Young India. Young India. She has continued her passion for stone painting and her artworks are being sold regularly. Her stone arts have been displayed in a few exhibitions as well.

Mili Kuriakose

Mili is currently doing her Advance Scholars Program (ASP) at Ashoka University with an advance major in Psychology. She has graduated with a BA honours in Psychology and a minor in History. Prior to this, she completed her schooling in Kochi. Biology and Computer Science were her favourite subjects.

She loves cooking, especially baking which runs in the family. She also loves swimming and has played basketball at school.

Sowmya L

Sowmya is a student with congenital profound bilateral hearing loss. She is currently a 2nd year MBA student at IIM Bangalore. She graduated from IIT Madras with a B.Tech and M.Tech in Civil Engineering in 2019. She has interned at Asian Paints during the summer of 2020. She is an avid sports person with about 20 years of experience in martial arts and athletics, and has won several laurels for the same. Her hobbies include reading, painting, or working out.

Yash Srivastava

Yash is in his third year in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at IIT Kanpur. He is Skilled in AutoCAD, Java, and Matlab. His interests include Poetry Reading and Public Speaking. He is the Coordinator of the Hindi Sahitya Sabha at IIT Kanpur. He has also been volunteering as a Human Resources Manager for BloodConnect Foundation for more than a year



Swathi T P

Swathi T P is working as a Manager, Talent Management with Indegene Pvt Ltd. Prior to this she worked with IBM India in Project Management. She was a youth delegate for the 7th Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at United Nations Organisation in 2015 held at New York representing India. She is the recipient of the Karnataka State Excellence Award for being a Role Model in 2011. With regard to academic accolades, she received a Post-Graduation in Management from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore in 2013. She was awarded with 4 gold medals by the Governor of Karnataka in 2011 for securing 1st rank for the entire Bangalore University comprising 654 colleges. She is a mom to a pre-schooler and loves to learn, teach, cook, write and meditate. Swathi has partial vision and lost her eye sight at the age of 16 due to optic atrophy and uses a screen reader to work.

Who should participate?

The workshop will be useful for any academician, administrator, educator seeking to build inclusive education practices within one’s classrooms/student interactions/institution framework.

About Inclusive Universities Alliance (IUA)

IUA founder members include Ashoka University, Sonipat, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Madras, IIM-Bangalore, IIIT-Bangalore, St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai, I-Stem, and Vision Empower. IUA aims to share best practices for inclusion amongst its members, create and share accessible teaching and learning resources, and work on advocacy efforts in inclusive higher education in India. IUA also aims to work on student and faculty exchange and collaboration to promote inclusion and access amongst the members of IUA.


Queries and clarifications
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