New guidelines to monitor therapy centres for children of special needs and autism
New guidelines ready for registration of therapy centres for children of special needs and autism
The Government of Kerala has formulated new guidelines for setting up occupational and speech therapy centres for disabled people, children of special needs autism in the state. The guidelines will come into force by next January, the Times of India reports.
The new guidelines bring great relief to the parents of children of special needs and autism as they have been worried about the future of their children for lack of qualified caretakers and proper training facilities at many of the centres. There are reported to be no proper checking or monitoring of the activities of the centres. There were even cases of abuses.
At present the centres are registered under the Shops and Business Establishment Act. When the new guidelines will be implemented, there will be a monitoring system and a service protocol that includes therapy schedule and cost of services in a transparent manner, TOI reports.
The new guidelines will ensure a scientific approach at the centres.
The government has already submitted the draft of the new guidelines (Minimum standard guidelines for registration of therapy centres) in the High Court as per the instruction of the court after hearing public interest litigation (PIL) in this regard.
Concerned parents in Ernakulam had earlier formed an organisation called “Together we can” (TWC) and brought the issues faced by their loved ones to the attention of the state authorities including the district collector, State Child Rights Commission, SJD and the High Court.
According to a report in the Times of India, which brought out the malfunctioning of the centers first, the guidelines for the registrations of the therapy centers will be issued “under Section 49, 50 and 51 of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.” The guidelines stipulate that all occupational and speech therapy centers must be brought under a regulatory mechanism and registered with an appropriate authority notified by the government. Centers that will come under the purview of the new guidelines include speech and language therapy, audiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, rehabilitation/clinical psychology.
When the new guidelines will be implemented, there will be a monitoring system and a service protocol that includes therapy schedule and cost of services in a transparent manner, the report said.