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Just Like You

Jan 06, 2015

This book follows the journey of three children, each with a disability, with friendly text in English and Hindi.

Book Just Like You

By: Angela Kohama

Edited and Illustrated by Dana ‘Coco’ Vonnegut

Translated into Hindi by Gaytri Sharma and Meghana Rawat

New Delhi: The American India Foundation (AIF) announces the pre-release of a children’s book “Just Like You” by Angela Kohama, AIF Clinton Fellow 2013-14. This book follows the journey of three children, each with a disability, and how they find their way into mainstream education.

What is common between the three characters, Shakshi, Sanjay, and Bhavika, is their delight in life, a desire to learn and play, and to be accepted for themselves as other children are. The three stories span age groups, rural versus urban spaces, gender and types of disability. Just Like You speaks to children at elementary school reading level, with friendly text in English and Hindi, and has attractive illustrations on every page.

The book is accompanied by a training manual ‘An Introduction to Inclusive Education’ and is paired with a training module for implementation. The goal of this three part training module is to sensitize children and teachers as well as key stakeholders in the education system about mainstreaming students with disabilities, and provide practical information to help school systems (teachers, students, educators, etc.) include students with disabilities in the classroom. Key highlights of the training manual, An Introduction to Inclusive Education, are that it seeks to:

  • Examine the idea of disability.
  • Explain the concept of inclusive education
  • List Government of India laws and schemes to potentially benefit students with disabilities, delve into disability-specific accommodations, modifications and tools to use in the classroom
  • Explain the concepts of classroom management and positive behavior supports
  • The manual also has a toolkit for further information and comes with a set of PowerPoints and lesson plans to use when training teachers about disability.

The manual and accompanying lesson plans are open source, and will be available on American India Foundation’s Knowledge Center (http://aif.org/multimedia/knowledge-center/). Look out for final copies of the book, accompanying training manual and lesson plans around September 2014.

About the Authors:

Angela Kohama spent ten months as a 2013-14 William J Clinton Fellow for Service in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India with Shaishav, a participatory child-rights organization as a grants and programs fellow. In the fall of 2014 she will be attending Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs to pursue a graduate degree in Development Practices.

COCO VONNEGUT worked at Khamir in Kachchh, Gujarat as a 2013-2014 William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India on story-telling projects honoring artisan communities. In fall of 2014 she will be attending Columbia’s School of Graduate Arts and Sciences to pursue a graduate degree with the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies.

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