The Institute is a multifunctional unit functioning at Ilia State University (ISU) that offers wide spectrum of services to the children and families with special needs in one space.
The Institute incorporates various service centers functioning at Ilia State University and provides children and families with special needs with multifunctional services. Additionally, the Institute is a cornerstone of research, development and modernizing services for inclusive education while applying contemporary applied research based methodology in practice. Moreover, the Institute is functioning as a core practical base for relevant undergraduate and master programs in inclusive education as well as coaching and preparing qualified practitioners.
The Institute aims at providing wide spectrum of multiprofile and high quality services to the children and families with special needs. It also generates research in inclusive education and strives towards sharing the know-how.
The Institute accepts all children and families with special needs within the age group 0-18 on specific programs if they meet the requirements of the Institute.
Institute offers services up to 300 beneficiaries and provides about 200 students and specialists with study components on a yearly basis.
Professional Environment of Institute
Methodological support and assistance of the Institute is provided by ISU professors, Institute practitioners and invited specialists. International connections, networking and professional development of specialists guarantee adaptation of contemporary methods and research is directed towards identifying effective methodologies relevant to Georgian context.
Physical Environment of Institute
Physical environment of the Institute is based on requirements of universal design. This design helps forming inclusive and helpful atmosphere for children with special needs.
Various sources provide funding for the Institute:
- University funding
- Individual fees for services
- Program funding offered from the State
- Funding for specific projects from donors
- Individual charities
- Insurance program
A variety of funding sources provide affordable services at the Institute.
Organizational Structure of the Institute
The Institute is spearheaded by the Director who is accountable for the University Rector. Professional oversight of the Institute is the responsibility of Professional Council comprised of ISU professors and the heads of centers and programs within the Institute. The Institute will support the centers in their independent programs, services and financial management, however contracts and relevant financial operations with the personnel will be managed by the Institute on the basis of the requests. These centers will sign individual agreements with the Institute which will allow for financial contributions from the centers for Institute’s sustainability.
Beneficiaries will sign up in the Institute’s Registrar first, and then the Institute will direct them to individual programs and centers.
Description of Institute Services and Programs
Psychologists and students of Autism Center work with 30 children with ASD on a daily basis. The therapy is ongoing as an individual intensive training at the Center and outside (schools, nursery schools, home, markets, children’s entertaining centers, parallel to hippotherapy, etc). Individual program for school children is minimum 5 hours per week, but for preschool children minimum of 10 hours per week program is recommended.
Early Development Center provides children within the age group 0-7 and their families with individual and group activities. Center also offers coaching of parents to be involved in daily activities aiming at developing different skills.
Applied Center for Education, Consulting and Rehabilitation of Children with Special Needs helps young people with special needs to transition into the mainstream. The purpose of the center is to enhance the skills of labor and with the help of ISU students it also offers various exercises during group therapy.
Preschool and Inclusive Education Center strives to ensure teaching and learning quality of institutions of preschool education. It also involves individuals interested in various educational activities related to professional development.
Students Club for Inclusive Education aims to raise awareness about inclusive education among the university students. It incorporates ISU students and alumni. Organizers and volunteers tightly cooperate with ISU Department of Student Services.
Center for Hippotherapy offers children with special needs within the age group of 3-18 therapeutic and educational activities with the help of animals.
Sensory Integration Program offers its beneficiaries stimulation of different senses and needs based sensory program
Speech Therapy serves as an intervention in the form of individual and group assistance during speech disorders.
Cognitive (computer) program based of modern technologies aims at providing various study or therapeutic trainings by implementing innovative technology and methodology.
Integration and Transition Program with assistance of ISU Early Development Center , Georgian Portage Association and ISU Preschool and Inclusive Education Center aims at involving children with special needs in nursery schools and providing preschool inclusive education.
Behavioral and Emotional Development Program aims at strengthening adaptive skills among children with special needs and implementing positive practice in living environment. Program beneficiary is provided with the service of individual consulting, therapy, group training which includes children and adults as well.
Professional Development Program incorporates components of various stages in adult education such as students internships, preparing specialists, professional development of specialists via training or supervision. This program involves local and foreign specialists.
Parent’s School includes enhancing parents support component and brings together center beneficiary parents.
The purpose of Advocacy Program is to prepare specialists and deepen their knowledge in advocating people with special needs. In line with its purpose, the program also aims to create standards and methodological course books. Additionally, the program supports lobbying interests of each beneficiary and mobilizing social and financial recourses for them.