Department of Empowerment of People with Disability (DEPwD) Government of India visit the Institute

Two delegations from the Department of Empowerment of People with Disability (DEPwD), Government of India, visited the University in mid-April.  This visit built on the bilateral MoU in disability that the University helped facilitate and was signed during the President of India’s visit in 2018.

The official disability delegation, led by the Joint Secretary Dolly Chakrabarty, was hosted by the Chancellery and the Melbourne Disability Institute.  Meetings with the Victorian Government, the Royal Children’s hospital and various University departments advanced a number of projects including:

  • Building an economic Case for Disability investment in India (led by professors Bruce Bonyhady and Barbara McPake)
  • Training and research projects in collaboration with the new National Institute on Mental Health Rehabilitation/Research
  • The proposed roll-out of the Nae Disha mental health resilience program developed by Dr Kaaren Mathias with research support from Dr Greg Armstrong, A/Prof Michelle Kermode and A/Prof Nathan Grills
  • Leadership training program being coordinated by Professor Rob Moodie
  • The community based rehabilitation (CBR) co-design program


The expert technical team from India: representing >150  years experience in CBR.

The technical delegation, led by Dr Subodh Kumar, Member Secretary of the Rehabilitation Council of India developed a competency framework for community-based rehabilitation training in India. This co-design project flows out of the bilateral MoU on disability and is supported by the Melbourne Disability Institute.

Dr Lindsey Gale and A/Prof Nathan Grills are leading the co-design project. A/P Grills explained that “appropriately trained community based disability workers are key to improving access to disability services in rural India”.

This is the first time that a rigorous, empirically validated competency-based approach has been applied to such training.

Cover photo : Official reception hosted by the Chancellor Mr Allan Myers (L-R Professor Bonyhady, Joint Secretary Chakrabarty, the Chancellor, Aii Delhi Director Tanya Spisbah, Under Secretary Panda,  A/Professor Grills, Dr Himanghsu, RCI Member Secretary Kumar, and Assistant DVCI Professor Muthupandian)

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