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Vocational training for livelihood and rehabilitation of persons with intellectual disabilities

Chinchu Chithrangathan (Chinchu Chithrangathan is based at Women’s Studies Centre, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi, India and Research Consultant of Association for Social Change, Evolution, and Transformation (ASCENT), Kozhikode, India)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 10 October 2022

Issue publication date: 7 December 2022




Rehabilitation facilities available for persons with intellectual disabilities are low in India. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate an action research programme undertaken in Thrissur district, Kerala, India, to provide institution-based vocational training to selected beneficiaries of BUDS rehabilitation institutions.


A total of 40 students were selected for the training programme. Different vocational activities were included according to criteria such as the abilities of students, sustainability and therapeutic value.


The results of data analysis showed that fraternity, engagement and collectivism were the themes that emerged from the conversations with students, teachers and parents. Some students showed marked improvements in various areas of functioning.

Research limitations/implications

Larger replication studies could provide more evidence for wider implementation.

Practical implications

There is a possibility of scaling up the model at the state or national level.

Social implications

This model could be adopted for providing better services to persons with intellectual disabilities in similar low- and middle-income settings.


To the best of the author’s knowledge, this paper is the first known attempt at examining the utility of vocational activity training as therapeutic intervention for persons with intellectual disabilities in India.



Ms Anju Bhargavan, the Project Fellow, coordinated the training activities in the institutions and helped with data collection.

Funding: The training activities in the study were financially supported by the Pazhayannur Block Panchayat of Thrissur District, Kerala, India, and monitored by the Social Justice Department of Government of Kerala through the Child Development Project Officer, Pazhayannur Block, Thrissur District, Kerala, India.


Chithrangathan, C. (2022), "Vocational training for livelihood and rehabilitation of persons with intellectual disabilities", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 27 No. 3/4, pp. 129-138.



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