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Nurzhamal Karamoldoeva

Executive Director, American University in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan)
Funded Research Project Title: Empowering Parents of Children with Disabilities in Kyrgyzstan

Project title: Empowering Parents of Children with Disabilities in Kyrgyzstan

Nurzhamal’s project focuses on identifying the needs of parents of children with disabilities and take actions in order to meet those needs. It focuses on four areas: psychological support, communication with a child, legal support, and financial literacy. The research is guided by the following questions: What specific knowledge and skills do parents of children with disabilities need? 2. How effective are the video modules? Do they bring any positive changes?

Nurzhamal will be working with the Public Organization of Parents of Children with Disabilities "ARDI”, primarily with Seinep Dyikanbaeva, 2012 AUCA’s alumna and ARDI’s lawyer. They plan to develop appropriate video modules that will consist of lessons in the areas of psychology, law and finances based on the needs assessment analysis. These video materials will equip the parents with the necessary knowledge and skills that they can apply in real life, like how to plan a family budget. For instance, two of the modules will be dedicated to psychological support for parents and how to communicate with one’s child, who was diagnosed with a disability. They will be helpful not only for parents, but also for all other family members, like siblings, grandparents, and so on, in accepting the child with special needs. It is expected that the gained understanding and acceptance, in turn, will lower the level of prejudice existing within the family per se, thus decreasing the weight of stress and increasing confidence in one’s capability of bringing up a child with a disability. Overall, the project hopes to empower parents and provide psychological support.

The project’s impacts will be measured in the form of direct feedback from the parents and their families. Surveys, interviews, and written reviews will become indicators of effectiveness. There will be two major presentations of the project in the Ak-Suu sanatorium for children and adults with disabilities and AUCA, where the project team will conduct surveys among the audience consisting of parents, asking them to evaluate each module. Furthermore, ARDI will be in charge of implementing follow-up surveys on a regular basis (e.g., once in 6 months) in order to see whether the modules produced any positive changes in participants’ lives and how. Additionally, the number of views on each video module will be an indicator as well, as video lessons will be uploaded on CCE AUCA and ARDI’s social media accounts, CCE’s YouTube channel, and, if possible, they will be broadcasted on the national channels of Kyrgyzstan in order to cover a wider audience.