The Spastics Society of TamilNadu [SPASTN] was started by a group of philanthropists in 1981, the International year of the Disabled, initiated by Mrs. Shanthi Sadiq Ali, wife of the Governor of Tamil Nadu at that time. Its objective was to fulfill the need for a special school for children with cerebral palsy. It was first located in a room, provided by Mrs. Nandita Krishna, at the C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer Foundation.

Ms Sarah Chanda, was the first secretary of this institution. She was closely involved in its administration for a decade, and instrumental in getting five acres of land allotted to them. By 1989 SPASTN was operating from three centers in the city, Ayanavaram, Royapuram and Taramani, where it is headquartered.

Many of the founding members, such as Mrs. Seetha Muthiah, President for 14 years and Mrs.Meenakshi Meyappan, Founder Treasurer still continue to serve actively on the committee. Many others have contributed their time and effort, over the decades, to build this institution.

Mrs. Indira Dutt is the current President of the Executive Committee of SPASTN and Mrs.L.V.Jayashree is the Director.

 1981 
  • In the International Year of the Disabled, The Spastics Society of TamilNadu [SPASTN] was established by Mrs. Shanti Sadiq Ali, as the first centre in the Southern Indian Region, exclusively for spastic children at the C.P.Ramasamy Arts Centre. SPASTN’s first urban centre was at Ayanavaram in Central Madras.
 1985
  • Established the second urban centre was at Taramani, South Madras on 5 acres of land donated by Late Dr. M.G.Ramachandran, the then Chief Minister of TamilNadu
 1986
  • Launched One Year Teacher Training Course in Special Education at the under-graduate level. – Multidisciplinary Assistant Course [MDA]
 1989
  • The third urban centre at Royapuram, North Madras in the middle of an urban slum community
  • Core Workshop at the Taramani Campus for making individualized positioning aids.
 1991
  • Early Detection Program in 5 city Government Hospitals for screening high-risk NEWBORN babies immediately after delivery, before discharge from hospitals [FIRST such programme in India].
  • Recognition of One Year Postgraduate and Undergraduate Diploma in Special Education courses recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India
  • Training of Grassroot Level Workers
  • Parent Training Program
  • Staff Development programme by inviting International Experts and also deputing staff under Colombo Plan @ University of Manchester, USA
 1992
  • Community Based Rehabilitation in 2 Blocks in the Chengalpet District – Development of Linkage Model
  • Modified Gymnasium
 1993
  • Human Resource Development Centre at Taramani, with hostel facilities for outstation students
  • A Separate Building for Vocational Training Centre
  • Open Air Auditorium
  • Organized 7th National Annual Seminar “Confluences” jointly organized by SPASTN and the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad
 1994
  • Offered Affiliation status to NGOs in Pondicherry, and Madhya Pradesh
  • SPAS Foods, a food processing unit run by Disabled girls and their mothers, as an income generating programme
 1995
  • MORE – Mobile Rural Extension in 6 Blocks in Chengai Anna District [Kancheepuram Dt.], through Government Health Centres
  • Research in Computer Software Development with the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and the NIIT
  • Extension of CBR to 6 blocks. Development of Linkage Model of CBR
  • Interface on Disability, NGO Network of TamilNadu to reach disabled children in every districts and villages of TamilNadu, through the replication of the Linkage Model by 22 NGOs Partners.
  • Orthotic unit for making low-cost and individualized splints, calipers, modified computer equipment, dressing tools etc Extension of CBR activities to other blocks of Chengai Anna and Chengai MGR Districts [i.e., currently known as Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram]
  • Development of awareness/training materials – books, posters, video-films etc.
  • Customized Short training courses launched :-
    • Village Health Nurses of the Department of Public Health
    • Multipurpose Health Workers of the Corporation of Chennai
    • Nurses of the Indian Red Cross Society and M.A.Chidambaram College of Nursing
    • ICDS Personnel Mobile and Special Teams, Grade I Supervisors, Department of Social Welfare
    • Personnel of the TamilNadu Integrated Nutrition Project
    • NGO Personnel from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Kerala, Pondicherry and District Level NGOs in TamilNadu and from Department of Social Welfare, Sri Lanka, Caritas Hospital, Cambodia
    • Organized Workshop on Assistive Devices for UNESCAP & Government of India
 1996
  • Launching of the Action Group on Advocacy for the Disabled.
  • High-risk screening extended to 9 Government Hospitals in Chennai and covering 35 PHCs outside Chennai
  • Short term stay facility for Family Service Centre for the rural disabled children and families in Taramani [short-term residential facility]
  • Best Institution Award by the Government of TamilNadu

 1997

  • Multi-Sectoral Linkages with Departments of Education and Rural Development of the Government of TamilNadu
  • Inclusion of children with disabilities within the regular education system in Chennai and Tiruvannamalai & Thiruvallur districts.
  • Development of Training materials
 1998
  • Mrs. Aloka Guha, Director received the National Award for Best Individual in the field of Disability
  • Separate Building for School
  • Separate Orthotics Unit and Workshop Building
  • Accreditation to National Open School
 1999
  • Accreditation to Indira Gandhi National Open University
  • Training for Primary Health Centres Doctors – RCI National Programme
  • A Rights Awareness Campaign on Persons with Disability and the Act – PACT
  • Sensory Integration
 2000
  • SPASTN won the UNESCAP HRD Award for 2000
  • Mrs. Aloka Guha, Director, nominated as Chairperson, National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities
  • SPASTN has been selected as Facilitator for setting up of District Centres under GPY
  • Launched the pilot program on Empowerment of Girls and Women with Disabilities – called the EDGE
  • SPASTN selected as study centre in Locomotor Disability and Cerebral Palsy by Rehabilitation Council of India – for Bhoj University’s B.Ed. Course – Distance Education
  • Book launched on “Towards Inclusive Communities”, supported by Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation
  • Sernthu Padippoam – a workable model of Inclusive Education in one block of Thiruvallur District
  • AVI – Accreditation for Vocational Training Courses by National Open School
  • Project Able Art – an accessible Production Centre for persons with different disabilities 

 2001 

  • National Award for the Best Institution, Government of India
  • Appointed as Information Centre for National Trust, Government of India
  • Organised specialized skill training programs on – Curriculum Planning and Design, Neuro Developmental Therapy, Implementing Inclusion in Mainstream Schools, Training of Master Trainers for Caregivers, Training of Caregivers, Parent Training
2002
  • National Award for Barrier Free Environment, Government of India
  • Excellence in Achievement, Rehabilitation Council of India, New Delhi – 2002
  • Established a Multiple Disability Unit with the support from Hilton Perkins, Boston, U.S.A
  • Job Oriented training for young adults with Multiple Disabilities – Able Art
  • Translation and printing of materials on Early Intervention – A guideline to frontline workers and parents guide book
  • Study Centre for the Foundation Course for Teachers on Education for Children with Disabilities in collaboration with RCI and Madhya Pradesh Bhoj University
  • Ceramic unit as part of Vocational Training Centre
  • Separate unit for Multiple Disability children
2003
  • National Award for the Best Information Centre, National Trust, Government of India
  • RAID [Rights Awareness in Disability] in 15 Districts of Tamil Nadu – II Phase
  • State Nodal Agency Centre for National Trust
  • Solar lighting for Taramani Campus
  • Multisensory Garden in CBR
  • Formation of Self Help Group
2004
  • National Award for the Best Information Centre, National Trust, Government of India
  • Rain Water Harvesting System, supported by Federal Republic of Germany, Chennai
  • Papers Presented at the International Congress at Stavanger, Norway on Congress – Inclusive Education, supported by USAID, New Delhi
2005
  • National Award for the Best Creative Child, Government of India
  • National Award for the Best Information Centre, National Trust, Government of India
  • State Award for the Best Institution for Implementing Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Government of TamilNadu
  • SPASTN entrusted to run The State Resource Training Centre [SRTC] , Government of TamilNadu
  • National Award for the Best State Nodal Agency Centre, National Trust, Government of India, New Delhi
2006
  • National Award for the “Best Creative Disabled Child”, Government of India
  • Completed 25yrs of commendable work for persons with disability – a significant milestone and landmark
  • Released Souvenir magazine and a book on ‘Special Yoga for Children with special needs’
  • Energy efficient Green Effort of a Solar Powered Hydrotherapy to provide aquatic therapy for students opened.
2007
  • Vocational Training Centre – Extension Building, sponsored by Mr.Prabhakar Reddy
  • International workshop on Breathe and Walk – THE NDT Way
  • Vazhndhu Kattuvom program in Ellapuram Block launched
2008
  • Mrs. Geetha Jeevan, Honourable Minister for Social Welfare, Government of TamilNadu launched the Niramaya Health Insurance Scheme under National Trust.
  • Granted affiliation from University of Madras for P.G.Diploma in Developmental Therapy [PGDDT] and P.G. Diploma in Special Education [PGDSE].
  • MOU with Lifeline Hospitals for training and job placements for young adults
  • Book on Basic Developmental Therapy published
2009
  • Program Study Centre for Indira Gandhi National Open University
  • Certificate course in Early Childhood Special Education [CP] – Distance Education
  • Job Fair conducted in Chennai and Madurai

2010

  • State Level Awareness Program – Badhte Kadam II, Sponsored by National Trust
  • Play Class – Reverse Inclusion
2011
  • An alumni of SPASTN takes over the leadership of SPASTN as Director
  • Launched Able@World of Work (ABLE@WOW) for providing Community Based Vocational Training for students in portable generic and core skills through customized and structured training that is person-centred with clear Vocational Pathways.
  • “Together – Sure We Can” aims to provide training and placement opportunities for young adults with disability IN OPEN EMPLOYMENT IN the Food and Beverage Sector.
  • 12 students placed on On-site training at the Copper Chimney outlet in Taramani.
  • The first World Autism Awareness Day was celebrated and Blue to Work campaign launched and number of community partners and corporate participated. SNAC-TamilNadu organized three campaigns at three places in Chennai and Thiruvallur districts.

2012

  • Avaz – Alternative and Augmentative Communication tool is now used in classrooms and a total of 6 tablets are available.
  • Therapeutainment Kinect (X-BOX GAMES): The Kinect or X-box games is a motion sensory video game. The Sensor senses the human movements and enable the participant to play different games that comes along in different CDs
  • SPANDAN National Trust Award – Best Individual Category, Government of India awarded for Parent-Child-Model of Community Based Vocational Training
  • The Fitness Centre is a State-of-the-art Gym with to improve the Physical Fitness – both strength and endurance of young adults and adolescents of SPASTN. Physical Therapist oversees the training. More than 150 children use the Fitness Centre
  • Pink Brigade – Adolescent and adult girls with special needs, dressed in their new attire, joined their friends in the newly inaugurated Pizzeria
  • Rehabilitation Council of India (Under the National plan of Action to implement FCECD through online). A total of 17 BRC’s in 17 district were inspected and 22 Faculty for the on line course were trained out of 11 districts were given training
  • Customized State-of-Art Sensory Integration Unit designed and developed by SPASTN for State Resource Training Centre, Chennai
  • Kinect Therapeutainment for children with disabilities
  • Reed Elsevier sponsored books for our Library
  • Launched B.Ed SE MR distance education course by TamilNadu Open University

2013

  • The Visit of Their Majesties Emperor and Empress of Japan on December 5th 2013. The Royal couple and their entourage of former Prime Minister, Senior Officials of Government of Japan and Senior Officials from Ministry of External Affairs were present
  • IPS A+ – Structured Training Education [STEP] Program for Children with Autism supported by Tech Mahindra Foundation
  • Capacity Building Training programs at International, National and District levels
  • Networking with Corporate Partners to support specific activity-based projects
  • 22 young adults with disabilities currently on work experience program2001
  • National Award for the Best Institution, Government of India
  • Appointed as Information Centre for National Trust, Government of India
  • Organised specialized skill training programs on – Curriculum Planning and Design, Neuro Developmental Therapy, Implementing Inclusion in Mainstream Schools, Training of Master Trainers for Caregivers, Training of Caregivers, Parent Training

2014

  • Mind-Tree Foundation supported Community Based Rehabilitation Program
  • Study Centre for PGPD SE-MR for TamilNadu Open University
  • Construction of First Floor for Vocational Training Centre
  • Insulated Roofing for Vocational Training Centre Floor shop.
  • Book on Universal Design in collaboration with SAMARTHYAM
  • Chairperson, Zonal Coordination Committee –Southern Region II, Rehabilitation Council of India

2015

  • RISE FROM THE DELUGE – The flooding of our Taramani branch of the school from where the headquarter of SPASTN operates occurred in November and December 2015. Literally floodgates opened the moment front and back compound walls gave away and water stood up to 4.5 feet height. The School looked like a “dhobighat” and a waste-dumping yard with a strong putrid decaying odour and stink. The team spirit of SPASTN staff and teachers were exemplary as they went about cleaning, clearing, restoring, rejecting, and recycling the various equipment and official documents.
  • NIOS student of SPASTN has been honoured by our Honorable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, for his Thirukural Recitation at Rashtrapathi Bhavan, New Delhi
  • SPASTN Royapuram started deafblind unit at SPASTN, Oldwashermenpet branch with the support of Sense International India. No. of students enrolled is 27 nos.
  • Regional Learning Centre for Deafblindness
  • Weaving Unit started at Vocational Training Centre
  • Organised International Workshop on NDT Therapy

2016

  • Renovation of Family Service Centre
  • Student assembly area renovated into a seamless flooring surface.
  • Commencement of Construction of Therapeutic Enrichment Activity Hall – Research and Development.
  • Amusement Park for Children
  • Therapeutic Enrichment Activity Hall [Research & Development] initiated
  • Renovation of Open Air Auditorium with Roof

2017

  • Renovation of Orthotics and Workshop building
  • Accredited by Credibility Alliance for the highest norms “Most Desirable”

2018

  • Renovation of School and Human Resource Development Centre Building
  • Gokul Srinivas – Winner of Para Olympic Gold in 800 meters free style and 1500 meters Silver
  • Project on Readiness to Learn
  • Therapeutic Enrichment Activity Hall [Research & Development] @MRT1 completed and inaugurated by Honourable Governor Thiru. Banwarilal Purohit
  • Playground for students