Maharashtra Dyslexia Association is a not-for-profit organisation committed to securing the rights of students with Dyslexia (also known as a 'Specific Learning or Language Disability') to an appropriate education. MDA was started in March 1996 by a group of parents and professionals with a view to creating awareness about Dyslexia within the educational community and the general public, and advocating the rights of these students.
To promote the rights of individuals with Specific Learning Disability through diagnostic and remedial services, advocacy, research and capacity building
Everyone with Specific Learning Disability achieving and thriving
MDA is a member of the Global Partner Programme of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).
- Services for children with Specific Learning Disability and their families:
- Remedial Programmes
- Counselling for students and parents
- Aptitude Testing and Career Counselling
- Workshops and Training Programmes for professionals associated with the field
- Memberships to the Association
- Information about Specific Learning Disability
- Library Services
- Support for educational institutions
MDA is now offering Diagnostic Services in Surat, Gujarat and Chandor, Goa.
The MDA Team
- Masarrat Khan – Chief Executive Officer, Clinical Psychologist, Counsellor, Dyslexia Therapist, Certified Academic Language Therapist
Masarrat Khan holds Master's degrees in Clinical Psychology and English Literature from Mumbai University, and has a Certiificate in Dyslexia Therapy from the Multisensory Language Training Institute, New Mexico (MLTI-NM). She is also a member of the Academic Language Therapy Association, USA. Ms. Khan has an invaluable experience of three decades in the area of Learning Disabilities. She heads MDA and has steered its growth and expansion over the years. She has been responsible for developing MDA's unique internship programme and is the Course Coordinator, Trainer and Clinical Supervisor for the Dyslexia Therapist Training Programme which is being offered by MDA in collaboration with the MLTI-NM. She is a Pre-Primary and Primary Curriculum Developer and Trainer for the English Language and Maths. Ms Khan was one of the Primary Investigators in the development of DALI-Dyslexia Assessment for the Languages of India. She has presented a paper on Phonological Awareness and Phonics Instruction: Inclusive Practice that Benefits All Kinds of Learners nationally and internationally.
- Divya Balgi – Administrator
An Engineer by profession, Divya brings with her over three decades of experience in operations and management roles. Her last assignment was at a Hong Kong based multinational as their Liaison Office Manager in India for five years before joining MDA. Divya oversees the entire administration and accounts at MDA in an efficient and systematic manner, ensuring the smooth functioning of our various Resource Centres and outreach projects.
- Deesha Pandya – Psychologist
With Bachelor's degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from Mumbai University, Ms Deesha Pandya completed her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from SNDT University in 2006 and trained for a year under an experienced psychologist at a hospital before joining MDA in 2007. Presently, a Senior Psychologist at MDA, she is responsible for assessments and training and mentoring trainee and junior psychologists. She is a Certified Facilitator for the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Programme, and is training to be a Dyslexia Therapist.
- Diya Basu - Psychologist
An M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Calcutta, Ms Diya Basu joined MDA in 2009 as a Trainee Psychologist. Presently, a Senior Psychologist at MDA, she is responsible for assessments, and training and mentoring trainee and junior psychologists. She is also a Certified Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Programme Facilitator. She conducts workshops on Psycho-Educational Assessments for professionals, and Dyslexia Awareness and Classroom Management Strategies for mainstrean school teachers.
- Kaschit Mishra - Psychologist and Rational Emotive & Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
Ms Kaschit Mishra holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from SNDT University, Mumbai and joined MDA in 2010. A Senior Psychologist, Ms Kaschit is responsible for assessments and training and mentoring trainee and junior psychologists. She is a Rational Emotive & Behaviour Therapist (RE&CBT), a Neuro-linguistics Programming (NLP) Practioner, a Certified Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Programme Facilitator, and Brain Gym Practioner. She also conducts Dyslexia Awareness and Classroom Management Strategies Workshops for mainstream teachers and professionals.
- Manek Chitalwala- Special Educator, Dyslexia Therapist, Certified Academic Language Therapist
With a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Mumbai University, a B.Ed. in Special Education from SNDT University, Mumbai, and a Certificate in Dyslexia Therapy from the Multi-sensory Language Training Institute, New Mexico, Manek gained valuable experience through voluntary work for NGOs prior to joining MDA in May 2003. She handles remedial programmes for children with Specific Learning Disability and coordinates our outreach project at Muktangan, an English medium school for underprivileged students within the government school system. She is a clinical supervisor for the Dyslexia Therapist Training Programme and is a member of the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA), USA.
- Susan George - Special Educator
A graduate in Psychology from Mumbai University, Susan has also completed an M.A. in Political Science and a B.Ed in Special Education from SNDT University, Mumbai. She has worked at Saplings and Father Agnel Multipurpose School, Vashi for several years as a Special Educator. She joined MDA in June 2008 and is responsible for remedial work with children. She also conducts the I.E. programme and the Study Skills programme with students.
- Jumana Shipchandler – Clinical Psychologist
An M.A. in Clinical Psychology from SNDT University, Mumbai, Jumana worked for a year and a half in a Child Guidance Centre in Surat prior to joining MDA in July 2004. As a Senior Psychologist she trains young graduates who opt for our Internship Programme, in Psycho-Educational Assessment. She also conducts the I.E. programme with students. Jumana has now moved to Surat and is working for MDA from there.
Assessment Services in Goa
- Lucy Martins - Counselling Psychologist & Special Educator
Ms Lucy Martins holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from Bombay University and B. Ed. in Special Education from SNDT University, Mumbai. She is a Master Practitioner of the Neuro Linguistic Programme (NLP) and is a Facilitator of the Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment Programme (FIE). She has received training in the use of the Sonday System, a reading and spelling programme and the PASS Reading Enhancement Programme. She has also received training in Brain Gym and Tools of the Trade.
Ms Martins started her career as a regular classroom teacher at Michael’s High School, Mumbai and thereafter has worked with children with special needs in various capacities since 1994 in Mumbai and Goa. From 2002 to 2013, Ms Martins worked at Maharashtra Dyslexia Association as a Special Educator and Psychologist, imparting remedial education and study skills training as well as assessing students for Specific Learning Disability. She now provides assessment services in Goa.
MDA Committee Members
- Kate Currawalla – Founder President
Kate Currawalla is the Founder President of MDA. She has been working tirelessly since its inception to expand and develop the reach of the Association so that children with Specific Learning Disability have access to high quality testing, assessment and remediation, to ensure access to an appropriate education within the mainstream system. Kate's energetic determination and unflagging attitude has resulted in the Association's expansion from a tiny office in North Mumbai to four centres across the city. Her sense of enterprise and perseverance has resulted in several fruitful tie-ups for the association in the areas of training and publications. A graduate of Arts from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, and a PG Diploma in Mass Communications, Kate has worked as a free-lance journalist and short filmmaker. She was a regular contributor to several reputed media channels, including the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and Doordarshan. In 2003, she was elected a Fellow of the renowned Ashoka Innovators for the Public, a Washington-based Foundation that promotes innovative entrepreneurship in the voluntary sector worldwide. In 2008, she was felicitated as a Woman Achiever of the Year by the Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha.
- Jyoti Row Kavi - Hon. Secretary
With over 30 years of experience in corporate communications with multinationals, Jyoti brings her skills and expertise to further the cause of Dyslexia in the public eye. Actively promoting information in the media, Ms. Row Kavi is focused on disseminating knowledge about learning disabilities through various channels of communication.
- Cyrus Shroff - Treasurer
Cyrus Shroff is an MBA with over 35 years of experience in Information technology, education and the travel industry. Currently, he works as a consultant and is on the boards of various business organisations and public charities.
- Santhosh Rajan - Committee Member
Immensely creative by nature, Santhosh Rajan dabbles in several streams of the fine arts – be it theater, singing, dance, or painting. She has also written, directed and produced a play single-handedly. On completing her graduation, she worked for 8 years with the Minerals & Metals Trading Corporation and thereafter joined her husband to assist him in his new business venture.
- Meena Mody - Committee Member
A Graduate in Fine Arts from the J. J. School of Arts, Meena Mody used to conduct art classes from her home. She is now actively involved in organizing the multiple workshops that MDA conducts throughout the year.
- Dr. Indula Panchal - Committee Member
Dr. Panchal, an MD in Anesthesia, retired as Head of the Department of Anesthesia, T. N. Medical College & Nair Hospital in 2000, after 35 years of dedicated service. Currently she is free-lancing and is a part-time Professor in a private medical college. She is also Hon. Consultant at the Harkisondas Hospital and the Jagjivan Ram Railway Hospital, Mumbai.
- Tehmi Morris - Committee Member
Tehmi Morris holds a Bachelor's degree in Social Science and a Diploma from the Royal Society of Arts (UK) in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and has worked at the British Council, Mumbai, in their English Studies Department. Whether pitching in with administrative chores or focusing on fundraising, she brings considerable grace and skill to her enthusiastic support for the cause.
- Priyamvada Merchant - Committee Member
Priyamvada is certified to identify children with learning disabilities and has actively been working in this field since 2003 in a voluntary capacity. She has over 15 years of experience with MNCs like Philips, Blue Star and Tata IS, where she managed their marketing and communication. She also co-founded The Mindful Life, which is "A path of self discovery through living meditation - Mindfulness". At The Mindful Life, she looks after the process outreach along with logistics and marketing and communication.