It was 1990 and David Householder of the North Sewickley Presbyterian Church recommended to Dr. V.C. George that he come to Erie for on-the-job training at the Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Center. At that time he was a manager of a program for adults with disabilities in India. Dr. George spent four months with us learning about everything we did for children and adults with disabilities in our school, with our adult services and in our residential programs. He returned to India to begin his mission.
He came back to Erie in the late 90s and early 2000s many, many times, always committed to learning the state-of-the-art programs. One summer, our physical therapist, Tom Hudson, returned to India with him to spend six weeks assisting Dr. George with establishing his programs for children and adults with disabilities. In 2008, Dr. George dedicated his school for children with disabilities. A few years later he began a small center for adults with disabilities. Dr. George currently serves as Clinical Psychologist/ Administrator of Vadaketh Development Center, Miraj, Maharashtra, India and is President of the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists.
In addition to providing these direct services, Dr. George has been able to help at least two other village schools begin to serve children with disabilities. Also, he is a voice for these children at the national level in India and is influencing the priorities and services India offers persons with disabilities.
Today, 24 years later, he has returned to the Barber National Institute to offer us an update on the Vadaketh Development Center and to learn from us what is current that is practiced in the field of disabilities. Dr. George frequently comments that he has established a Gertrude Barber Center in India. I look forward to his visit and will share his comments in future blogs.