Showing posts with label Disability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disability. Show all posts


Why Count the White Elephant Called Disability

Disability is the pet white elephant in the
development sector zoo, if i may call it so.

#DisabilityCount #IDPD2015  #disabilityday2015. Today, I am going to share a slice of my work with you all. Well, all my work is not play, but yes it has been quite intriguing in the sense that it really compels you to think how best you can design development programs at the community level that reaches to all those who need them the most, include those who are left behind, address their unmet needs and hopefully continue or spur a momentum systemically, even after you exit as a donor agency. It is easier to capture the sentiments here in a blog, but, to really conceptualize a program that is cost-effective, inclusive, efficient, pertinent, promises to bring a long term impact with sustainability is no easy task even for some brilliant people working together as the variables in a social scene are subtle, intangible, interwoven and attribution to a specific welfare program or social innovation is slower than we want to. Unfolding of plans and demonstrating even the minimum viable product (or its forecast) takes couple or revisions and continuous flow of funds. 

A typical grant making circus goes like this. Okay, so we are launching a targeted intervention to reach the poorest of the poor people in xyz geographical area with tribal population this percentage, alarmingly low health indicators, no formal education, unbelievably low per capita income (if at all), women living in depravity and we intend to bring wonders by X% in Y years. And then we devise some SMART indicators, strategies, logic model and theory of change, monitoring and evaluation framework and on winning the grant assume to prove our development hypothesis right.

Wow, job well done.

No. Not really.

While gender has been a 'trending' buzzword for which data collection, analysis and disaggregation takes place at every step of the way, disability is by far most excluded. 

Disability is like that white elephant standing tall in a room, but no one can see it.


Understanding Children with Autism

Image Courtesy :

Published in ParentEdge Magazine, click here to read.
I happened to meet my old friend last week who was just recovering from an accident. Due to the injury in her leg, she had gone through a surgery and got it fixed with help of steel rods. Now, she can’t walk properly, and the limping is quite visible. She is the mother of an autistic son, 14 years. After meeting her, I realised that I did not have much awareness about Autism despite working in the area of disability. For greater awareness and sensitization, I am sharing some useful information for parents.

What is Autism? 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), aka Autism, is a syndrome characterized by impairment in social interaction (withdrawal, failure to engage in interaction with peers or adults), delays in both verbal and nonverbal communication skills, deficits in cognitive skills, and impairment in the ability to engage in make-believe play. Individuals may engage in repetitive activities or a limited repertoire of activities. It develops from 0 to 3 years age group due to genetic chromosomal disorder.

There are generally two types of autistic children: high functioning and low functioning.

High functioning autistic children are over achievers, hyperactive and perform well at studies and work. However, the low functioning autistic children need constant care, supervision and life-long attention even to perform basic daily living skills (DLS). They generally live at home with their parents or in residential facilities where their needs can be constantly addressed.


Unlock Pockets of Dream : Come take Education Key

# This post is an account of my first field visit to Samarthanam's school and training center

This morning ride to office was good with radio giving full kick on Sallu bhai's songs. Had some site visits planned for the day.

Stop # 1: We started with TechVision - a facility supported by Microsoft and Philips and many other corporate to train persons with visual impairment in ICT via JAWS (Jobs Access With Speech). Met Chandrakant who heads the TechVision Centre, Sunil - who is a real troubleshooter when it comes to my mailbox configuration and Shalini, she was translating a Kannada book to speech.

Last year, we have trained 400 young adult with disability or under privileged background through TechVision (computer training center)


Assistive Technology for Differently Abled

Image Source: IRIS Smart Home Website

Published in ParentEdge Magazine, click here to read

Welcome to the era of digital natives, where technology is the king. Right from hand held devices, touch screen, tablets, e-books, videos, movies, everything to do with entertainment to education is delivered through technology. 

Thankfully, it has been a boon for children with special needs, who wish to overcome their impairment, through learning computer for education as well as to stay relevant in terms of future employment opportunities. With the advent of internet, now its easier to have access to information with the use of  computer/ mobile phone/ TV via assistive technology tools.


19. Strike Up a Conversation with PWD : Without Feeling Awkward

Published in ParentEdge Magazine, click here to read.

Disability sensitization is a subject, close to my heart. Therefore, i am posting my article written in Feb for ParentEdge Magazine. Hope you will share it to increase awareness. Thanks. 

More often than not, parents get uncomfortable with queries raised by their kids after seeing children with special needs (CWSN) or persons with disabilities (PWD). To chide away such questions and settle for instructions like "don't look there" or "come here" are some of the common responses parents choose instead of making an attempt to educate them with facts and right information, may be little later. 


How to Treat Children With Special Needs (CWSN) - Learning from Maysoon Zayid

Maysoon Zayid - Laughter Therapist.
              "If there is an Oppression Olympics - I would be a gold medalist. I am Palestinian, I am a Muslim, I am a female, I am a virgin, I live in New Jersey with Palsy." - Maysoon Zayid, First Arab American Stand-up Comedian

Published in ParentEdge Magazine, click here to read

This post is dedicated to the most lively, positive and empowering talk on disability and everything that is right about it. An ability, an opportunity to rise above the average. Presenting some excerpts on disability and parenting from her talk at India Today Conclave, 2014.

Survival of the wittiest, yes, that's what Maysoon Zayid stood out for loud and clear with a subtle yet sensitive message on racism, disability and Islamophobia unequivocally.She is the most inspiring and humorously righteous stand up comedian who pulls out laughing fodder from her own life, with lessons for parents and society on how to treat a children with special needs (CWSN). 


Disability and Parenthood : Refute or Salute?

Diversity makes us interesting and attractive,
else we wouldn't be any better than eggs in a crate - lookalikes, pale and boring !
You choose, who you are.
Published in Parent Edge
Published in ParentEdge Magazine, click here to read

This post salutes to the anonymous woman and her journey so far, whom I happened to meet two months ago.

It was a foggy winter afternoon in Delhi, the flight was delayed, and so my little girl and I cruised towards the baby care lounge.  Our companion was a women in her late 20s perched in the corner seat reading some magazine. I was caught up in the drill of feeding cerelac to a teething toddler, so in a hurry we exchanged a few words. After this, back to our own worlds.

To freshen up , she dabbed on her make up and walked out with aplomb and a smile mutely saying good bye – with her baby bump (probably second trimester) and a polio-impaired leg.

Having gone through the overwhelming experience of being first time mother, she left me with question marks hovering over my head. I couldn't help but over think about the equation between disability and motherhood. Like how uncomfortable it must be for her to travel in this condition all by herself and a pair of crutches, will she be alright ?