Posts Tagged 'disability'

Disability and Me…

I just had a lunch with a great friend, she told me how our common friend had misbehaved in a restaurant with a stammering waiter. He threw up his hands in air saying, “He can’t deal with him.” It reminded of my recent conversation with Anshul who told me that he was attended by two hearing and speech challenged attendants at an Costa Coffee outlet in the city. I asked him if his interaction had been satisfactory, he replied with affirmative. He said they communicated through signals. I think we can’t blame the organizations for not hiring the disabled, some of them like NIIT, BEL Ltd. and Costa Coffee are doing their bit, but we too have to change our mindsets and deal responsibly and with sensitivity.

When I published this post about empowering the disabled, one of the readers Praneshachar wrote me a long email about how his organization was providing employment to the disabled and empowering them. After reading his email, I realized he was clearly the person who had had several meaningful interactions with the disabled. I invited him to write a guest post about his experiences. Reading his article, I realized he has been working for a NGO that works for empowering the disabled. Here is what Praneshachar has got to tell us:

Continue reading ‘Disability and Me…’

Ray of Hope for the Disabled

While reading through Reader’s Digest, I came across story of a quadriplegic (a person who has both arms and legs paralysed) Craig Cook. Though I thought it a shame that Craig’s fiance left him after he was paralysed in a car accident where his friend was driving, it was heartening to know that he could find a happy companion in Minnie, a capuchin monkey.

As I read along I realised that there are two-year training programs for these capuchin monkeys so that they can be companions to people like Craig in need. Helping Hands is the organisation that trains these capuchins and provides them as companions to the disabled. Yes, you read it companions and not pet. Here are few excerpts from this article:

When Cook applied to Helping Hands in 2001, it was illegal to have an exotic animal in a home in California. The only helper animals allowed were dogs for the visually impaired. Helping Hands went to work to have the laws changed for Cook, and in 2004, he became the first person in the state to receive a service monkey.

Continue reading ‘Ray of Hope for the Disabled’

Empower the Disabled

At least six percent of Indian population is disabled. Unfortunately disabled in our country are neither aware of their fundamental rights nor they get to exercise them. In fact most, deaf and speech-challenged people do not understand this meaning of the word “rights”. At most, they would know, it means the right direction or left direction. We either view disabled people as victims or exploit their vulnerability. They are still denied of their basic rights to be able to navigate, communicate and right to education.

http://www.disabilityindia.com/

Often decisions about disabled community are taken by government bodies without involving a disabled in the meetings and decisions. Their logic is that what will a audio-speech challenged person contribute to a meeting about meeting challenges of the disabled. This is plain apathy to them. The concept “nothing about us, without us” is unheard by the government.

I read about a story where visually-challenged guy was applying for the job of a lecturer. The insensitive woman at the form counter seemed to be appalled at the thought of a blind person teaching. She discouraged the blind by talking negatively about the whole thing aloud to anyone who would care to listen. She said, “How would he correct the papers? How would he teach?” She was no authority, she was one of us. She was prejudiced and ignorant. We have to put a stop to that attitude.

Continue reading ‘Empower the Disabled’


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