I have no legs,
But I still have feelings,
I cannot see, But I think all the time,
Although I’m deaf, I still want to communicate,
Why do people see me as useless, thoughtless, talkless,
When I am as capable as any,
For thoughts about our world.
—Coralie Severs, 14, United Kingdom
“It’s about Ability”, UNICEF
A snapshot of India’s disabled children
Disability is a multi-dimensional and complex construct with no single universally accepted definition. While the definition differs across countries, the evolving socio, legal and political scenario within India lends itself to the changing definitions and therefore difficulty in collecting and tabulating reliable data.
Today, India awaits to bring the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 in line with the 21st century understanding of the rights of persons with disabilities as captured in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) by looking at a wider spectrum of disabilities (adding 19 impairments) including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Blindness, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic neurological conditions, Deafblindness, Hemophilia, Hearing impairment, Intellectual disability, Leprosy cured person, Locomotor disability, Low vision, Mental illness, Muscular dystrophy, Multiple sclerosis, Specific learning disabilities, Speech & language disability, Thalassemia, Sickle cell disease and Multiple disability.
Children with disabilities are often the most marginalised section of society, with minimal inclusion in society and almost no access to state services. Their childhoods often lost behind closed doors.
While data on children with disabilities in India might not be accurate or accessible, we don’t need more data to start working for and with children with disabilities. #disabilitymatters
5 children who teach us that determination defeats disability
These children with disabilities prove that it is just a state of mind. Learn about 5 extraordinary children who have not let their disability act as a crutch in fulfilling their dreams. From seeking admission at Stanford, speaking at the United Nations on inclusive education and winning a bronze in swimming at the Special Olympics these children don’t accept unnecessary limits that society puts on them. #disabilitymatters
Helen Kellar Institute for Deaf & Deafblind in Navi Mumbai, is one of the finest examples of a school that fosters the spirit of an inclusive society, respects and protects the rights of children with disabilities, provides adequate support and nurtures their abilities – allowing them to flourish and make a contribution to the world.
It provides academic and vocational training to Deaf and Deafblind students, including those who have Multiple Disabilities with Vision Impairment (MDVI). The curriculum is customised to include the individual growth and communication needs of each child, based on their capability and milestone development.
5 ways in which deafblindness is crippling for children
“Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” ― Helen Keller Helen Keller Institute for Deaf & Deafblind, Mumbai
Deafblindness a combination of sight and hearing loss. Children who suffer from deafblindness lead extremely lonely and restricted lives. The government does not recognise Deadblindess as a separate disability. This infographic helps to understand how crippling life is for a Deafblind child. #disabilitymatters
Teacher speak: Could your child have a disability?
Children can, irrespective of their abilities and disabilities, be great contributors to society, in their own unique way. It’s how we nurture them at the start of their life that determines their outlook to their disability. It is with this intention that a team of special educators from the Helen Keller Institute for Deaf & Deafblind, Mumbai based on years of experience have put together some guidance, which would help indicate if a child is at risk of having a disability. #disabilitymatters
India is home to millions of people with disabilities, many of whom are children. For women and girl children with disabilities, life becomes twice the struggle. In the absence of any meaningful social net, most people with disabilities are forced to live without basic rights to access, education, health and livelihood. On #internationaldayofpersonwithdisabilities we profile 5 organizations that are championing (dis)ability to realise equal rights for children with disabilities. #disabilitymatters
Breaking Barriers: Disability & Sexuality
What is the meaning of sexuality and sex for people with disabilities? How can we ensure that our children grow up to be more disabled-friendly and our society more disable-inclusive? Sharing her views with Leher on these issues and more is Shweta Ghosh, Director of AccSex, a film that explores sexuality and disability and brings to fore questions of beauty,the ideal body, acceptance and resistance to the normative. #disabilitymatters
A day in the life of Saurabh
Meet Saurabh. A history buff, idli-dosa addict, and the acclaimed student of the year. He was born deaf and over the years his vision started deteriorating too. The transition from being Deaf to Deafblind wasn’t easy. Here’s a day in the life of Saurabh.. #disabilitymatters
Valay Singh brings to us the story of 11 year old Kalpana, who lost her vision at age 9. Living in the Himalayas brought her added struggles, including access to a school. #disabilitymatters
Technology enables the disabled : In conversation with Shilpi Kapoor
Technology can be an enabler believes Shilpi Kapoor, Founder, Barrier Break. She is making an inclusive society a reality for many people in India by making it possible for differently-abled people to demand accessibility and equal opportunities. How? Through assistive technology. Through transforming e-space, bringing innovative technologies for inclusion to the Indian market especially the education sector, raising public awareness through topnotch accessibility conferences and not the least by lobbying the government. Read here to know more. #disabilitymatters