December 2018 -

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Monthly Archives: December 2018

2018: A Step Towards Inclusion

2018: A Step Towards Inclusion

Inclusion is a belief. It is not a project or a programme but a philosophy. Inclusion means respect for you, for me and everyone. Inclusion sees us as a person; sees that we exist.

A socially inclusive environment is one where everyone is welcome to establish their identity and express their feelings openly. Social inclusion assures that one”s opinions and experiences are honoured just like everyone”s.

Today differently abled are viewed as part of an inclusion cohort. Due to physical or mental impairments, they all feel like outsiders. Consequently, despite the many successful programmes in our education system and in our society, there is an epidemic of low self-esteem that inhibits real progress.

This year has seen a tremendous change in the society, where several initiatives have been taken by individuals and brands to move towards a more inclusive society. One famous brand, Savlon India, created the first-of-its-kind braille-inscribed antiseptic bottles to help the visually impaired to identify and access the product easily. This proactive initiative exemplifies the brands commitment towards an equitable and inclusive society.

Starbucks has opened a signing store in Washington DC, with all employees who work there fluent in American sign language. The store, which is the first-of-its-kind in the US, has opened close to Gallaudet University, an institution that caters for students who are deaf or have partial hearing loss. The branch of the coffee chain has been designed with a mural inspired by sign language, adorning a large wall in the store and a “DeafSpace” environment that”s been built specifically with customers who are deaf or hard of hearing in mind.

Also Read:  Communication Milestones That Can Help Identify Early Signs of Hearing Loss

Apart from these big brands taking a step towards inclusion, there have been individuals like Pranav Desai, who decided to use his experience ”“ personal and corporate ”“ to empower the specially abled through his organisation, the Voice of Specially Abled People (VoSAP). Born in Ahmedabad to a middle-class family in the year 1969, Pranav was affected by polio at the age of four. By the time he recovered, both his legs were crippled; he needed braces and a cane to walk. The VoSAP mobile app he launched allows volunteers to capture building accessibility with a photograph. The app updates that information using GPS on the map. This helps people in wheelchairs find places they can visit based on accessibility, ratings and comments.

In 2004, Dr. Jitender Aggarwal, a dentist, was robbed of his vision due to macular degeneration. After losing his sight, he came to realise the hardships differently abled people struggle with, especially in an environment characterized by limited resources and opportunities. He dreamed of a center where people with disabilities can be equipped with the skills to find good jobs. And this is how Sarthak Educational Trust came into being. What started as one centre in Delhi, is now operational in 21 states with 12 centres throughout India.

Our school for students with special needs, Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, strives to make the society inclusive by educating and empowering our students. We encourage them to pursue their dreams, guiding them in every step of the way.

2018 is nearing an end, let”s pledge to resolve in the New Year to take up new steps to achieve milestones in making our society inclusive, regardless of one’s abilities or lack thereof.

7 Things You Should Stop Saying and Doing to Disabled People

7 Things You Should Stop Saying and Doing to Disabled People

 

“You are so brave!” “I feel sorry for you.” “It must be really tough for you.”

These are just a few of the many patronising things the specially abled are told repeatedly in their everyday lives. Statements like these stem from the widely held perception that if you”re differently abled, you must need someone”s help to perform your daily tasks.

 

Here are the seven things you should never say or do to people who are specially abled:

1. Don”t call them ”˜brave”.

There is a common perception in this world that persons with disabilities have to be brave to survive their ordeal. In the minds of those who believe so, disability is ugly and unattractive. As a result, these people marvel at the differently abled for the wrong reasons, calling them “brave” or “inspiring” ”“ just because they went out shopping on their own.

2. Don”t belittle them with your words.

Some people talk to the specially abled as if they”re children. For instance, when you spot a person with hearing aids, don”t immediately revert to speaking slowly, or worse, like a baby. The struggle is with their hearing, not their comprehension. If need be, they will ask you to speak louder of their accord.

3. Don”t assume that all disabled people look the same.

The society tends to paint people who have things in common with the same brush. This is a problematic mindset. A visually impaired person is not just a cane wielder; a paraplegic is more than just a person on wheels. They don”t all look the same ”“ just as able-bodied people don”t.

4. Don”t ask if there”s something wrong with them.

You wouldn”t ask a stranger their medical history, would you? Why should you then be any different when it comes to the differently abled? It”s an intrusive and unnecessary question; you only need to know what their needs are, not why they have those needs. Besides, if they want you to know, they”ll tell you.

5. Don”t assume that they need your help.

The one thing people should stop doing immediately is assuming that people with special needs are forever in need of their assistance. Be it helping someone alight the metro or serving them food that”s already cut up, such actions are grossly patronising, and can further isolate the afflicted.

6. Don”t give any unsolicited advice.

With a skewed view of things, it is easy to compartmentalise people in a box and offer solutions that are tainted by your perspective. Think twice before dishing out misplaced advice about their health. After all, intentions don”t matter, actions do.

7. Do not define them by their disability.

Perspectives that stem from a lack of understanding or empathy are at best avoidable. When disabilities don”t define the motivations, ambitions and identity of the specially abled amongst us, why should anyone else have this preconception?

A Guide to Guardianship of the Specially Abled

A Guide to Guardianship of the Specially Abled

Parenting is wonderful, but exhausting. As a result, parents need a little encouragement at times to help them get through their days. Being a parent of a special needs child is no exception!

Children with disabilities are just like any other children. They need love, affection and attention from their parents, friends and other people. The best gift one can give a child with special needs is accepting him or her, regardless of the nature or extent of the disability.

MBCN organised a crowdsourced Q&A campaign where you could ask questions relating to disability in children, and get them answered by Vandana Sharma, the Director of MBCN and a renowned special educator loved by all. Here are a few of those questions:

Q1. I know a family who is struggling from depression and stress because of their kid’s disability. What advice can I give them or what can I do to help them in this tough time. @PCFIndia

Parenting isn’t easy at the best of times and having a child with a disability creates new challenges that the majority of parents could never imagine facing.

Parents can feel stressed out and depressed at times. They must seek support from family, friends and mental health professionals. It helps to develop effective coping skills and ability to handle the situations.

Q2. Hi @PCFIndia
I’m gladdened to see this initiative.
Can you give us some tricks to calm ourselves when it gets too much to control our emotions?
Thank you.

Love your child, promote strengths, do the best you can, think “outside the box”, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Q3. @PCFIndia What are the symptoms one should look out for?

Symptoms for disability? Well generally you can monitor developmental milestones. If you notice any delay in them like”¦ social smile, neck control, sitting or standing, vocalization etc. you should go to the doctor for early diagnosis.

Q4. @PCFIndia How do I console my child when I myself am not able to console myself. I have been under immense stress as I don’t want to let him down. What can I do to make him and myself feel better?

As parents we all dream of a perfect child .having a child with disability can be heart breaking and acceptance may be hard. However once you accept ..life is simpler. It impacts the child and his progress. Empower yourself to deal with the given challenges.Attend workshops that can benefit your child and connect with other parents. Join support groups and share your experiences.

Q5. There is a child in our family who is suffering from autism and my aunt is usually stressed and worried about his future. All the time she is after him and since the child is very small it’s difficult to handle him. So what would you suggest in this situation?

Overthinking can have negative consequences for those who are chronic worriers. Focusing on future uncertainties makes us anxious when we feel a lack of control. Overthinking can also keep us from enjoying the present moment.

She needs to be reminded that When every activity becomes ‘a therapy session,’ a lot of pleasure can be lost that would otherwise be shared by you and our child.

Q6. Of course, when a child is not capable enough to do their day-to-day task and is having some kind of disability, it’s obvious that parents will be stressed and try to find several ways to overcome that.

I appreciate The Ponty Chadha Foundation for such an initiative.

Thanks for the appreciation. It”s very important to empower parents so that they can cope with the challenge and deal with it effectively.

Q7. One of my close friend’s younger brother is suffering from cerebral palsy and due to that she and her parents are always stressed and worried about his future. They have visited all most all good doctors in different cities but of no use. Recently my friend’s mother has started taking sleeping pills. So please suggest something so that I can help my friend and her family.

Parents are known to get impacted in many ways because of having a mentally challenged child. These include, parents feeling sad, depressed at various stages of child”s life and experiencing other emotional reactions. Their social life may get affected with recreational and leisure activities getting reduced. Interpersonal relationships with the family members, friends and others also get affected.

Your friend can support her parents, share some responsibilities and give them assurance that she is there to take care whenever they need her.

Parents are placed in a position of caring for others nearly constantly. However, they still need and deserve to be cared for. That entails asking friends or family to support them to have their own time without the challenged kid once in a while.

Q8. My friend’s son is having Cerebral palsy and despite going through several medications and therapies, there are no positive recoveries. Due to this problem my friend left his job, he’s depressed all the time and started taking sleeping pills. Can you please provide a better therapy solution or any reference to a good doctor for the same.

They need to be reminded that As parent   that You know your child better than anyone else .You know what works and what doesn’t; you have the big picture and history of your child and can utilize this in any situation. Support personnel come and go but you are the expert with the experience and first-hand knowledge of your child. Professionals do not live the consequences of their decisions, so while you want their opinions, remember that they are only ‘informed’ opinions and not facts.

And parents need to empower themselves with knowledge and skills to help their child. Things will change when they get control of their life. For further guidance they can always come to us.

Q9. I have seen my friend who is into depression because of the disability of his child. He behaves normally with everyone but his activities and overprotectiveness towards his child show that he is in stress.

I want to help him. Can you please share some easy tips on reducing mental stress due to the disability of the kids?

Everyone has to cope in their own way. For some, acceptance comes quickly; for others, it is a lengthy process. There is no right or wrong way to do this. My Tip for parents to handle mental stress is to Connect with Family and Friends ”“ There will always be people who care, we just need to reach out and connect when you want to vent feelings or just unwind and have some fun. .join some parent support group, meet other parents and share their experiences and emotions. They should not hide their feelings in front of everyone.

Q10. Hi, my parents are really worried about my little sister who is suffering from ADHD. I don’t like seeing my parents stressed. I’m worried that their stress levels are taking a toll on their mental health. So, what do you suggest in this situation?

I can understand your concerns about your parent”s stress. You can encourage them to take professional help and seek support from their family and friends to deal with it.

MBCN Wins National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

MBCN Wins National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

Established in 1999 in the fond memory of the late Smt. Bhagwanti Devi Chadha, mother of the late Shri Kulwant Singh Chadha, Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan aims to educate and prepare specially abled children to live within the community and achieve threefold (physical, social and financial) independence.

It is fully committed and dedicated to the rehabilitation of children with intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism and multiple other disabilities. Presently, MBCN provides rehabilitation services to about 1000 beneficiaries. One of the very few private institutions that doesn”t charge any money for services provided to its students, MBCN was honoured with a National Award for the empowerment of persons with disabilities on World Disability Day.

National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

With 35 class rooms, 1 physiotherapy hall, 5 speech therapy departments, 1 seminar hall and many other necessary amenities, MBCN is designed to be disabled-friendly. It has a ramp and sensor-operated doors at the entrance for wheelchair users, and ramps for easy movement inside the school building.

Apart from infrastructural amenities, the school also provides different therapies to help these kids excel in life. Some of the therapy services provided include:

  • Early Intervention
  • Special Education
  • Speech Therapy
  • Play & Recreation
  • Vocational Training
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Extra Curricular Activities

Best Institution Working for Cause of Persons with Disabilities

To acknowledge the efforts of Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan in providing support and services to the differently abled for nearly 20 years, the school was awarded a National Award by the Vice President of India, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The institution got the award under the category ”˜Best Institution Working for Cause of Persons with Disabilities” in a function organised by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

National Award by the Vice President of India

MBCN strives to work towards creating a better society for these special children, and is thankful for all the support received from teachers, students and parents who have tirelessly worked towards the betterment of this school.

The institution”s ambitious mission to educate, train and rehabilitate children with special needs stems from a belief that caring is indeed the greatest virtue – a belief that the differently abled deserve a life worth living.

Awards like these only strengthen that belief.

No Labels – Moving Towards an Inclusive Society

No Labels – Moving Towards an Inclusive Society

We live in a society where we have names for everyone. Insensitive or not, these names can at times hurt the intended. We should understand that no one is really disabled, they”re just differently abled. Their abilities should not be discouraged because they are not like others.

It is the 21st century; no barriers should stop us from achieving our dreams. To enable that, however, we need to first change our perception of the differently abled section of society. After all, there is no greater disability in this world than the inability to see a person as more.

The 3rd of December, or the International Day for Persons with Disabilities has always been a very special day for us. We at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN) have made it our mission to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society. Our prime concern has always been giving a warm, nurturing environment to specially abled students – one that gives them plenty of scope to grow in terms of academics, communications, social skills, basic application sciences and self-care skills.

This year, we have been witness to many tremendous achievements towards making the world more inclusive. From introducing Braille-inscribed antiseptic bottles to opening the first sign language friendly store in the US, companies like Savlon India and Starbucks have stepped up to show that we all are indeed one and the same.

To mark the day as a stepping stone towards inclusivity, MBCN is organising a workshop on legal guardianship for the parents of special children and issues related to sexuality in young adults at our premises on December 1 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM. The workshop will be conducted by various eminent personalities who have selflessly made their services available to this section of the society, along with the Local Level Committee (Gautam Budh Nagar) for the differently abled.

Also Read:  Celebrating Unique Talent: Ability Trumps ”˜Disability”