Parents seek disability tag for multi-sensory impaired kids

They struggle to convince govt that MSI is a disability

 Parents of deaf-blind children (Multi Sensory Impaired) are finding it difficult to procure medical certificate for their children.

Apart from having to fight societal taboos associated with being differently-abled, they are also having to fight to get the government consider multi-sensory impaired (MSI) as a disability.

“This particular disability is not identified under Persons With Disabilities Act (PWD Act) 2005. At present, there is a bill pending with the Centre, which, when legislated, we hope many more disabilities will be included under the list,” said Sense International Training Manager Anuradha Mungi.

The organisation, in association with National Association for the Blind, held a national network meet of parents and special instructors dealing with MSI children.

Training these children with vocational skills and integrating them into mainstream is the network’s primar aim.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, one of the participants, Satya Priya from Kakinada, said in their town, they have been able to manage saving of Rs 50,000 by production and marketing of detergents, soft toys and craft works.

Training

“We train siblings of these kids to love and respect them. In addition, we give training to school teachers to extend better support to these children.”

In another example, Hemalatha from Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu spoke about how a network of parents in her town had managed to impart vocational skills based on the child’s capability, so that they could earn their own livelihood.

It could be either skills concerning the family’s traditional occupation or other skills that the child is interested in and good at. In this case, it would be for older children above 16 years.

Nargis Martin, also from Trichy, narrated a case where the girl’s family had kept her outside the house because of her disability.

“They would not give her clothes nor feed her. Her mother would add lot of chilly powder in the food to discourage her from eating.”

She explained how the network of parents intervened and taught her stone cutting (family's occupation). It turned out that there was much demand for the girl's production as the stones were evenly cut.

“The family’s economic situation has improved because of the girl and now they are accepting her as part of the family,” Martin added.

The network of parents and special educators will compile their recommendations and submit it to the government for better facilities and support to them.

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