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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Disability does not mean inability for SFSC student

“Though my arm may look like a disability to the eye, it does not define me. Society should focus on my abilities, not disabilities,” Lakeidra Baker said. 

Born without a right hand, Baker is a first-generation student and the only child of four to graduate from high school and college.

She will graduate May 6 magna cum laude from the South Florida State College Honors Program with an associate in arts degree in elementary education. She continues her education next fall at Florida Southern College, where she will work towards a bachelor’s degree in education.

“Growing up, I was always told I couldn’t do things,” Baker said. “Yes, my arm is a hindrance, but I don’t let that affect my journey to becoming the person I want to be. Despite what people say or feel, I can’t let that hold me back. If you go into something feeling negative, that’s what you’ll achieve.”

Baker has overcome the loss of her hand to become an outstanding student, as she will graduate from SFSC with a 3.71 grade point average. “I’ve had the chance to push myself and exceed limitations,” she said. “I haven’t let my disability hinder my success and dictate where I’m going in life.”

SFSC has given Baker the chance to succeed on her own by providing her with special equipment, a recorder, a personalized left-handed laptop and a disabilities advisor.

“SFSC offered a support system where I could get one-on-one attention from faculty and advisers that were ready and willing to ease my transition between high school and college,” Baker said. “Everyone at SFSC is so genuine and helpful; I’m not just a seat to fill in their classroom.”

Baker acknowledges that it's difficult for people who grew up without disabilities to understand the constant stares and troubles she deals with on a daily basis.

“I haven’t always been the bright, cheerful and optimistic person I am today,” she said. “I’ve been through struggles and tribulations and had to overcome so much. Growing up, I was always singled out, picked on and laughed at. I hit rock bottom. I had no friends and a very low self-esteem. I want students to understand that we are all created equally and should be treated respectfully in the same matter.”

Baker was unsure of what she wanted to pursue as a career in life. She was told she couldn’t work in certain occupations due to the limitations from her arm. Until she attended SFSC and had the chance to talk to Michele DeVane, professor of education, she began to realize that education was her calling. DeVane helped Baker pursue opportunities in the education field by suggesting she take education classes, volunteer and become a substitute teacher.

“Lakeidra is a highly motivated and intelligent person who exhibits a positive attitude in all areas of her life,” DeVane said. “She is a real people person who enjoys helping others and is a dedicated and creative individual who will be an excellent teacher. On top of that she was named SFSC Outstanding Education Student in 2012.”

Outside of academics, Baker is a substitute teacher for the Highlands County School Board and works in the community relations and marketing department at SFSC, where she is a work-study student and has served as a model for photographs used in college publications.

One of the first things Baker does to break the ice when she substitutes for a new class is ask the students if they notice anything different between them and her. “I like to explain what happened to my arm so the students won’t be afraid or think that I incapable of doing my job,” Baker said. “Often, I let the students touch it. It’s actually a great way to bond and clear the air in the room.”

While at Florida Southern College, Baker plans to work part-time in the school system and experience everything education has to offer. She also wants to become an active student by participating in clubs and organizations on campus.

After college, Baker aspires to be an elementary educator in the Lakeland area.

As a child, teachers always tried to do every simple thing for her. “How could I learn to do things on my own when I was never given the opportunity to attempt them by myself? It really bothered me,” she said.

As a future teacher, she wants to provide curriculum adaptations for students with disabilities. “Sometimes I may need to modify performance requirements or implement adaptations to allow each student equal opportunities to learning,” Baker said. “Negative perceptions of disabilities continue to be irrepressible to change.”

Baker’s disability has not kept her back from being active in several clubs and organizations at SFSC. She is an enhanced member of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honors society for two-year colleges; an Honors Program student, a limited-admissions academic program which provides academically rigorous college classes for students; and an active member of the Honors Ambassadors program, an organization for students admitted to SFSC Honors Program that mentors students who are new to the program.

As an honors program student with good standings at SFSC, she has been awarded $500 annually for the Edward K. Roberts Scholarship. This program also selected her to travel to the 2013 Florida Collegiate Honors Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where she presented a speech on “Stetson Kennedy.”

During SFSC Awards Day on April 23, Baker was recognized for her academic success for graduating from the honors program, presenting “Stetson Kennedy” at the Florida Collegiate Honors Conference, and for being an enhanced member of PTK.

“Throughout this process I have had parents who support my plans for higher education,” Baker said. “Graduating is nerve racking, stressful, and there’s a lot to consider regarding new goals and financial expectations.” She looks forward to meeting new people and having more opportunities available.

“Faith in god has enabled me to focus on what’s ahead of me,” she said. “People look up to me for what I have accomplished that’s why I stay focused and determined.”

“At the end of the day, I am thankful for being born this way,” Baker said. “It has taught me tolerance and how to appreciate everything. I don’t look at my arm as a disability. I look at it as an opportunity to impact people’s lives.”

Source : Highlands Today , 30th April 2013

Polio-afflicted Worli man swims into Limca Book of Records

Nadar was disabled by polio when he was one, but the virus could not cripple his mind set. 

Thirty five-year-old Worli resident Prakash Nadar takes to swimming as deftly as a fish would to water. Last week, he was declared the first person in India to set a national record of long distance sea swimming in the physically challenged category by Limca Book of Records.

"I received the certificate citing the national record a couple of days ago. The officials have said the entry will be made in the 2014 edition of book records for the longest distance swimming in open sea by a physically challenged person,” said an elated Nadar.

D.N.A had earlier reported that Nadar whose both limbs are struck with polio had completed a 42-km long swim in the open sea from Gateway of India to Revas Port near Alibaug and back in 17 hours 25 minutes and 55 seconds on March 8. Also, he was being considered for setting a national record.

“It is a longest such marathon swimming by a physically-challenged man. He started from Gateway of India at 12.45pm on March 8, 2013, reached Revas and returned to the starting point on 6.09am the next day. Despite 65% disability on his lower limb, he swam the distance using his hands,” noted Vijaya Ghose, Editor, Limca Book of Records.

As Nadar ventured into the deep sea waters and constantly swum through the night, he was constantly supervised by observers. “We kept a close watch on Nadar to ensure that he did not take any support even for a second while swimming. His strokes were swift and deft. He weighs close to hundred kilos and is disabled in the legs. He relied only on his hands to swim. His grit and mental make up is mind boggling,” said Kishore Vaidya, general secretary, Maharashtra State Amateur Aquatic Association.

Nadar was disabled by polio when he was one, but the virus could not cripple his mind set. “I feel lighter and much more at home in the sea. I have been plunging in deep waters and and swimming long distances since more than twenty years now,” he said.

Having achieved his first national record, Nadar has already set his eyes on the next one. “Before June, I intend to achieve my next record, where I will stay put in the swimming pool in a vertical position with my legs and hands chained for up to eight hours. I have begun training for the feat,” said Nadar.

Source :  DNA INDIA , 30th April 2013 

Govt focus on mental healthcare : Guwahati

The state government has set up special units for mentally disabled people in district hospitals keeping in mind the rising number of such people in the state. The 10-bedded special units have been set up in 12 districts and, eventually, all the districts will be covered. Besides, more homes for wandering mentally disabled people will come up in the state.

Director of state health department Dhurb Hojai said that around five per cent of the total population of Assam is suffering from mental diseases and the number is on the rise. "So, to provide better healthcare facilities to such people, special units have been set up in district hospitals under the National Mental Health Programme," he said.

This year, around Rs 1.34 crore has been earmarked for executing this plan, the director informed, adding each of these units has a psychiatrist. "Mentally disabled people need a lot of care and only well-trained healthcare professionals can handle them properly. So, specially trained nurses have been appointed to these units for monitoring and observing the patients. Anti-psychiatry medicines will be provided free of cost in these units.

There are two main types of mental disorders that afflict people - psychosis and neurosis. People suffering from psychosis lose contact with the reality and live in a world of hallucination and delusions. Neurosis is a mental disorder involving distress.

"Recently, in a meeting it was decided that more mental homes will be constructed where the wandering mentally disabled people of the state can be housed. At present, there are mental homes in Bongaigaon, Boko, Guwahati and Tezpur. We have also involved NGOs and police to bring such people to these homes."

Source : T.O.I , 30th April 2013 

विकलांग बच्चों को मिली मदद : UdhamPur

विकलांग बच्चे भी सामान्य तरह से जीवन यापन कर सकें, इसके लिए चीफ एजूकेशन ऑफिसर दफ्तर परिसर में सोमवार को फिटनेस कैंप आयोजित किया गया। इस मौके पर बच्चों को सहायक उपकरण वितरित किए गए।

कैंप का उद्घाटन डीसी यशा मुदगल ने किया, उन्होंने इस तरह के कैंप की जरूरत व महत्व के बारे में बताया। उन्होंने कहा कि शारीरिक रूप से जिन बच्चों को परेशानी है, उन्हें भी विकास के लिए सामान्य बच्चों की तरह अवसर मिलने चाहिए। यदि किसी बच्चें में किसी भी तरह की शारीरिक परेशानी है तो भी उनका दाखिला सरकारी स्कूल में कराना चाहिए। जिससे कि उन्हें पढ़ने की बेहतर सुविधा मिल सके। इससे पहले चीफ एजूकेशन ऑफिसर दर्शन लाल ने मुख्य अतिथि का स्वागत किया। कैंप में जिले के सभी 11 शिक्षा जोन के उन 329 बच्चों की पहचान कानपुर की एलिमेको संस्था ने कैंप लगाकर की थी। इस मौके पर ज्वाइंट डायरेक्टर प्लानिंग राकेश जम्वाल, डिप्टी चीफ एजूकेशन ऑफिसर विजय शर्मा व अन्य लोग उपस्थित थे।

Source : Jagran , UdhamPur ( 29th April 2013 ) 

Robotic Arm Wriggles around Obstacles

Whether reaching for a book out of a cluttered cabinet or pruning a bush in the backyard, a person’s arm frequently makes contact with objects during everyday tasks. Animals do it too, when foraging for food, for example. 


                                                 Robots Reaching Through Clutter

Much in the same way, robots are now able to intelligently maneuver within clutter, gently making contact with objects while accomplishing a task. This new control method has wide applications, ranging from robots for search-and-rescue operations to assistive robotics for people with disabilities. 

“Up until now, the dominant strategies for robot manipulation have discouraged contact between the robot’s arm and the world,” said Charlie Kemp, lead researcher and associate professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. “Instead of avoiding contact, our approach enables the arm to make contact with objects, people and the rest of the robot while keeping forces low.”

Kemp, director of Georgia Tech’s Healthcare Robotics Lab, his graduate students and researchers at Meka Robotics have developed a control method that works in tandem with compliant robotic joints and whole-arm tactile sensing. This technology keeps the robot’s arm flexible and gives the robot a sense of touch across its entire arm.

With their control method, Kemp’s robots have performed numerous tasks, such as reaching through dense artificial foliage and a cinder block representative of environments that search-and-rescue robots can encounter.

A publication describing the research, “Reaching in clutter with whole-arm tactile sensing,” appears in this month’s edition of the International Journal of Robotics Research. 

Kemp's lab also has promising results that could impact the future of assistive robotics. They have developed tactile sensors made out of stretchable fabric that covers the entire arm of a robot. In a preliminary trial with the new control method and sensors, a person with quadriplegia used the robot to perform tasks for himself. He was able to pull a blanket over himself and grab a cloth to wipe his face, all while he was in bed at his home.

This trial was conducted as part of the Robots for Humanity project with Willow Garage. In order to ensure safety, researchers from Kemp’s lab closely monitored the activities. This research has been accepted and will be presented at the International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics in June. 

“I think it’s a good safety feature because it hardly presses against me even when I tell it to,” reported the participant, Henry Evans, after the trial. “It really feels safe to be close to the robot.”

Evans was also impressed by how the robot’s arm “just wriggles around obstacles.”

Kemp’s research team has also released the designs and code for the sensors and controller as open source hardware and software so that researchers and hobbyists can build on the work.

The research is part of an ongoing effort to create a new foundation for robotics, where contact between the robot’s arm and the world is encouraged.

“Our belief is that this approach is the way of the future for robots,” said Kemp, who is also a member of Georgia Tech’s Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines. “It is going to allow robots to better operate in our homes, our workplaces and other complex environments.”


Source : The A to Z of Robotics , 30th April 2013

बिन दहेज की विकलांग युवती से रचाई शादी


गरीब मजदूर युवक ने सेवा भाव के नजरिए से विकलांग युवती से दहेज रहित कोर्ट मैरिज कर शादी रचाई। 

सुमेरपुर कस्बे के नई बस्ती निवासी हरगोविंद गुप्ता ने बताया कि वह सूरत मे नाश्ता का ठेला लगाकर जीवन यापन करता है। इन दिनों वह घर आया है। कस्बे के ही श्रीराम दास गुप्ता की पोलियों से विकलांग हुई बेटी गीतांजलि को हरगोविंद ने उसे जीवन साथी बनाने की बात परिजनों से कहीं। दोनों परिवार के लोग राजी हो गए। सोमवार को दोनो पक्ष मुख्यालय आए और कोर्ट मैरिज की। गीतांजलि के भाई कृष्ण कुमार ने बताया कि डेढ़ साल की अवस्था में ही गीतांजलि पोलियों रोग से ग्रसित हो गई। गीतांजलि एम.ए. प्रथम वर्ष की छात्रा है। शादी से खुश हरगोविंद ने बताया कि सूरत में रहकर वह दूसरों की सेवा करता है। तो एक विकलांग युवती की सेवा करने में उसे और भी खुशी होगी। 

Source : Jagran ( 29th April 2013 )

5 Ways the CEA Foundation is Connecting Seniors, People with Disabilities to Technology

The CEA Foundation was launched in 2012 during CE Week in New York. Since then CEA has been busy building the foundation and accomplishing our mission of linking seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives.  Here are our top five accomplishments in our first year.
# Support for the Self help Community Services Virtual Senior Center. Our first grant went to Self help Community Services in order to expand their reach to home bound seniors in New York. They will be expanding into additional cities this year.                        
# Support for the Older Adults Technology Services Senior Planet Center. This is the first technology-themed center for older adults. They help teach technology through courses, workshops and social events
# In addition to those grants, we were also able to offer donations to a variety of organizations that are doing incredible work in this space. These include the Able Gamers Foundation, American Foundation for the Blind, Bridging Apps, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Hearing Loss Association of America, Leading Age CAST, Lighthouse International and the Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons.
# The CEA Foundation sponsored the 28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disability Conference and hosted a small roundtable discussion. The discussion was an excellent opportunity to share ideas and insight for the future of close collaboration between our industry and consumers with disabilities. 
# The CEA Foundation was featured at the 2013 International CES at the Experience CEA Booth, through the creation of the Accessibility and Universal Design Innovation Awards, and discussed during a series of meetings between CES exhibitors and representatives from the accessibility community.
With all of these accomplishments in the first year, we are continuing to grow and year two is shaping up to be even more incredible.
Do you know of nonprofit programs using consumer electronics to impact the lives of seniors or people with disabilities?  If so, contact and let me know about them. 

Source : Digital Dialogue ( 29th April 2013 ) 

Theme For the International Day of Person with Disabilities 2013 : United Nations

Theme: “Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all”

More than 1 billion people or 15% of the world population are living with disabilities - the world’s largest and most disadvantaged group - most of which, are in developing countries! 

Around the world, persons with disabilities face physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that exclude them from participating fully and effectively as equal members of society. They are disproportionately represented among the world’s poorest, and lack equal access to basic resources, such as education, employment, healthcare and social and legal support systems, as well as have a higher rate of mortality. In spite of this situation, disability has remained largely invisible in the mainstream development agenda and its processes.

Earlier, the international disability movement achieved an extraordinary advance in 2006, with the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention follows decades of work by the United Nations to change attitudes and approaches to disability that would ensure the full equality and participaton of persons with disabilities in society. The Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, development dimension. However, to realize equality and participation for persons with disabilities, they must be included in all development processes and, now more importantly, in the new emerging post-2015 development framework.

The UN General Assembly emphasizes that the genuine achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally agreed development goals, requires the inclusion and integration of the rights, and well-being, as well as the perspective of persons with disabilities in development efforts at national, regional and international levels.

Toward this end, in 2011, the Assembly decided to convene a one-day high-level meeting on disability and development (HLMDD) at the level of Heads of State and Government, under the theme: “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond”. The HLMDD will present a historical opportunity to mainstream disability in the global agenda towards a post -2015 development framework that would translate the international commitment for a disability-inclusive society into concrete action and real changes on the ground in the lives of persons with disabilities.

The timing of the HLMDD to be held on 23 September 2013 is strategic; taking place five years after the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force, two years after release of the World Report on Disability and two years away from 2015 -- the target date for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -- and thereafter, the commencement of the post-2015 agenda and new development priorities.

This outcome of the HLMDD will take shape in a concise, action-oriented outcome document  that will provide policy guidance and help strengthen global efforts to ensure accessibility for and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and  development.

It’s time to break barriers and open doors: to realize an inclusive society for all!

By 3 December 2013, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we will have the outcome document of the HLMDD, which would provide an blueprint for action and ideal platform to launch global efforts to help realize the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society and shape the future of development for all!

What you can do to observe IDPD 2013

Include: Observance of the Day provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders – Governments, the UN system, civil society and organizations of persons with disabilities – to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development, both as beneficiaries and agents.

Organize: Hold forums, public discussions and information campaigns to help find innovative ways and means by which persons with disabilities and their families can be further integrated into their societies and development plans.

Celebrate: Plan and organize performances everywhere to showcase - and celebrate - the contributions made by persons with disabilities as agents of change and development in the communities in which they live.

Take Action: A major focus of the Day is practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. Highlight progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies, as well as promote public awareness to break barriers and open doors: for an inclusive society for all.

Source : United Nations 

Ryanair ( An Airline Company ) Comment on Disabled Passengers Limits Row

Ryanair management deny discriminating against passengers with disabilities while the airline's passengers allege this is the case.

An article focusing on Ryanair's policy of limiting the number of passengers with reduced mobility per flight to four and possible changes to this policy in light of new EU laws ignited a lively debate among readers of this website.

Ryanair Boeing 737 

"Ryanair is awful to disable passengers," Glynis Barker posted on Reduced Mobility Rights Facebook Page. "Once my Friend and I went to the airport to go on holiday, we went to check in then they said did you book the wheelchair, we said no. Ryanair told us to go home. And then Steve had come pick us up from the airport. And the next day Steve took us back to the airport. Imagine the cost."

"Anyone who has been on one of these flights would notice the extreme youth and apparent lack of expertise among their staff, as well as the exceedingly cramped space and minimal staff. If I were disabled I would have very great doubts about the ability of the staff to safely move a disabled person off of the flight safely," Sentinel Red posted.

Reader Dawn Assefa spoke of her own experience with Ryanair limits for passengers with disabilities. "Last year we went with another airline because they told us disabled quota was full daughter has autism and epilepsy."

Ryanair denies imposing restrictive limits on passengers with disabilities. "Ryanair continue to operate  a safety limit of 4 for passengers who have restricted mobility in the cabin or who require special assistance in the cabin, but this is solely so that each of our 4 cabin crew can assist these 4 passengers during an emergency evacuation," Robin Kiely, head of communications for Ryanair told Reduced Mobility Rights. "There is no limit imposed upon any other passengers with disabilities."

The Irish low cost carrier maintained that the maximum of four passengers with reduced mobility were agreed and put in place in 1995 after discussions with the Irish Wheelchair Association in Ireland and the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR) in the UK. However, both the DRC and Mr Massie denied providing guidance to Ryanair on limits to the numbers of disabled passengers able to board flights. 

The European Aviation Safety Agency final report on carriage by air of Special Categories of Passengers deals another blow to Ryanair's safety concern upon which the limit was introduced. “Results of this show that evacuation of certain special categories of passengers (SCPs) [such has passengers with severe reduced mobility] leads to delays of the evacuation. According to the findings of the analysed studies and the risk assessment, the cabin crew should be responsible primarily for the evacuation of the entire aircraft and only then for the evacuation of individuals. It is not recommended to task the cabin crew primarily with the evacuation of SCPs or to obligate them to assist." 

"Ryan Air is awful when it comes to passengers with reduced mobility. Firstly they often do not let PRM to be first on board. Imagine how hard is to board WCHC with other passengers on board," says Michał Kosmala. "Secondly they are not tuning off APU so when it comes to wait in ambulift next to the plane's tail it is easy to damage you ears. Also, many of PSMs are missing so when unexpected passengers from arrival wait for PRM service to come they board passengers for departure. The last thing is that they tend to not use IATA PRM codes."

Reader Pam Krutsch begs to differ.  "The problem does not stem from the airlines, it stems from people  
claiming disabilities just to get on first or thru security first, and families of people with severe disabilities dropping people off and expecting the airlines to take care of everything for them. The abuse is what causes airlines to decide to limit these things. The abuse is unbelievable. I work at an airport and it’s a huge burden for the employees and airline staffing, because those who don’t need it, want to be self-centred and inconsiderate for their own personal gain. That’s what has to be stopped."

Reader Ollie Starr thinks the problem goes beyond airlines. "Which isn’t to say that its good, but it’s an issue not even remotely limited to planes, or even to transport? Many places have *a* wheelchair space, but cannot accommodate a group of wheelchair users."

"America has the right idea. If you’re disabled they make sure there's enough space on their buses and flights. They have seats on buses which fold right back. There is discrimination in the UK. It's not about health and safety it’s about cost and profit!" reader Rachael Rosanne Armstrong said.

Ryanair is renowned for thriving on controversy, and the row over the limits imposed on passengers with disabilities is just the latest example of the Irish low cost carrier's well known cliché. 

After all, Ryanair’s founder Michael O’Leary built a solid reputation on controversy. "Anyone who thinks Ryanair flights are some sort of bastion of sanctity where you can contemplate your navel is wrong. We already bombard you with as many in-flight announcements and trolleys as we can. Anyone who looks like sleeping, we wake them up to sell them things.”

However, one of his most controversial quotes is about overweight passengers. “Nobody wants to sit beside a really fat ****** on board. We have been frankly astonished at the number of customers who don't only want to tax fat people but torture them.”

The budget airline request to correct what they allege to be “false and inaccurate” information did not come as a surprise.  "You undertook no due diligence of Ryanair’s website and based your inaccurate claims on inaccurate hearsay from operators and ground handling agents,” Robin Kiely told Reduced Mobility Rights. "Accordingly we call on you to correct the false and inaccurate article published on your website headed New law may change Ryanair limit on passengers with disabilities.” 

Reader Darren Lonsdale may have the quick fix to put the row to rest. “Don't fly with Ryan air. There we are, problem solved.”

SOURCE  : Reduce Mobility Rights , 29th April 2013

TCS MARATHON ROUTE MAPS ! Event will be on 19th May 2013 in Bangalore !

Source : TCS 10k Web Portal !

Guidelines for written exams for persons with disabilities : Bhubaneswar

Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) would now have the discretion of opting his own scribe while appearing in examinations. 

In guidelines circulated by the State government for conducting written examination for PWDs and provision for scribe, it has been made clear that criteria like educational qualification, marks scored or other such restriction for the scribe should not be fixed.

“Instead, the invigilation system should be strengthened, so that the candidates using scribe do not indulge in malpractice like copying and cheating during examination,” the guidelines said.

Upon request by PWDs to have scribe, examination body may identify as per the requirements of examination.

“In such instances the candidates should be allowed to meet the scribe a day before examination so that the candidates get a chance to check and verify whether the scribe is suitable or not,” it says.

The guidelines has allowed the facility of scribe or reader or laboratory assistant to any person with disability of 40 per cent or more.

“There should also be flexibility in accommodating any change in scribe in case of emergency. The candidates should also be allowed to take more than one scribe for writing different papers especially for languages,” the government says.

Providing further flexibility, the guidelines say, “PWDs should be given option of choosing the mode for taking the examinations such as Braille or in the computer or in large print or even by recording the answers as the examination bodies can easily make use of technology to convert question paper in large prints, or Braille or convert Braille text in English or regional language.”

The candidates should be allowed to check computer system one day in advance so that the problems, if any in the software or system could be rectified, it says.

Candidates availing scribe would be given additional 20 minutes per hour as compensatory time.

“Proper seating arrangement should be made prior to the commencement of examination to avoid confusion or distraction during the day of examination. The time of giving the question papers should be marked accurately and timely supply of supplementary papers should be ensured,” the guidelines emphasize.

Source : The Hindu , 29th April 2013

‘Extraordinary year’ for disability rights in Malta Commission marks its 25th anniversary in the fully accessible Cospicua church

Malta’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was singled out as one of the highlights of the past year. Photo: Jason Borg

Malta’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was singled out as one of the highlights of the past year .
( Our ambition is that the disability sector becomes a model of the way social policies are crafted )

A number of advances in the disability sector made 2012 an “extraordinary year”, National Commission Persons with Disability chairman Joe Camilleri said.

Mr Camilleri cited Malta’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as one of the highlights. This enabled the commission to prepare a report on its implementation.

One of the biggest headaches for parents of disabled children is the inevitable question of what would happen to the child after their death. That was the reason why, Mr Camilleri added, the enactment of the much-awaited guardianship law was of such importance.

The commission celebrated its 25th anniversary with Mass at the Immaculate Conception church in Cospicua, previously one of the most inaccessible churches for people with mobility problems. “Nowadays, it is perfectly accessible. We would therefore like to encourage other churches to ensure accessibility for the disabled.”

Adapted Driving Motoring School, a motoring school encompassing modified vehicles, was opened in 2012.

Last year also saw the publication of Access for All, a set of guidelines that Mr Camilleri hoped would soon be adopted as national standards and, ultimately, as regulations.

After 15 years of pressure, the University of Malta set up a Disability Studies Unit within the Faculty of Social Well-being, which was being coordinated by a disabled person. Mr Camilleri said he hoped the unit would be developed into a department.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Rights of Persons with Disability, Franco Mercieca said the Government was committed to strengthening the commission and working towards social justice.

He said it would focus on setting up residential services, generating employment for the disabled and implementing the UN’s convention.

Youth studies lecturer Andrew Azzopardi had been appointed as a consultant to work closely with the commission, Mr Mercieca said.

“Our aim is that the disability sector becomes a model of the way social policies are crafted, with the Government ultimately taking a secondary role,” he added.

Source : Times of Malta , 29th April 2013 

Special SHGs demand training and assistance : Madurai

The members of the newly-started special self-help groups (SHG) in Madurai district are demanding training and financial assistance from the district administration. Apart from couple of special SHGs by the differently-abled, others were started within a year's time. The members of the SHGs say they need training and guidance from the district administration to start their own business.

At present, most of SHG members have been selling finished products which are purchased from the wholesale market. The members are willing to enter into manufacturing of things and selling it directly to the consumers so that they can develop their business and earn good margin as profit.

R Mohanapriya of Madakulam, representative of Pennycuick special SHG by differently-abled persons said, "It has been six months since we have started our SHG. We have only received only Rs 10,000 as loan till now. Although we have plans to open a canteen, we do not have financial support to turn our dream into a reality," she said.

"There is a federation for SHG groups run by normal people. The federation would help the SHGs getting loans. Likewise, we need a federation managed by us to help ourselves. Once such federation is developed, we will get an amount to the tune of Rs 25 lakh, which can be used for all the SHGs," she said.

M Kamatchi, representative of Deepam Sakthi special SHG said that although they have been earning a decent income from their store by selling goods which are purchased from the wholesale market, they could not expand their income further. Had they been given training on manufacturing food products they would have augmented their income by and large from selling their own product, she said.

Expressing similar views, C Pooranam, representative of Jeyam special SHG said that district administration should provide special focus on the SHGs by differently-abled persons. There are hundreds of differently-abled persons in Madurai district, who are yet to get an opportunity to earn their livelihood. Measures should be taken to enrol them and guide them for better future, she said.

Source : T.O.I , 30th April 2013 

Oakland University conference focuses on changes in health-care industry

With the anticipated changes in the health care industry, innovative care delivery and payment models must be developed to make quality care both affordable and accessible to health care consumers.

Oakland University will present “The Physician’s Practice: Emerging Issues for Healthcare Providers” — a forum bringing industry practitioners and researchers together to discuss patient needs, practice management, care delivery and information technology support on Thursday and Friday, May 9 and 10.

“The Affordable Care Act is expanding health care to many who were uninsured before, and the government’s price structure for care-related reimbursements is expected to put competitive pressure on insurance companies and health-care providers,” said Mohan Tanniru, dean of Oakland University School of Business Administration.

The forum is 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. May 9 at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2630 Featherstone Road, Auburn Hills. It will offer a variety of sessions including “Trends in Reimbursements, Improved Physician Decision Making,” “Enhanced Operational Efficiency” and “Information Technology Innovations.”

In addition, a half-day post-forum workshop scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon on May 10 will highlight some of the challenges discussed at the forum and will identify actions steps with a focus on follow-up and collaborative academic research and/or student projects.

The cost to attend the forum is $150, and online registration is available. Participation in the Friday workshop is free.

The event is presented by the Center for Integrated Business Research and Education at Oakland University’s School of Business Administration, in partnership with the Executive MBA in Health Care Management at Oakland University, Automation Alley, Oakland County’s Medical Main Street and St. Joseph Mercy-Oakland. Other sponsors include Thomas M. Cooley Law School, United Physicians, Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services and the Michigan Wellness Council.

For more information, including a complete list of speakers, conference details and registration information, 

visit and click on the Health Care Transformation Forum link, or call 248-370-2957 or email

Source : The OakLand Press , 29th April 2013

Kerala's blind football team all set for national footbal tournament : Kochi

Keeping its tradition with sports, Kerala will have a football team at the eighth national football tournament being organised by the Indian Blind Sports Association (IBSA) in New Delhi from May 13-18. The team, undergoing coaching at regional sports centre here now, has five members - four blind and one partially blind.

"As we don't have a team, we decided to field one this time to represent the state. All players have lost sight late in life, so they have an idea of the game. We had called for volunteers and are training daily," said Sunil J Mathew, secretary, society for rehabilitation of visually challenged (SRVC), Kochi.

The society had an interaction with the Indian football team during their last international friendly at Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium here on February 3. The SRVC blind footballers used the occasion to play with Indian international players like Sunil Chettri, Jewel Raja and Nabbi when coach Wim Koevermans encouraged the team to have a penalty shootout. "We wanted to bring to the fore talented blind footballers, some of whom lost sight late in life due to accidents, illnesses, etc. and give them an opportunity to play the game and represent the country too at some stage," Sunil said.

"The game is slightly different from the normal football as it has only five players, including the goalkeeper. The ball is slightly smaller and makes a sound of small iron ball-bearings clanging together. It does not bounce hard. The four players on the field are blindfolded so that they are totally blind. The goalkeeper is partially blind. The team coach stands behind the opposite team's goalpost and shouts instructions, based on which the players move," said A David, director-football, Indian Blind Sports Association, Delhi.

David, who is here to coach the team, said the chances of injury are very high if the players don't concentrate on the coach's instructions. "While the game is on, we expect the audience to be completely silent so as not to disturb the players," he said. Girish, one of the team members, was a football player who lost his sight in a bike accident. The other players are Ranith, Nauffel, Pramod, Shafeeq and Vinod. M V Rajan and Sunil Mathew are the coaches. "We hope to field a team for kabbadi next year. This year, we will have a participant in powerlifting too," said Sunil.

Source :  T.O.I , 30th April 2013

Triscooters, tricycles for differently-abled : Thiruvanthapuram

Very soon,  the beneficiaries of City Corporation’s ‘Sahayahastham’  project can avail of the tri-scooters and tri-cycles.  The triscooters, numbering 103, and tricycles, numbering 11, have been brought by Keltron,  which is the supplying agency.

 For purchasing  Mahindra Duro scooters and doing the registration,  Rs 58 lakhs has been spent. When the registration process of the tri-scooters is over,  it is planned to distribute these vehicles to the beneficiaries.

‘’ The beneficiaries aged between 18 and 50 years were chosen from differently-abled persons with an annual income of less than Rs 25,000.  The beneficiaries are strictly told not to sell or hand over the triscooters they had received,’’ said Palayam Rajan, welfare standing committee chairman.  Among the beneficiaries, 70 are men and 33 are women.

 To find out the beneficiaries,  a medical camp was conducted in March this year and a list was prepared.  A sum of Rs 71 lakh was set apart for the project for the differently abled. The project was announced in the previous budget of the Corporation. Other than tri-scooters and tri-cycles, computer system with ‘talking’ software are also to be distributed.

 Yet, the distribution of ‘talking’ computer system can be implemented only with the assistance of the sponsors.

 Four beneficiaries have been identified at the medical camp. ‘’The Corporation can provide an assistance of Rs 19,500 per person and the beneficiary contribution has to be Rs 10,000. The selected persons are not capable to pool in that much money and hence if only some sponsors come forward they can avail the benefit,’’  said Palayam Rajan.

 If sponsors turn up for providing financial assistance for ‘talking’ computers,  they can be given away along with the distribution of the vehicles, planned in two weeks’ time.

Source :  The New Indian Express ( 30th April 2013 )

Monday, 29 April 2013

Solar wheelchair for blind : Kochi

The college students of Caarmel Engineering college, Perunad, Pathanamthitta district have made a wheelchair for the blind. The final year mechanical engineering students made the Smart Assistance Module (SAM) as part of their college project.

This SAM wheelchair runs on solar power obtained from a solar panel that is placed at the back of the wheelchair. The solar panel can hold up to 12volts of power and takes 2 hours to be fully charged. "The power consumed by the SAM wheelchair is low and once charged, it can last for days on end. It's convenient as the wheelchair does not have to be charged every day" said Abey Peter, a team member. The module uses a combination of vocal assistance, vibrations, sensors, vibro metres and hydraulic power unit. It was designed using the ultrasound infrared technology. The SAM wheelchair harnesses this technology with the help of a microprocessor. The wheelchair warns the person if an obstacle comes in the way by communicating to them about the same.

As they completed the project in 18 days, the students are now working on fine tuning the project. "Since most of the wheelchairs for the blind are priced between Rs 50,000-1,50,000, we believe the SAM wheelchair will come as a great relief for them as it comes at a much reasonable cost", said Manu Mathew, a team member. Excluding the cost of the wheelchair, the module would cost Rs 2000.

The team of 10 students consists of Ashwin Nair, Abey Peter, Abil Abraham, Abraham Thomson, Arun Sadan, Jobin Johnson, Sumin Sunny, Manu Mathew, Renjith Jacob and Nichel Prakash.

Source  : T.O.I , 29th April 2013 

Technology makes higher education accessible to disabled students

Instead of lugging heavy textbooks about, disabled students now have the option of e-textbooks that present content in a variety of ways to suit the reader.

 Disabled woman on computer                                       E-textbooks move disabled students on to a level playing field.

There are over 11 million people with a limiting long-term illness, impairment or disability in the UK. Many of them are using educational resources and completing university courses. Universities have a responsibility to provide these students, and all students, with the necessary learning materials regardless of their accessibility needs.

It is here, in the place where educational resources and students with disabilities intersect, that technology has a vital role to play. Technology could operate as the great equaliser. It could – and indeed, it should – help move all students towards a level playing field. This is particularly true in when it comes to learning resources, and specifically textbooks.

Textbooks are core to the university learning experience, yet for students with disabilities, particularly those with visual impairments, they can be a challenge. Static print sizes, outdated tools to translate print to speech, and complicated page layout and design can make it harder for those with a disability. This in turn impacts on the quality of their educational experience.

A study conducted by the Higher Education Academy among students in the UK indicated that resources are a common issue affecting the happiness of disabled students.

Consider another statistic: according to the Office for Disability Issues, disabled people are around three times less likely to hold any qualifications than non-disabled people, and around half as likely to hold a degree-level qualification. A total of 19.2% of working-age disabled people do not hold any formal qualification.

Technology can change things. One area in which this is true is e-textbooks, the digital representation of a print text. In the shift from print textbooks to e-textbooks, accessibility can be moved to another level. Suddenly text isn't an unchangeable object; it can be scaled up or down depending on the student's needs. Images can be read aloud through tagging tools. Access to print-fidelity page images means students can follow along in lectures page by page. Simultaneously, access to text representation (suited to screen readers and text-to-speech software) means students can adjust their e-textbook according to their needs.

Through technology, learning is becoming increasingly flexible. It can move outside the lecture hall, on to podcasts, and across devices, becoming available anywhere and at any time. The Higher Education Academy noted that students with disabilities have a need for flexibility. Technology can help provide this. Students no longer have to carry around heavy textbooks. Nor do they have to go physically to the library or bookshop to access learning materials.

Resources such as e-textbooks have taken off in the past few years. In the US, the Student E-rent Pilot Project (STEPP) programme offers e-textbooks specifically modified for accessibility, in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504. A survey of 1,185 students found that 77% reported having saved money by renting their textbooks, and 80% who needed an accessible textbook were satisfied with the quality of accessibility.

It's only a matter of time before similar technological developments happen in the UK. Over the past few years, concerns about the student experience for individuals with disabilities have grown. Today's students are paying more than ever for a university education. This is impacting on enrolment figures (while Ucas reports a small increase this year, following the slump in enrolment in 2012, application rates remain well down on 2011, the year before the hike in tuition fees). It is also turning students into "university consumers", who expect more resources for their increased fees.

Higher tuition fees and a growing awareness of disabilities will drive developments in technological resources. Yet there's another dimension to consider: in an era of increased fees, affordable educational resources are key. All students are concerned to find savings. Students with print-related disabilities should be able to enjoy the cost-saving benefits made possible by online learning materials. They also should be able to access the countless digital efficiencies of these resources, the types that their peers have enjoyed for years.

While technological advances have been happening, there is still more to be done. Universities, companies, and e-textbook providers need to emphasise low-barrier, commercial alternatives for all higher education accessibility needs. They need to aim to provide industry-leading access to all subject areas, including Stem subjects.

Providers need to go beyond content access and come up with more universal design study tools that assist all students. Technology has helped increase accessibility in universities, but there is still a way to go.
• Fionnuala Duggan is managing director for CourseSmart International, where she oversees its e-textbook platform and digital course material for international markets.

Source : Guardian ( 28th April 2013 ) 

Gurdwara granthi sexually exploits polio-stricken youth : Smalsar , Punjab

A 20-year-old polio-stricken youth was allegedly exploited sexually by a granthi of a gurdwara at Thathi Bhai village under Smalsar police station in Moga district.

Smalsar SHO Gurwinder Singh Bhullar said the accused also gave the youth Rs. 200 to keep his mouth shut and threatened 
him against disclosing the matter to anyone.

"When the youth could not bear the exploitation anymore, he ran away from the gurdwara and complained to his uncle, who reported the matter to the police on Saturday," the SHO said.

The SHO said the victim, who is polio-stricken in both legs, was an orphan and stayed at the village gurdwara to learn preaching. "The accused started exploiting him. The accused would sexually exploit him in the storeroom of the gurdwara and on Saturday the SSP received a complaint regarding it," said Bhullar.

He said the accused, 50-year-old Gurcharan Singh, also threatened the victim against mentioning it to anyone and also gave him Rs. 200.

Mohan Singh, the victim's uncle, in his complaint to the SSP, said, "After running away from the gurdwara the victim came to me and informed me of the incident. I went to the head granthi of the gurdwara and urged him to dismiss the accused from job, but the head granthi refused to do so."

On Saturday, Mohan Singh, along with other villagers, blocked the Baghapurana- Bhagta Bhai highway and demanded action against the accused. Former Congress MLA Darshan Singh Brar also reached the spot. The police finally registered a case.

"We have registered a case under section 377 of the IPC against Gurcharan Singh. The victim was brought to Dr Mathura Dass Civil Hospital, Moga, where the medical examination of the victim has been done," said the SHO.

SSP Surjit Singh Grewal said a special police team had been constituted to nab the accused.

Source : Hindustan Times ( 27th April 2013 ) 

APSC success vindicates disabled body's fight : Guwahati

Shishu Sarothi, a social organization fighting for the development and rights for the physically disabled, has hailed the results of the Combined Competitive Examination conducted by Assam Public Service Commission (APSC), where eight different abled candidates came out successful. 

The body was engaged in a long-drawn battle for the inclusion of grade 1 and 2 jobs in the disabled reservation quota. The candidates to have cleared the exam are orthopedically, visually or hearing impaired.

Of the eight successful candidates, two have been selected for the post of extra assistant commissioner, one sale tax superintendent and two sales tax inspector.

"In 2006 there was an advertisement by APSC intending to hold preliminary examination for the main examination for recruitment to the services and posts in the Assam Civil Services. But the advertisement was in violation to the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995). There were quotas for others but for the disabled it was only in grades 3 and 4. We filed a PIL at Gauhati High Court and its response was favourable," said Arman Ali, executive director Shishu Sarothi.

Source : T.O.I , 29th April 2013 

Indian Railways permit operation of battery golf cars for differently abled, old and sick passengers

The national carrier, Indian Railways had permitted the operation of battery operated vehicles at railway stations through the commercial publicity route to carry disabled, old and sick passengers free of cost. 


According to a PIB statement, these vehicles have been introduced at Mumbai CST, Mumbai Central, Nagpur, Pune, Solapur, Sealdah, Howrah, Visakhapatnam, New Delhi, Delhi, Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai, Salem, Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur, Bengaluru, Yeshwantpur, Mysore and Kota station. Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said this in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha yesterday.

Source : The Automotive Horizon ( 27th April 2013 ) 

प्रतियोगिता में जमकर खेले विकलांग बच्चे : हाथरस

खेल एवं युवा कल्याण मंत्रालय भारत सरकार एवं स्पेशल ओलम्पिक भारत के संयुक्त तत्वावधान में दो दिवसीय नि:शक्त जन खेलकूद प्रतियोगिता का शुभारंभ आदर्श इंटर कालेज के क्रीड़ा प्रांगण में किया गया। 


कार्यक्रम का उद्घाटन उप बेसिक शिक्षा अधिकारी हाथरस के राम गोपाल ने किया। प्रतियोगिता में जनपद के सभी विकास खण्डों से समस्त विकलांग के बच्चों ने भाग लिया। एमआर मानसिकमंद फीमेल 50 मीटर दौड़ में प्रथम मानसी, द्वितीय दुर्गा, रानी तृतीय स्थान पर रही, शारीरिक विकलांग बालक 50 मीटर दौड़ में प्रथम दिनकर, द्वितीय यतीश व विनोद तृतीय रहे। अल्पदृष्टि बाधित विकलांग बालक 50 मीटर दौड़ में रमाकांत प्रथम, जावेद द्वितीय तथा श्रीनिवास, संजीत ने तृतीय स्थान प्राप्त किया।

 मानसिक मंद बालक 50 मीटर दौड़ में धर्मेद्र प्रथम, तरुन द्वितीय, प्रदीप तृतीय रहे। श्रवण अक्षम बालक 30 मीटर दौड़ में मदन प्रथम, अंकित द्वितीय तथा शिव कुमार ने तृतीय स्थान प्राप्त किया। खो-खो प्रतियोगिता में प्रथम स्थान पीली टीम ने तथा द्वितीय स्थान नीली टीम ने प्राप्त किया। शनिवार को सुबह 8 बजे से कबड्डी, फुटबाल, वाची आदि प्रतियोगिता खेली जाएगी। 

इस अवसर पर खण्ड शिक्षा अधिकारी मुरसान, सासनी, सहपऊ अखिलेश यादव, जिला समन्वयक एसएन सिंह, विशेष शिक्षक संघ के अध्यक्ष विजय त्रिपाठी, मनोज सिंह, कार्यक्रम संचालक रामकुमार सिंह, आईटी टीचर व्यायाम शिक्षिका प्रेमवती शर्मा, अंजू गुप्ता, पीटी आई केडी गौतम आदि बेसिक शिक्षक उपस्थित थे। 

Source :  Jagran , UP ( 29th April 2013 )

Life-changing art : Artist Jacob Jebaraj

MASTER STROKE Artist Jacob Jebaraj. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

 MASTER STROKE Artist Jacob Jebaraj 

Artist Jacob Jebaraj who introduced art to differently-abled students says it helps improve motor co-ordination skills

In 2007, after visiting Vidya Sagar that works towards empowering the differently-abled with education, artist Jacob Jebaraj decided to work with them. He has since helped bring art to the lives of a number of students of the school. “I saw that they had a lot of potential and interest,” Jacob begins. 

Down to the basics


He teaches these students all about form, texture, background and the basics of art. “Once you begin to love someone for who they are, you establish a unique communication pattern with them. It’s almost like a secret language that only you and they can understand.” 

A smile, a nod, a pat on the back or just the stroke of a brush is enough to get his point across to students, according to Jacob. “I am happy teaching them especially because when they are in a session their focus is on the work,” he adds.

Once his sessions picked momentum, Jacob’s students had many admirers. Ashok Leyland’s office in Guindy, for instance, has paintings by Vidya Sagar’s in-house student artists on all its floors. “They commissioned all the work. And all the students worked on a canvas from a size of minimum three-ft-by-three-ft to a maximum of six-ft by four-ft,” he explains. Jacob insists on larger canvases for these students so as to allow for the work to gain from the full extent of their hand movement and co-ordination. 

After the successful commissioning at Ashok Leyland, Royal Bank of Scotland came knocking with an offer for its Ambattur office. “For RBS, our largest canvas was six-ft by 10-ft,” he adds. Today, Jacob’s students from the school are able to produce canvases that range up to six-ft by 15-ft. 

Free reign


Art, Jacob believes, has brought the essence of meditation and stress management to their lives while also helping them concentrate and improve their motor co-ordination skills. “Apart from basic education, I believe that art, in anyone’s life, is important so as to give them a sense of self-expression,” he says. Jacob gives his students free reign. “Artists need freedom. I don’t try and impose any structure on them. Every morning whichever student feels like painting comes to my art class while others attend regular classes,” he says. 

Besides visiting the school several times in a week — some weeks even on all days — and working on his own art, Jacob also travels extensively across rural India to bring about an appreciation for fine arts in villages. “Through our work for rural India, we are also aiming to create awareness about issues such as global warming,” he says.

Source : The Hindu , 29th April 2013 

New six-year plan to deliver a polio-free world by 2018 : Geneva

A new six-year plan to eradicate polio has been unveiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). 

Child receives polio vaccine

The plan calls for a scaling up of polio vaccination programmes, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, where polio is still endemic. 

WHO says the number of children paralyzed by polio is at the lowest ever with 19 cases reported in 2013, compared to 223 cases last year. 

WHO and UNICEF say the Polio Eradication & Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 will require US$5.5 billion to be fully implemented, of which donors and other Global polio eradication partners have pledged over $4 billion. 

At the Global Vaccine Summit held in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, global leaders expressed their confidence in the plan's ability to achieve a lasting polio-free world by 2018. 

Sona Bari is a spokesperson for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. 

"This plan is made possible because of the progress in the last two years: India becoming polio free.  It was the country that everyone considered the most difficult place to eradicate polio, and also progress in the three remaining endemic countries. We have to look at the historical picture of how many children were paralyzed by polio 25 years ago: 350,000 children at least. This year we have had 19 children paralyzed by polio. That’s an incredible success.  However, with eradication we need to reach zero. So what we aim to do is to stop transmission of this virus in the next two years, then we need to continue conducting surveillance searching for polio everywhere in the world for three years, to make sure there is no polio; that the virus has been exterminated". 

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. Polio can strike at any age, but it mainly affects children under five years old. There is no cure for the disease, but there are safe and effective vaccines.

Source : News and Media,United Nations Radio ( 25th April 2013 )