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Saturday, 29 November 2014

‘Deaf-blindness should be recognized in disability policy’ : Goa

At a meeting on deaf-blindness on Tuesday, participants recommended that deaf-blindess should be recognized under the state disability policy. They called upon authorities to take up necessary measures to improve the quality of life of this section of the society.

At the end of the day-long advocacy meeting, it was resolved that as there is a sizable population of deaf-blind individuals in the community, they should be identified through census surveys.

The need for public awareness about the medical board of Goa with respect to multiple disability certifications, reservation for the deaf-blind in labour, were other issues raised. Appeals were also made to provide appropriate need-based aids and appliances to social welfare departments working with the deaf-blind and for smoother access to government grants to initiate need-based services.

The meeting was held by Caritas-Goa in association with Sense International India and UK Aid, to create awareness among the government, service providers and organizations about deaf-blindess. With the help of this meeting which is held annually, Caritas Goa raised issues of accessibility and the provision of multiple disability certificates to the deaf-blind. Project coordinator Reflino Fernandes said, "With the help of the state advocacy meeting this year, we raised the issue of providing multiple disability certificates for the deaf-blind and accessibility for their mobility in government buildings and low floor buses."

Sharing his thoughts on the programme, Caritas Goa director Fr Maverick said, "We believe in creating opportunities for individuals who are on the fringes of society. It enables them to explore avenues which they would otherwise not have considered. So, it is our responsibility to provide this opportunity to them." Earlier, inaugurating the meeting, deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza called for awareness among parents about deaf-blindness and systematic efforts to help create self confidence among differently-abled children.

Stating that the government has implemented various schemes for this section of society, D'Souza said the process of certification needs to be simplified in order for children with deafblindness to be able to avail of the benefits of schemes.

Source : TOI , 29th Nov 2014

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