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Friday, 26 December 2014

BloomingKids Releases More Android Apps for Teaching Autistic, Young, and Learning-Disabled Kids

Blooming Kids Software, which makes teaching programs for autistic, learning disabled, and young mainstream children, has added to its list of apps that run on Android mobile devices.

"Our teaching apps have been a success, and have helped many children who needed help in learning," said the founder and CEO of BloomingKids. "We have been expanding our roster of apps that run on Android devices."

"This is important because of the mobility of these devices. The Android mobile devices are portable and can work anywhere--on a plane, in a car, in a classroom or play room, anywhere the child feels comfortable using it--and so an App loaded into an Android mobile device can be used for teaching and learning anywhere, anytime."

"Our customers have been asking for it," said the CEO. "Android mobile devices are fairly cheap. They don't need a mouse. They can become the child's favorite toy and the teacher's favorite tool. Our apps can go wherever the child goes."

"If you keep them in a protective case, the Android mobile devices are hard to break," said the CEO. "That is an important consideration when you have a device that a child will be carrying around."

"We first developed our 'understanding currency' apps to run on the Android sysytem," the CEO went on. "We now have 86 apps. They are all available at the Google Play Store."

To see the 86 available Android mobile devices Apps go to:

For more information, visit to view online demos of all programs.

About Blooming Kids Software, LLC.

BloomingKids is a software company based in Scarsdale, New York. The company, founded in 2004, is specifically designed to facilitate learning for children diagnosed with learning disabilities, Autism and PDD. The company's declared mission is to deliver the highest quality, most effective and affordable educational software.

For more information, please visit

Contact Information:

Blooming Kids Software, LLC.
36 Lincoln Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583

Source: Street Insider , 26th Dec 2014

Uveitis, a rare eye disease, can blind people if not caught early

Joy Ross says it was love at first touch. Ross, who is now blind, likes to tease that she met her husband, George, on a blind date. At the end of the night, he took her hands in his.


She had little sight then and none now, but her journey into darkness started more than 30 years ago, long before she met her husband. As a small child, she developed arthritis that also attacked her eyes, eventually robbing her of her sight.

When she was about 3 years old, Ross says her mother noticed she was bumping into things as she’d play. After going from doctor to doctor, Ross was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and a rare eye disease called uveitis. The same inflammation that caused swollen painful joints had spread to her eyes.

“The best I remember seeing, even as a child, was the big E on an eye chart with my left eye,” says Ross. Her right eye saw far less, glimpsing only peripheral shadows.

Her eye disease, uveitis, means inflammation or swelling in the middle part of the eye called the uvea.

Doctors only diagnose about 2,250 cases each year in children younger than 16. Most young people with uveitis also have juvenile arthritis. But only about one out of 10 children with arthritis also develop the disease in their eyes. If not treated early, uveitis can damage vision and in some cases lead to blindness, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

“In children who typically get uveitis, it starts so gradually, so insidiously, that the eye never becomes red and they never experience pain and they don’t know that they’re losing vision. In fact, a common way to pick it up is to be screened with your vision when you’re starting school,” says Ross’ physician, Dr. James Rosenbaum, chief of rheumatology at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and chief of ophthalmology at Legacy Devers Eye Clinic.

Because 80% of childhood uveitis occurs in children with juvenile arthritis, Rosenbaum suggests parents should immediately take their children in for a checkup as if they would take them in for a complaints about an ankle or knee.

Ross got steroid eye drops to reduce swelling; that’s the standard first line treatment for uveitis. But because her case was severe and the medications limited, she developed cataracts and needed eye surgery.

In high school, she tried methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug, to treat both her eyes and her painful arthritis. But Ross didn’t respond well to the treatment and had to stop.

In 2002, a couple of years after getting married and moving to Portland, she discovered a new drug called Enbrel that brought relief to her aching joints. She also discovered she was pregnant with her first daughter, Isabella. A little over two years later, she gave birth to Georgiana.

And then after a family vacation in January of 2008, Ross’ eyesight started to change, her vision literally disappearing.

“I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, I’m fading away. It was like a white fog, like in the shower when it gets fogged up. It was thickening and thickening, and I was struggling to see,” says Ross.

And in the months after her world went dark forever, her oldest Isabella who was about 5, started limping around on her ankle.

“We noticed that her foot was very swollen and very feverish to the touch and it was really severe,” says Ross. They thought it was badly sprained, but it turned out to be juvenile arthritis.

And shortly afterward, 3-year-old Georgiana went with her dad for a routine eye exam.

“My husband called me after the appointment that day, and he was quiet. He was crying, and he said that Georgiana was diagnosed with uveitis,” says Ross. They were devastated.

But the family tried to turn the bad situation into something fun. Friday night in their house was shot night — not your typical bar shots for a Friday of celebrating — but injections. George gave all three girls shots. At that time, Isabella and Joy got medicine to suppress their immune systems to fight inflammation and Georgiana got methotrexate. Afterward, they piled in the car to go get ice cream.

And now more than five years later, Georgiana is in remission and her eyesight has not been affected.

Thanks to early diagnosis and treatment with biologic drugs such as Enbrel, which control swelling, she is doing well. These new medicines put the brakes on the misbehaving parts of the immune system that fuels inflammation. These were not available when Joy was a young child. Their doctor says Georgiana has a good chance of retaining her sight throughout her life.

Isabella’s arthritis still does flare up from time to time, making it hard to go up and down stairs or participate in PE at school. Both girls do tend to get sick more than other kids because their medicines leave their immune system less able to fight infections. But their doctors don’t think either sister will develop the other’s illness.

And though Joy knows there are more struggles ahead for all of them, she says, “Find joy in everything if you can. Joy, I say, is a choice. It’s more than just my name; it’s a choice our family has had to choose.”
And when she wants to visualize her world, she returns to one of her best tools, touch. As she cuddles with her girls, she takes their faces in her hands.

“I feel them grow, and their faces change. I feel their smiles,” says Ross.

Source: WQAD , 24th Dec 2014

3D printed yearbook helps the blind remember high school

In this digital and visual age, we usually take for granted some of the things that we can see. But what about those who don't have the gift of sight? Fortunately, the same technology that can produce plastic models or artificial dog limbs has become sophisticated and accessible enough that even the blind can benefit from advances in 3D printing. Like for example, this 3D printed yearbook that gives blind students a chance to remember not just the names but also the faces of their classmates and friends.

3D printed yearbook helps the blind remember high school
Some do not look upon high school with fondness, but some do cherish those years. For them, the yearbook (and some scrapbooks) become the record keepers of those times. But a book full of pictures and names probably mean little to someone who can't see them. That is why Korean company 3D TEK worked on a Touchable Yearbook to fix this problem through the magic of 3D printing.

Instead of simply a picture book, these blind students are given 3D printed busts of their classmates, each engraved with the person's name in Braille. This lets the students associate names with faces quite literally. What the blind has lost in sight, they make up for with hearing and touch. The 3D printed heads give the students a very tactile representation of their classmates for them to remember for the rest of their lives.

The 2014 graduating class of Korea's Seoul National School for the Blind was the first recipient of this gift. It might be a simple technological feat for most of us, but it will definitely be a life-changing gift for these young ones and hopefully becomes a trend that catches on in other parts of the world as 3D printers continue to become more affordable and more ubiquitous.

Source: Slash Gear, 24th Dec 2014

Raped by blind youth, minor girl delivers baby which dies - Chattisgarh

A 12-year-old tribal girl who was in a “live-in” relationship with a visually-impaired youth, her alleged rapist, following a dictate by the local panchayat (an Assembly of elders) delivered a baby in a hospital in a Chhattisgarh town late on Monday night.

Doctors struggled to save the unwed mother and her baby, but the newborn died a few hours after delivery.

The bizarre, but heartrending story, had started to develop eight months ago when the minor “rape victim” of the village of Lodam in north Chhattisgarh district of Jashpur allegedly fell victim to lust of her neighbour, a visually-challenged youth, according to the local police.

The girl, a Class 7 student, however was scared to inform her parents about her ordeal. The matter came to light when she got pregnant.

Later, her parents took up the matter with the local panchayat for justice. The panchayat had reportedly announced a weird verdict directing the alleged offender to allow her to live with him, without marriage.

“On Monday, the girl delivered the baby in Kankuri district hospital. The mother and the newborn were shifted to Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Science (CIMS) hospital at Bilashpur when their condition began to deteriorate. The doctors could save the girl but not the kid. The girl was still in critical condition,” the police said.

Source: The Asian Age, 24th Dec 2014

Governor Gives Medals to Wheelchair Basketball Champions - Chennai

Governor K Rosaiah presented trophies and medals to winners of  the first national wheel chair basketball championship that was held from December 17 to 20 at a function held at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium. Speaking at the function, Rosaiah said that reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with disability, highlighting their skills, facilitating and motivating them and honing their special skills is important. Sports act as a transformation tool for women with disabilities, who often experience double discrimination.”

Source: The New Indian Express , 25th Dec 2014

Disabled Left in the Lurch over Lack of Data in State - Hyderabad

Thanks to the slow pace of work at the Department for Disabled and Senior Citizens, the disabled persons in Telangana are unable to obtain several benefits from the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. 

In August, the Union ministry’s ‘Assistance to Disabled Persons’ (ADIP) scheme offered to provide several advanced gadgets to the visually disabled and asked the respective States to submit a proposal along with the list of eligible beneficiaries in order to receive them.

The scheme offered ‘Smart Cane’, a walking stick equipped with a sensor, and ‘Plextalk Vachak’, a digital text reader, in multiple languages, including English and Hindi, for ` 3,000 and ` 12,000 respectively.

However, the Department for Disabled and Senior Citizens, Telangana, had failed to send the proposal reportedly due to lack of data of beneficiaries. Even after almost five months, the needy students and employees are awaiting the devices. States like Maharashtra and Delhi which had  submitted proposals received devices.

Some of the disabled students from city submitted an application to the Department for Disabled and Senior Citizens a month ago asking for the devices. But they were asked to wait for three more months. “The officials told us that it will take three more months to get them,” said Phanija, a PhD student from English and Foreign Languages University, who was one of the applicants.

An official from the department, who did not wish to be quoted, said the scheme requires a fresh list of beneficiaries. But currently, there is no mechanism in the State to identify the population of disabled persons after the bifurcation of the State. Still, the census data by the Centre is the only source to recognise the beneficiaries.

However, representatives from the AP Federation of Blind complained that even State government schemes for the disabled are not being implemented properly in both AP and Telangana. They appealed to the officials to immediately send the proposal to avail themselves of ADIP benefits.

Source: The New Indian Express , 26th Dec 2014

‘Mute’ conman steals 50K mobile from Nerul clinic - Navi Mumbai

The Nerul police are searching for a 26-year-old youth, who posed as a handicapped person at a dental clinic in sector 10 and stole a mobile worth Rs 50,000 on Tuesday. The incident took place at Goodwill Arcade opposite Nerul railway station.

API M Palande said that the accused youth visited the clinic of Dr Sharmishtha Jha , located on the first floor of the building. The youth, pretending to be a mute handicapped person, was "seeking donations for an organisation working for the welfare of disabled orphans".

Taking pity on the 'handicapped' youth, the dentist allowed him to enter her clinic and asked him to wait till she attended a patient. After a while, the dentist came out and the youth asked for her visiting card. When Dr Jha went inside to fetch her visiting card, she kept her mobile on the table. When she came out, she found that her mobile missing and searched for it. It was then she realized that the youth had stolen her mobile and fled.

API Palande said, "The clinic does not have CCTV cameras. But, the society is under CCTV camera surveillance, which must have captured the conman while entering and exiting the society's gate. The camera footage will be scanned and the dentist will be asked to identify the accused youth."

Senior police inspector Sangita Shinde Alphanso said that the office bearers of the housing societies and commercial offices have been advised not to allow such 'disabled' persons seeking donations to enter the premises.

Source: TOI , 26th Dec 2014

Persons with disability deprived of allowance - Doti

Despite suffering from physical disability for years, many physically challenged people in the district have been deprived of the disability identity card provided by the government, effectively preventing them from laying claim to their rightful share of state privileges and allowances.

Local Til Bahadur Kalel, 50, of Chattiwan-1 is a physically challenged individual who had broken his left leg after falling from his bed at a tender age of five. However, 45 years after the accident that rendered him disabled, he is yet to get a certificate from the state approving his status as a disabled person. Likewise, Nar Bahadur Sijali of the same locality also shares a similar fate. After losing motor function in his lower limbs, he walks on crutches.

“The authorities have assessed and taken the data of about 30-40 physically challenged individuals from the district, but we are yet to get the certificates validating their disability,” Kalel said, expressing his ignorance over what might have hindered the process. Meanwhile, Khagi Singh Malla of Ghanteshwor-8 said that he along with seven other physically challenged persons in the VDC had to shell out Rs 8,000 from their pockets to bear the travel and accommodation expenses of the certificate distribution team last year in order to get the disability identity card.

According to the 2011 census, there are a total of 7,203 physically challenged persons in Doti district. However, only 1,659 of them have been able to get the disability certificates, said women development officer Sabina Shrestha.

The primary reason behind the disabled being deprived of the disability identity cards is the lengthy and cumbersome procedure involved in the provision. As per the provision, one can get the certificate only after being checked by a government approved health personnel and under the recommendation of representatives of the physically challenged association, district administration and Women Development Office.

Stating the necessity for reforms, Mahadev Bharati, chairperson of the Disabled Service Organisation, Doti said that it was next to impossible for elderly and children from remote villages to make it to the offices located far and about to get their disability identity cards made. Meanwhile, Shrestha said that they did not have enough budget to deploy personnel to villages to distribute the certificates. However, she said that provisions could be made for exceptional cases where it was impossible for the individuals to reach the concerned offices.

Although the physically disabled persons in Chattiwan VDC have formed an organisation with about 30-35 members, they have not been able to take their complaints to concerned offices located about 130 km away at the district headquarters Silgadhi.

“While the clever ones take the funds and utilise it for their benefit, who would listen to the woes of us old and disabled bunch?” Kalel asked.

Source: e kantipur, 24th Dec 2014

Cheques distributed without a list of beneficiaries - Kolar

Zilla Panchayat president Rathnamma took Senior Citizens and People with Disabilities Department district officer, H.C. Nagamani, to task for her failure to provide statistics of the number of people with disabilities in the district.


Officer taken to task for not providing proper information


The incident took place in a function organised to distribute cheques to the physically disabled persons at the Zilla Panchayat premises on Monday.

Ms. Nagamani had no answer to a question posed by Ms. Rathnamma. The president asked the official as to the number of beneficiaries in the district under three per cent grants of panchayats.

Zilla Panchayat members Mangamma and Chowdeshwari too were interested in eliciting the information from the official.

However, Ms. Nagamani said the list of beneficiaries will be prepared and submitted shortly to which the president and members expressed displeasure.

“How can the function be organised to distribute cheques without the list”, Ms. Rathnamma asked. She questioned as to why was assistance being given only to a few persons.

Though Ms. Nagamani said that a total of Rs. 20.15 lakh will be distributed to the beneficiaries, she failed to give the exact number of them.

Taluk-wise figures would be provided, Ms. Nagamani said.

The programme was concluded amidst the people’s representatives taking the officials to task.

Source: The Hindu, 23rd Dec 2014

LG’s clalrion call to support & encourage differently abled persons - Port Blair

Describing differently abled persons as an important part of our society who need to be supported and encouraged, the Lt Governor, Lt Gen (Retd) A K Singh, today said that it is the duty of every section of the society to come forward and support them in whatever little ways they can.

The Lt Governor was addressing the gathering at the prize distribution ceremony for the event held on ‘International Day for Differently Abled Persons”. The Lt Governor gave away prizes to the winners of sports competitions held among the differently abled persons to mark the ‘International Day for Differently Abled Persons” on December 3, 2014. An impressive cultural programme was presented by the children, along with other school children. A short skit depicting issues of differently abled persons drew loud applause from the audience.

Speaking as the chief guest on the occasion at DBRAIT Auditorium, the Lt Governor complimented the children for presenting an extraordinary cultural programme. He said that the manner, in which these children have presented the cultural programmes, reflects their courage, their confidence and their will to achieve something. If these children are provided with the right environment, proper inspiration and assistance, there is no challenge that they can’t overcome, observed the Lt Governor.

He said that today’s function has properly conveyed the message that it is our duty to create such an environment where these people can take up challenges. While the government will extend all possible help and support, encouragement should also come from the society, he said.

Referring to the welfare scheme implemented by the Administration for the differently abled persons, he said that our Union Territory is among the very few States which provide monthly allowance @ 2000 per month to each of the differently abled person, who have disability of 40% or more.

On the issue of reservation of jobs for the differently abled persons, the Lt Governor said that the Administration is making efforts to fill the 3% posts reserved for them.  Out of the 302 posts reserved for them under various categories, 241 posts have already been filled. He further directed the Chief Secretary to initiate the process for filling the remaining vacant posts.

On the occasion, Dr. Neeradha Chandramohan, Director National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD), Chennai made a presentation on the activities of NIEPMD. She informed that NIEPMD is working with the objective of holistic rehabilitation of the differently abled persons and sought the assistance of the Administration for opening an Extension Centre for the rehabilitation of the disabled persons of the Islands.

Responding to the demand of Director (NIEPMD), Dr. Neeradha Chandramohan for opening of an Extension Centre for rehabilitation of the disabled persons of the Islands, the Lt Governor directed the Social Welfare Department to co-ordinate and provide full support to NIEPMD so that the Extension Centre is made functional within the next three months. The proposed Extension Centre should be meaningful and useful to these people, he observed. Pained to know that the differently abled persons have to run around for getting their bus passes, a moved Lt Governor directed the Social Welfare Department to facilitate the bus passes to the differently abled persons from the Department itself rather asking them to approach different Departments.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor also reiterated that the proposed Medical College will start functioning from July 2015. Besides facilitating the availability of super specialists, bulk of the seats in the medical college will be made available to the students of the A&N Islands, he said. On the issue of medical insurance, he also directed the Chief Secretary to ensure the implementation of the scheme by 26th January next year. On the education front, he observed that our education policy should focus on providing quality education so that our children can compete at the all India level.

Ms Mawhua Misty, a class XII student of Carmel School shared about the challenges faced by her being a differently abled child and her efforts to overcome these challenges and move forward.

Shri M.N Murali, Director (SW), in his welcome address said that in connection with the observance of ‘International Day of the Differently Abled persons’, a ‘State Level Sports Meet’ was organized on 3rd December at Port Blair in which large numbers of differently abled persons participated.

Source: The Echo of India, 22nd Dec 2014

Respect for disabled parking rules is required - Dubai

Respect for disabled parking rules and awareness that disability permits should not be used by relatives when a person with special needs is not in the vehicle is required as police monitors become widespread.
Relatives have said people need to have a basic understanding of why the spots are reserved.

“The change has to basically come from within, people park there because they are not bothered but what if there is an emergency and the person with disabilities doesn’t find parking or cannot get to his car easily near a mall, hospital or clinic, then what is the use?” said Safia Bari, director of the Special Needs Future Development Centre.

“People randomly park in the disabled spaces and even if you give them a stare or ask them about it, they still park and go away. Both people with cards and without cards need to respect this or no regulation will work.”

Awareness should also reach families that the disability sticker should be used only when necessary.

“We have a sticker that only comes out if my daughter is in the car then we look for parking near the entry otherwise we leave the disabled parking for someone more in need,” said Mrs Bari.

The eldest of her three daughters has mild cerebral palsy and scoliosis making it difficult for her to walk or stand for long periods.

“If she is not in the car, we don’t use the sticker and everybody should also follow this and if they have a card they should not use if for personal benefit.”

Neena Nizar, a school teacher with the Jansen disorder characterised by skeletal and joint abnormalities, began driving a specially modified sedan using hand controls four years ago.

However, she cancels trips to the grocery store or mall if reserved slots are taken and she is forced to park too far away to conveniently reach the entrance.

“Driving gives me an amazing sense of freedom,” she said. “But during an important holiday, the parking is always full and the reserved parking is often taken by people without disability cards. That does make me angry because I have to park really far away or just leave.”

Before the radars are rolled out, people with disabilities hoped there would be consultations with the community since video and photos may not identify all disabilities.

“Disability is such a wide spectrum so it will have to be a heavy duty sensor to understand what constitutes special needs,” said Ms Nizar.

“The spectrum is wide. It also covers autism cases and in a photo you cannot make out some forms of Down Syndrome.”

Source: The National UAE , 24th Dec 2014

CMC to set up 32 disabled-friendly toilets in Cuttack

The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has proposed to establish as many as 32 disabled-friendly toilets across the city. The toilets will be equipped with railings, ramps and proper flooring.

This is the condition of most public toilets in Cuttack
            This is the condition of most public toilets in Cuttack 

There are only few  public toilets for disabled people in the city. The proposed disabled-friendly toilets would be set up near Link Road, Madhuptana, Buxi Bazaar, Choudhary Bazaar, College square and near some slums.

The CMC has entrusted the task of constructing the toilets to National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC).

“The toilets will be designed keeping in mind the needs of the visually impaired and wheelchair-bound persons. The entrances will be wider (around 4ft) and railings will be fitted to it. ,” said a CMC official.

“Special guiding tiles will be used on the floor for the convenience of the visually impaired people,” he added.

The toilets would be built at a cost of Rs 7.65 crore which will be jointly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Rs 2.21 crore), state government (Rs 4 crore) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Rs 1.44 crore).

“NBCC will start construction of the toilets in January and complete the project in six months,” said Gyana Ranjan Das, CMC commissioner.

At present, Cuttack has 57 public toilets for a population of over six lakh but owing to lack of maintenance, most of the toilets are in a dilapidated condition.

Source: I am in DNA of Cuttack, 22nd Dec 2014

Inspiring: Lost both arms at the age of 7, yet he drives, swims...

Vikram Agnihotri’s demand for driving licence has left Regional Transport Office (RTO) officials bewildered as the man drives car with all precision, but not with his hands.

Vikram lost his arms in an accident when he was just seven-year-old. But this didn’t stop him in fulfilling his dreams and today he can drive car easily, even on the busiest of roads.

But traffic rules are now acting as a hindrance as there is no law to provide driving license to physically disabled person.

According to Madhya Pradesh transport minister Bhupendra Singh, government will consider giving a license to Vikram after conducting a special driving test for him.

Vikram did his schooling in Germany after which he completed his graduation and post-graduation from Indore. Now he is pursuing LLB.
According to reports he cleared exams of IIM-Ahmedabad twice, but couldn’t get admission because of his physical disability.

In many countries, physically disabled persons are allowed to drive but there is no such provision in India.
In such countries, people get the car modified for this but Vikram can drive without any modifications.

Vikram can swim, can type with his legs, does shaving and operates Smartphone from his nose.

Source: Daiji World , 22nd Dec 2014

Act against those not implementing disability quota:Parliamentary panel

A parliamentary committee has recommended appropriate action against "erring authorities" who are not implementing the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act, which mandates three per cent reservation for the differently abled.

In its second report submitted in Parliament last week, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has noted that the Act makes it mandatory for the government to reserve "not less than three per cent of vacancies for persons with disabilities (PwDs)."

Observing that only one per cent of the vacancies have been filled by such candidates, the report said a huge backlog of vacancies exists with respect to posts meant for them.

The committee asked the Department of Disability Affairs to take up the matter with all central ministries, PSUs, state governments and universities recognised by the University Grants Commission to collect a data on the backlog of vacancies of posts reserved for PwDs.

"The committee desires that appropriate action be initiated against erring authorities for non-implementation of provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995," the report said.

It further urged the Department of Disability Affairs to take up with DoPT, a nodal ministry for implementing the reservation policy, to clear the backlog by launching special drives.

The committee also recommended "strict monitoring" of the Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme and ensure that grants are being extended only for "deserving NGOs".

Expressing displeasure over the trend of utilisation of funds under the scheme during the past four years, the committee said that only about 50 per cent of the allocation has been spent in 2013-14.

"Despite an allocation of Rs 124.85 crore in the year 2013-14 in the scheme, expenditure has been about 50 per cent only," the report said.

Source: Zee News , 21st Dec 2014

Will new nursery admission norms affect special-need kids, asks High Court

The Delhi High Court on Monday raised the issue of whether reservations in nursery admissions for differently-abled children will be adversely affected by the recent single-bench order, which had said the Directorate of Education (DoE) cannot interfere in nursery admissions of private unaided schools.

The issue came up during a hearing in a PIL seeking implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act to provide three per cent reservation for children with special needs (CWSNs), after the Principal Secretary (Education) Anindo Majumdar said the DoE had been directed to not issue any guidelines for admissions.

The court of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Vipin Sanghi noted that the issue of persons with disabilities had not been taken up by the court while looking into the regulatory powers of the DoE.

During the hearing, amicus curiae Ravi Gupta and senior advocate Kirti Uppal, who had appeared for the petitioner, also pointed out that the DoE had failed to submit the data on the facilities available in various private unaided schools for CWSNs.

The lawyers informed the court that every recognised school, aided or unaided, has to fill specific information regarding facilities for CWSNs. This is submitted annually to the government under the Unified District Information System (UDISE) run under the aegis of National University of Educational Planning and Administration.

The court then pulled up the DoE for not submitting the data even though it was allegedly available.

“Our anxiety was that the maximum number of children get admission this year. If schools have given data on facilities available, it was your job to submit it. Admissions are open already and data is not there,” the court said.

The DoE, however, argued that the data was “primary data” and that it was in the process of creating a system for verification on the basis of a format prepared by the Rehabilitation Council of India.

The court has allowed the DoE to submit the collated data by January 14, and has directed that the verification process can continue “in the meantime”. The court also noted that it was the “duty” of the government to ensure facilities for differently-abled children.

Source: The Indian Express, 23rd Dec 2014 

University devotes December to special needs - Jeddah

Dar Al-Hekma University organized several activities and programs during December to improve the quality of services provided in the field of special education.

University devotes December to special needs

The events took place in the university campus, Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing (JISH) and the Disabled Children Association.

This program started at the beginning of the month with a celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities and ended with a training session on challenging skills.

Dr. Amal Al-Yamani, chair of the Special Education Department at Dar Al-Hekma, said: “Dar Al-Hekma University is one of the leading universities in giving back to the community, which is the result of the belief that education should serve the community as a whole.

“To fulfill this need to serve, the Special Education Department started several programs, one of which is ‘Our Contribution Transcended’, a training project directed to advance and improve services in the special education field to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the professional.”

The “Our Contribution Transcended” initiative aimed to provide training programs to improve the quality of services provided in the field of special education and focused this year on learning disabilities.

Research indicates that up to 10 percent of people in the Kingdom suffer from learning disabilities.

However, individuals with learning disabilities usually have an average to above average intellectual abilities.

Source: Saudi Gazette, 22nd Dec 2014

Mass Wedding for Handicapped, Persons with Special Needs

Celebrations and activities have continued at Martyr Suad Tambal Center, in the neighborhood of Haj-Yousif, where a number of the disabled and persons with special needs tied the knot in a ceremonial atmosphere.

Sidiq Ali Al-Sheikh, the deputy governor of Khartoum state, called for including the newly-wed persons with disabilities and special needs in the umbrella of health insurance.

State Minister for Welfare and Social Security, hailed the center which organized the event and fasciculate the mass wedding for the persons with special needs, for its gracious efforts contributions to the needy. 

Dr. Amal Al-Bili revealed that an estimated 15 million Sudanese pounds will be deposited in favour of the persons with disabilities and special needs.

A wedding ceremony was held at the center for one hundred persons with disabilities and special needs under the theme of a “Chaste Nation”

The marriage for the persons with disabilities and special needs was donated by a Saudi Muslim clerk of charity, who refused to have his identity or his assistants disclosed.

Attendees in the matrimonial ceremony were the families of the grooms, graced the center’s board of trustees in addition to the members of the executive office and the unions of the persons with disabilities and special needs.

The ceremony was organized in collaboration with United Financial Bank, Challengers to Disability Union in Omdurman and Sudanese Women Union in addition to other civil society organizations.

Helping 100 individuals with disabilities and special needs tie the knot was the first biggest event of its kind to be organized by Martyr Suad Tambal Center within its social contributions and efforts to preserve purity and chastity of the Sudanese society.

Source: Sudan Vision , 22nd Dec 2014

Higher Education for Person with Special Needs (HEPSN) - Delhi

The University Grant Commission (UGC) has implemented a scheme called "Higher education for Persons with Special needs (HEPSN) which is basically meant for creating an environment at the higher education institutions to enrich higher education learning experiences for differently-abled persons. Creating awareness about the capabilities of differently-abled persons, constructions aimed at improving accessibility, purchase of equipments to enrich learning etc. are the broad categories of assistance under the scheme.

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha question. 

Source: Business Standard, 22nd Dec 2014 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Differently-abled women feel no safer at public places in MP: Survey - BHOPAL

It seems moving out to secluded or less crowded area is much safer for women, especially those with disability than visiting a busy market, street and using public transport. This has been revealed in a survey conducted by crime against women cell of Madhya Pradesh police.

The survey suggested that women, especially with disability, experience sexual harassment more at public places and in public transport vehicles than the less-crowded areas. Remarks, obscene comments, abuses and touching with bad intention were faced by girls in crowded markets and roads.

The survey also suggested that about 40% harassment and telephonic harassment incidents were not being reported with police as the latter usually tried to solve the issue through their parents, brother or friends.

Additional director general of police (ADG) and in-charge of crime against women cell Aruna Mohan Rao said the survey was conducted to figure out the problems faced by the fairer sex and identify the unsafe areas of Bhopal and Indore so that the police could curb harassment cases.

"The incident of exploitation and assault with specially-challenged women and girls were also reported as most of time anti-social elements took undue advantage of their physical limitations," Rao said.

"To deal with this problem, we are going to organise a 10-day self defence training programme for visually impaired women so that they could fight against harassment," she said. Similar programmes for hearing and speech impaired and physically challenged women would also be conducted in the future, the ADG added.

Police would hold a meeting with superintendents of police (SP) of Bhopal and Indore to tighten security at public places and public transports.

In the survey, women also said they felt more comfortable to share their problems and harassment incidents with women police personnel as compared to males. Hence, more woman police personnel would be deployed at crowded area and busy markets.

"One positive thing that came out in the survey is that most of the women were aware about the women’s helpline numbers and laws," Rao added.

Source:Hindustan Times , 16th Dec 2014

Nitaqat status for women working from home - JEDDAH

The Ministry of Labor has issued three new decisions to create more job opportunities for women and the physically challenged.

Women working from home will be included in the Nitaqat system. For the platinum zone, those who work from home will be calculated as 30 percent of the total Saudi staff. For the green zone, they will be calculated as 20 percent of the total Saudi staff while for the red and yellow zones they will be considered as 10 percent of the total Saudi staff. The decision will come into force on Feb. 20 in 2015.

For nursing women, the decision tries to strike a balance between work and childcare. Women are allowed to take a rest for an hour or two everyday during work hours to nurse their children for 24 months after delivery. The rest hour(s) will be included in work hours. If the business where a woman works does not have a nursery, she can nurse her child either at the beginning or at the end of work hours.

The decision will also deal with the pressing challenges such as transportation, places of daycare for female workers' children and the creation of a work environment for women.

Meanwhile, the Shoura Council asked the Civil Service Ministry to increase the transportation allowance for female workers.

Source: Zawya, 16th Dec 2014

Now, it’s possible to get passport in a jiffy: Chandigarh

The regional passport office has eased the difficulties of people applying for passports. Now, if the applicant can prove his urgency with documentary evidence, he can walk into the regional passport office and get it within a short span of time.
Besides, the regional passport office has done away with clause of seeking mandatory appointment for senior citizens and children below 16 years.

The applicants who are in urgent need of passports and have all necessary documents to obtain passport and are not able to get online appointments may approach the regional passport office in Chandigarh with necessary documents.

If an applicant wants to get his/her passport processed under tatkal quota but is unavailable to book an appointment under the said quota, he can apply under normal quota and the passport will be processed as per tatkal quota rules. Also, applicants for Police Clearance Certificate (PCC), senior citizens above 60 years, children below 16 years and physically challenged applicants reporting with medical certificate do not have to take an appointment and can walk-in between 9 am and 11 am on all working days.

Regional passport officer Rakesh Agrawal said: “There is no scope of touts, agents in the passport office. We have made some changes for those who want passport in emergency.” Aggarwal said the appointment cycle had been reduced to three working days in the regional passport office.

Applicants belonging to all 25 districts of regional passport office can take appointment in any of the three Passport Seva Kendras in Ambala, Chandigarh and Ludhiana as per their convenience.

He added: “We are regularly holding meeting with the police to reduce the verification time.”

Source: Hindustan Times, 15th Dec 2014

Custom New app to enable visually impaired walk freely launched:Puducherry

A team comprising members of the faculty and research scholars from Pondicherry University has developed a mobile application to help visually-challenged people navigate independently the varsity campus.

The application, called 'Vilosen' (Visually impaired location sensor) can be customized for any localion after mapping and feeding details of buildings, roads and routes to reach different parts of the area, and other physical infrastructures that would be used by the visually-challenged.

The team -- led by K S Kuppusamy, an assistant professor from the Department of Computer Science, and comprising A Chidambaram, assistant professor in the Department of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, and five research scholars -- has already customized the application for the 35 visually challenged students in the Kalapet campus.

The application would help its users by furnishing details about sites, information about buildings and the routes to be followed to reach desired destinations.

"The team plans to upload the application on the university's website and visually challenged students can download the application and use it for easy navigation. It is an open source software and anyone can download and modify it as per their requirement," said Chidambaram adding that the application can be upgraded by integrating several other features like GPS and Google Maps among others.

The team is also developing an application to help the visually-challenged to identify Indian currencies and an application to guide them to choose apparels and accessories of different shades and colours.

"These two applications are under trial. We hope to develop them within the next three or six months," Chidambaram, who is also the coordinator of the higher education for persons with special needs programme of the university, said.

The application will identify Indian currencies for now but later can be upgraded to expand its range. "Presently the application takes roughly 20 seconds to identify an Indian currency. We are fine-tuning the application to identify the currencies in lesser time," he said.

Vilosen was formally launched during the observation of International Day for People with Disability at the varsity campus. The other two applications will be launched soon. The United Nations this year advocated observance of the day under the theme 'Sustainable development: The promise of technology'.

"We wanted to play our part in realizing the UN's goal and came up with the idea of developing applications and softwares to assist the differently-abled people," he said.

Source: TOI, 20th Dec 2014

Visually impaired prof with a vision for his students - Bangalore

An eye-to-eye contact is one of the most pertinent forms of communication between a teacher and student. However, for partially blind assistant professor, N Dasharath from University Law College, Bangalore University, this was never a deterrent when it came to teaching law to his students...inside and outside the classroom.

Visually impaired prof with a vision for his students

             Prof Dasharath receiving the award from the President

Dasharath, 51, has played coordinator for the college's legal literacy camps in villages such as Yeliyur in Devanahalli Taluk and Tavarakere village in Kunigal Taluk for the last 10 years. He travels with students to educate Anganwadi workers in these villages on legal services, availing pension for disabled and issues like female foeticide, domestic violence, dowry and more.

Dasharath has penned two books - Vision for Social Justice and Vision for Reasonable Accommodation at Work Place for Person with Disabilities.

He hopes to continue contributing to teaching by creating legal awareness among his students and generating academic literature that they can benefit from.

His efforts did not go unrecognised. He was recently conferred the National Award For The Empowerment Of Persons With Disabilities as 'Best Employee' in Blindness category.

The award, instituted by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, was handed over to him by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Dasharath, who teaches students pursuing their LLM, says: "I am not able to see my students in front of me but I keep the class alive by making them talk. My lectures are replete with case studies, breaking the theoretical approach and keeping it practical. The students are also comfortable that way and so far they have been very supportive with this approach."

Hailing from a lower middleclass Raichur family, Dasharath was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, an inherited and progressively degenerative eye disease. Dasharath had enrolled in RV College of Engineering but dropped out because his deteriorating vision restricted him. "So, I dropped out of college in my first year when I was 21," he said.

He decided to settle for his second passion - law. He completed his PhD at Indian Law Institute in 2010.

"I can only see four metres ahead of me, beyond which everything is a blur. It would have been difficult to practice (law). (Therefore) I focused on my strong suites - communication skills and an absolutely clear knowledge of the subject and decided that teaching is the best way I could be of service to society."

Source: Bangalore Mirror, 19th Dec 2014

European Court of Justice rules obesity can be a disability

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] Thursday that morbid obesity can be considered a disability under the Equal Treatment in Employment Directive [text] if the employee is prevented from fully participating in professional life because of his or her weight. The case arose from the Retten i Kolding [official website], a Danish court, where there was uncertainty on how to rule in the case of a fired child care provider who claimed his termination was a cause of his inability to perform because of his weight.


The Danish court then posed two questions to the ECJ: whether the EU Treaty and Charter contains an independent prohibition on weight-based discrimination, and whether obesity can be classified as a disability, and as such, fall under the Equal Treatment in Employment Directive.

With respect to the first question, the ECJ found that there was no stand-alone prohibition. In responding to the second question, the court noted that a disability implies "limitations which result from long-term physical, mental or psychological impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the full and effective participation of the person in professional life on an equal basis with other workers." The court found that a morbidly obese person could be classified as disabled.

The court, stressing their commitment to protecting against all discrimination, stated that it is not necessary that the actual work being performed be hindered in order to see obesity as a disability. As long as an employee is being hindered from "full and effective participation on equal terms with others," then weight could very well be a disability.

The awareness of disability rights and the prevention of discrimination against the disabled has been a pertinent topic for many years. In September the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] celebrated [JURIST report] Guyana's ratification of the disability convention, boosting it to 150 signatories.

Just last month the US Supreme Court [official website] agreed to hear [JURIST report] the question of whether the Americans with Disabilities Act [official website, text] requires the accommodation of mentally ill and violent suspects in custody by law enforcement.

Source:, 18th Dec 2014

Access to Work: Disability scheme 'not reaching people'

Substantial numbers of disabled people are missing out on government support to help them into work, MPs have said.

Worker in a wheelchair

The government's Access to Work programme suffers from a lack of funding and publicity, the Work and Pensions Select Committee report found.

Staff from the Department for Work and Pensions often failed to understand the needs of disabled people, MPs added.

The scheme helped 35,000 people get or keep a job this year - up by 5,000 on two years ago, a DWP spokesman said.

Access to Work assists disabled workers by paying for specialist aids, equipment, building adaptations and support workers. ‬

"This week we announced further improvements to the service and we have also committed an additional £15m to ensure even more people can benefit," the spokesman added.

'Profoundly detrimental'

The parliamentary committee found that where Access to Work worked well, it "transformed the lives of disabled people", many of whom would be unable to work without it.

But MPs said DWP staff had displayed "unacceptable lack of disability awareness" and called for staff to be given additional training.

It was not possible to estimate how many people the scheme could help, MPs said, but they stressed there were "substantial" unmet needs.

In one case, the committee found a clampdown on pay for support workers had threatened the employability of deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users.

A "30-hour rule" - which capped the hourly rate for support workers - had a "profoundly detrimental" impact on many people, it said.

Disabled parking bays

There was also a "misperception" the scheme only provided physical aids, equipment and transport for people with physical disabilities, the report stated.

"Consequently relatively few people with other types of disability and different support needs currently use the programme."

Dame Anne Begg, Labour MP and chairman of the committee, said the scheme should be about "removing barriers for the full range of disabled people who can benefit from the programme".

Only "relatively few" required high costs, she said.

"Access to Work's modest budget risks an approach which seeks to boost the numbers helped by Access to Work by bearing down on the awards of people whose support needs happen to be high cost, including those who use BSL," she added.

The DWP spokesman said 250,000 more disabled people were in work this year compared with last.
"Access to Work and our Disability Confident Campaign are key parts of this, ensuring that disabled people have the same choice of jobs as everyone else," the spokesman added.

Earlier this month, Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper urged every British business to take on someone with a disability for a work placement in 2015.‬‬

Source: BBC News-UK, 19th Dec 2014

Curbs on privilege darshan at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam on January 1-Tirupati

No privilege darshans will be allowed in the TTD on January 1 on the occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi coinciding with the New Year. Even physically challenged, aged, NRIs and people from defence services will not be allowed special darshan. No reference letters will be entertained, said TTD executive officer Dr D. Sambasiva Rao on Friday.
After a five-hour long review meet on security arrangement for the mega fete at Annamaiah Bhavan in Tirumala on Friday, he said VIP darshan timing will be from 1.45 am to 5am.

The Sarva darshan will commence by 5 am and there will be no advanced booking of accommodation. Divya darshan tokens will not be issued from early hours of December 30 to early hours of January 3.

A quota of 10,000 tickets of Rs 300 advanced booking through Internet for Vaikuntha Dwadasi darshan will be released on December 24 at 9 am.

Mr Rao said, buffer stock of laddus will be arranged to meet increased demand. The services of srivari sevakulu and the students of the TTD educational institutions will also be utilised. 

Food, drinking water, coffee and milk will be supplied in compartments and queues, said Mr Rao. 

Source: Deccan Chronicle, 20th Dec 2014

Those flouting reserve seat rule to face tough action: Kathmandu

Though it has been made mandatory that public vehicles must allocate seats for women, senior citizens and persons with disabilities, people seem to be not giving two hoots about the rule and vehicle operators are only paying perfunctory attention, as a result of which these special seats are occupied by others.

On the first day of monitoring‚ youths and others were found occupying seats reserved for women‚ senior citizens and people with disabilities 

In the wake of reports that women, senior citizens and persons with disabilities were failing to have comfortable journey on public vehicles, traffic police in the Kathmandu Valley have launched tough action against those passengers who are caught occupying these reserved seats.

SP Basant Pant, Spokesperson for the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, said any person found occupying thees reserved seats would be made to disembark the vehicle immediately. They also need to attend an hourlong lecture on why women, senior citizens and persons with disabilities need care and support.

On the first day of the drive, traffic police took action against 345 male passengers for occupying reserved seats.

“We have deployed three monitoring and inspection teams led by DSPs in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. The teams will force those passengers who are found occupying reserved seats to get off the vehicles and immediately take them to traffic police office to listen to lectures,” said SP Pant. “The concerned vehicle drivers will also be punished with Rs 200 fine.”

SP Pant said traffic police had to resort to this measure after the law enforcement agency’s repeated efforts to convince passengers, drivers and transport entrepreneurs to follow the rules went in vain.

According to the MTPD, it is exercising the power conferred on it by the Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act, 1999.

As per the Act‚ a public bus must allocate six seats for women, elderly persons and people with disabilities. A mini bus must allocate four seats and a microbus should allocate three seats, as per the Act.

Similarly, the Act requires transport entrepreneurs to write or paste stickers saying ‘reserved seats for women, elderly persons and disabled’ above these seats and the signs must be visible from the door.

Traffic police launched the campaign in the wake of growing complaints of abuse against women and physically challenged people in crowded public vehicles.

During the monitoring, many women and elderly passengers were found struggling to stand properly while the seats reserved for them were occupied by youths and others.

On-duty traffic cops are also encouraging women, senior citizens and persons with disabilities to not hesitate to stake claim to their right. Traffic police have also urged them to call 103 (Traffic Police Control Room) and lodge complaints if they are denied their right.

Officials say the existing fine of Rs 200 is not enough to make bus operators follow the rules. The law enforcement agency has been asking the Department of Transport Management to empower it to slap a fine up to Rs 1,000 on transporters flouting the rules in the Valley where around 500,000 people commute in around 4,000 public vehicles on a daily basis.

While fine could be a good deterrent, it’s about the mindset of the people that needs to be changed. People must be encouraged to respect women, elderly and people with disabilities.

Source: The Himalayan Times, 19th Dec 2014

Facilities certified ‘friendly’ for people with mobility issues - Taiwan

In an effort to encourage the construction of buildings and living spaces that are accessible for elderly and disabled people, the Ministry of the Interior certified 149 facilities around the nation as “friendly environments” for those with limited mobility.

The housing complexes, hotels, hospitals and leisure facilities were awarded the certificates by the Architecture and Building Research Institute.

Minister of the Interior Chen Wei-zen  presented the awards at a ceremony.

Among the winners were the Fumao Yuhsiu apartments and Howard Hotel in Greater Kaohsiung; Taijiang National Park in Greater Tainan; Kuang Tien General Hospital in Greater Taichung; the Sheraton Hsinchu Hotel; and Wanfang Hospital in Taipei.

They and all other access-friendly facilities have been put on the digital map thanks to a mobile app launched by the ministry to promote certified infrastructure.

Chen said that the nation’s aging population means it will become an “aged” society as soon as 2016, with “aged” being defined as the number of people aged 65 and older accounting for 14 percent of the population.

In the future, Taiwan will have to adapt to the needs of about 4 million people with special needs, including senior citizens, physically and mentally challenged people, infants and expected mothers, the minister said at the ceremony.

Chen called for more architecture and public facilities, including housing, playgrounds and restaurants, to be made accessible for people with limited mobility and other disabilities.

According to ministry statistics, the nation’s population of people aged 65 and over was 2.78 million as of October, accounting for 11.9 percent of the nation’s total population of just over 23 million.

The number of physically and mentally challenged people was 1.13 million in the second quarter of the year, about 4.8 percent of the population, the statistics showed.

Source: Taipei Times, 20th Dec 2014

Sunday, 7 December 2014

When playing mattered over winning or losing - Coimbatore

For J. Bhavani, the very act of touching and holding the volleyball was special. “I would feel happy whenever I held the ball,” said the visually challenged girl, who along with other differently abled students, played adapted volleyball at the sports meet Avinashilingam University had organised on Saturday as part of the International Day of Differently Abled.

The sound of ball bouncing would bring me relief, she said. She and her team member were on one side of the net and her opponents were on the other side.

They had to roll the ball beneath the lowered net. If their opponents failed to grab the rolling ball, they got a point. And, when Bhavani and her friends failed, the opponents scored a point.

For Bhavani’s classmate A. Aaiyesh Banu, an eighth grader, playing ball relaxed her mind. And, for G.Amirthalakshmi, it brought a change from the mundane.

The girls along with A. Arul Mary of TLC Middle School fought hard in the volleyball event.

The University had organised sack race, lemon and spoon race, potato picking, kabaddi, chess, carrom and a few other events, said Premavathy Vijayan, Head of Department, Special Education.

The girls had earlier taken part in the district-level sports for the differently abled and won their way to Madurai to participate in the State-level event.

And, they won, said the students.

The differently abled students got a helping hand from the students of Physical Education Department, who taught them the rules and guided them in the competitions.

A. Praveena, a second year physical education student, said that it was a good learning experience interacting with the differently abled students, for they were surprised by their level of understanding. The students showed enthusiasm that was contagious as well.

Ms. Vijayan said conducting such sports events had a therapeutic effect on the students.

Her physical education counterpart. T. Shanmugavalli said that such events also brought the talents in differently abled students, which, when identified and groomed, helped them compete at national and international events.

Source : The Hindu , 7th Dec 2014

Children with special needs: Everyone can live a better life with proper care: experts : LAHORE:

Every person with special needs can live a better and meaningful life if proper diagnosis and treatment is provided, experts speaking at the inauguration of Centre for Advanced Medicine (CANMED) clinic said on Saturday.
Doctors, paramedics, parents of children with developmental disorders and staff from schools for special-needs children attended the event.

The clinic offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment of persons with developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), opposite defiant disorder (ODD), learning disorder, language disorder and cerebral palsy.

The clinic, which will become operational on Monday, will also treat metabolic genetic syndromes and sleep and memory disorders.

Dr Sohail Khattak, the CANMED Clinic CEO, said that patients needed individual care and treatment. “Medicines for patients with the same disability can vary given the difference in there disability level. We are opening a specialised clinic in collaboration with two Canadian healthcare providers. A team of experts in Canada will be monitoring the cases through video link,” he said.

He said that the clinic would provide psychiatric and biological assessment of special-needs people.

Ashba Kamran, who runs a chain of schools for such children, said that the opening of the clinic was a good development. “It is high time parents realised that they need to invest in their children. My child was dyslexic and had a learning disability.

He is now leading a normal life because we invested time and money in his treatment,” she said.

She said that such children should not be called disabled. “They need attention. Right now, there is no clinic in the country where biological diagnoses are made. The clinic is good news for parents with special-needs children,” she said.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Khattak said that every disorder was unique. “Disorders are seldom diagnosed rightly here,” he said. He also said that cases of deafness were increasing due to cousin marriages. “It is time, we paid more attention to the next generation,” he said.

Source : The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2014