FOCUSING ATTENTION ON SPECIAL CHILDREN
ASHWINI-NIEPMD-ROTARY TRIBAL DISABILITY CENTRE
ASHWINI, after realising a need for more concentrated efforts towards ensuring special education for persons with disability, decided to extend its community based health care services. A Disability Centre was set up in December, 2014 in collaboration with National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities, NIEPMD and Rotary Club, Gudalur valley. NIEPMD was established in the year 2005, on East Coast Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, under Department of Disability Affairs, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, to serve as a national resource centre for empowerment of persons with Multiple Disabilities such as those with two or more disabilities in a person.
The Disability Centre made its humble beginning in the year 2014 with the support of Rotary Club and started its services for the tribal and non tribal clients.
In the year 2015, the centre geared up its existing initiatives and got an opportunity to collaborate with National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities to function as its tribal extension centre.
The centre is committed towards protecting the rights of people with disability and mental retardation, providing appropriate medical care and ensuring access to social security schemes of government. To make its services accessible, we also provide travel support to our service users.
It believes that persons with multiple disabilities should receive early intervention so that they can achieve their optimum potential. The centre serves as a resource centre for empowerment of persons with Multiple Disabilities such as those with two or more disabilities in a person. The Disabilities listed under People with Disability Act (1995), are Blindness, Loco motor Disability, Hearing Impairment, Low Vision, Mental Retardation, Mental Illness, Leprosy Cured Persons.
It seeks to be a centre of excellence towards ensuring equal rights, opportunities, education and rehabilitation of persons with disability in the area by providing appropriate, accessible and affordable services.
The mission of the centre is to ensure that people with disability gain dignity, equity, acceptable and affordable interventions at an appropriate time. The centre aims to cater to both tribal and non tribal population within its coverage area i.e. the Gudalur and Pandalur Taluk.
It also aims to work towards advocacy of rights of people with disabilities and aspires to create awareness about disability among the tribal population.
- Screen the tribal population for people with disability
- Advocate for their social entitlements laid out under the Tamil Nadu Government Scheme for people with disability (disability card, allowance, scholarship, etc)
- Provide special education for persons with Multiple Disabilities
- Sensitise the community about the challenges and special needs of persons with disability
- Make the services accessible to people to them through outreach programs
- To promote and conduct research in all areas relating to Multiple Disabilities
From the time of its inception, the centre has organised various medical camps, received training sessions for the centre staff by officials from District Welfare Office for the Differently Abled, distributed hearing aids, prosthetics and initiated dialogue with district and taluk level officials to ensure our client’s accessibility to social security schemes. The process of identifying persons with disability and providing services in remote areas in Gudalur and Pandalur Taluk would not have been successful without the relentless support of Health Animators from ASHWINI’s various area centres.
- The centre has a full time physiotherapist and a special education teacher
- Regular epilepsy clinic
- Patients requiring further medical assistance are referred to medical, orthopaedic, neurological evaluation to Gudalur Adivasi Hospital
- Provisions for audiometry and hearing aids
- Advocacy for social security and entitlements
- Facilitating process to access applicable aids and equipments
- Corrective Orthopaedic Surgery
Our onboard team includes:
- Ms. Bellcy, Physiotherapist
- Miss.Malavizhi, Special Educator
- Dr. Susmita, Consultant Psychiatrist
- Jiji Elamana, Administrator
- Rama P., Advisor
Our Visiting Team includes:
- Dr. Saji, Orthopaedic Surgeon
- Dr. Binu Kurien, Orthopaedic Surgeon
- Dr. Ramesh, ENT Surgeon
- Dr. Maria Lewin, Paediatrician
- Dr. Shilpa, Special Education
- Dr. Agnes Mathew, Paediatric Neurologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Set up a Parent-Caregiver Support Group
- Start school for children with Mental Retardation
- Conduct IQ Assessments for purpose of screening
- Assessment for suitable assistive devices
- Occupational training
- Build a school and rehabilitation centre for special education for people with mental retardation
- Set up speech and hearing centre
- Encourage vocational training
- Provide prosthesis and other aids for those in need
- Provision of Braille for the visually handicapped
- Ensure access livelihood opportunities
The centre remains open on all days except Thursday and Sunday from 9am to 3pm.
The monitoring and evaluation of the centre and its functioning is carried out on a timely basis by National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities, East Coast Road, Tamil Nadu.