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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Physically challenged IAS officers can choose cadre closer to home State : New Delhi


      But no transfer to home State under amended rule 


Indian Administrative Service officers, appointed under the physically challenged category, can now choose a cadre closer to their home States. However, no transfer to the home State will be permitted under an amended rule.

In a notification issued on Tuesday, amending guidelines for posting of IAS officers with physical disabilities, the Department of Personnel and Training said a request for change of cadre could be made by an officer within three months through the parent cadre. Along with the application, documents in support of the grounds for cadre change would have to be enclosed.

The applicant will have to indicate a minimum of three States which are geographically contiguous to his/her home State. In their absence, the State closest to the home State in terms of distance would be admissible.

The government may, case-by-case and taking into account the extreme hardship faced by the officer, on the basis of a medical board report, permit transfer to a cadre closer to the home State.

If the transfer is agreed to ‘in principle’ by the Centre, the State government's concurrence will be sought as per the preference cited by the officer. If it is not forthcoming from any of the preferred States, the Centre may, after consulting another neighbouring State willing to accept the officer, effect the transfer.

The Centre’s decision on the selection of the State or cadre will be final and binding on the officer.
These guidelines will be implemented with prospective effect. 

Source : The Hindu , 18th March 2014

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Equal to the test: Five physically-challenged students express optimism and resolve ahead of their exams : JHARKHAND

Their unshakeable resolve makes these five physically-challenged students a role model for the lakhs of pupils appearing in this year's Jharkhand Board Class-X examination.

Meet Sunil Linda, Anjali Kumari, Suraj Oraon, Prakash Sahu and Sonu Kumar whose determination makes them achievers in their own rights.
A student of the Gandhi Memorial government school in Ramgarh, Sunil is unable to use both hands since birth.

students have
been assigned
writers individually to
answer the questions

                 The students have been assigned writers individually to answer the questions

The son of a poor farmer will instead use his right leg to write his answers.

The pen held between big toe and its adjacent digit moves in an impressive speed - enough for the teenager to appear for the important examination.
"Disability is not a bar in my studies. I have put all my efforts and hope to get first division marks in the board exam. I will continue my study further to a bright future," Linda says.

Referring to his physical limitation, one of the teachers said: "Being unable to write the exam over a bench and desk, Linda has been allowed to write his exams sitting on the floor by the exam controller."

Sunil's father Sukra Linda hopes that the government will come forward to help his son complete his higher studies. 

A student of the Gandhi Memorial government
school in Ramgarh, Sunil is unable to
use both hands since birth. The son of a poor
farmer will instead use his
right leg to write his answers

A student of the Gandhi Memorial government school in Ramgarh, Sunil is unable to use both hands since birth. The son of a poor farmer will instead use his right leg to write his answers

Like Linda, Anjali Kumari (18) of Ranchi's St Michael Blind School is appearing for the same examination. Anjali lost vision and her lower body was left paralysed due to medicine reaction in 2009. "I was a Class VIII student then when it happened. I went to Vellore and underwent treatment for two years. I learned Braille during this period," she recollects. Anjali's parents admitted her in the blind school in 2012.

Blessed with a sharp mind, Anjali aspires to become a software engineer. "I never consider my disabilities obstacle in reaching my goal," she says.

Visually-challenged Suraj Oraon, Prakash Sahu and Sonu Kumar at Ranchi's Marwari High School are also confident before appearing for their Class-X examination.

Aged between 15-17 years, the three students have been assigned writers individually to answer their question papers.

"We did not face any problem while answering the questions in previous exams as we were well-prepared," a confident Suraj recollects.

"Being specially blessed by the God, we are sure that we will get good results," said Sonu and Peakash of Patratu, adding, "Our strong determination will help us pursue higher studies."

District education officer Mahip Kumar Singh claimed that the department had taken all necessary steps to ensure whatever help these children would require while appearing for the exams.

"According to the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Act, we have provided writers to all students with low vision and allowed 30 extra minutes to each special examinee to answer their papers, so that they are at ease during the examination," Singh said.

Students are confident before appearing for their Class-X examination

                   Students are confident before appearing for their Class-X examination

Source : Mail Online India Via Daily Mail U.K  , 17th March 2014

The disabled get a new champion : Karnataka

Heralding a change, the state's first differently-abled commissioner of the department for disabled, chosen by the Siddaramaiah government last September, has repeated the act: after two months of struggle, he has persuaded the state government to appoint another differently-abled to the post of assistant commissioner. 

The disabled get a new champion






                  Indresh R, the new assistant commissioner


Indresh R
, who was with DPAR (department of personnel and administrative reforms), is expected to take charge in a couple of days after the commission's proposal is cleared by the Election Commission, Karnataka Commission for Persons with Disabilities commissioner K S Rajanna told Bangalore Mirror.

''This will certainly help the commission to have an effective grievance redressal system," he said.

Rajanna had to work around the lack of a suitable vacancy. The post of section officer to assist Rajanna was vacant, but it was a rank lower to Indresh's, who was an under secretary to the state government. Rajanna worked for two months to upgrade the post.

The new assistant commissioner lost both his legs to polio. He is a B Com and an MBA graduate and a 2005 batch gazetted probationer. "Till 2005, there was no reservation for differently-abled in group A and group B gazetted probationer posts. We had put up a legal fight and had moved till Supreme Court," Indresh told Bangalore Mirror. "I haven't received an official order yet. I consider this to be an opportunity to serve the cause of lakhs of differently abled." 

Source : Banglore Mirror , 18th March 2014

Groundbreaking policy on disabled persons’ rights launched

For the first time ever, a policy on the rights of persons with disabilities will touch on the sexuality and parenthood of the disabled.

The draft policy addresses other aspects in disabled persons’s life, from employment to accessibility and education to sports, arts and leisure.

Launching the consultative document on the national policy on the rights of persons with disability, junior minister Franco Mercieca said the “all-encompassing” document was aimed at improving the quality of life of persons with disability and their families.

“The policy seeks to address various themes with the ultimate goal not only of improving the quality of life of persons with disability and their families, but also of ensuring that they are treated at par with non-disabled persons,” Mercieca said.

Pointing out that disability was not “homogeneous”, Mercieca said the draft policy aimed at outlining the guiding principles that allow disabled persons “enjoy privacy and relationships and are able to participate in the life of the community and manage therir own needs as much as possible.”

Addressing a news conference at the premises of Middle Sea Insurance in Floriana, Mercieca said that equality is the underlining concept of the policy.

The junior minister pointed out that the insurance company in Floriana which employs 10 persons with a disability and a job coach was the “best example of supportive employment.”

The public consultation process will take six weeks and will then be followed by a seminar.  

Source : Mail Today , 17th March 2014

New website offers private social network for families and individuals with autism

Cari and Denise DeCandia – have launched a private social network for families and individuals with autism. Cari DeCandia is director of business development for the National Autism Network.

The website offers a secure environment in which parents can share files and information with the professionals who work with their child.

The article on the WRAL website states that the site is a HIPAA-secure social network that provides a private place for people living in the autism community to communicate.

Denise DeCandia has worked in the autism field for 20 years and is the director of the Carolina Center for ABA and Autism Treatment in Cary. Cari’s background is in business and marketing. She also has a brother with Down syndrome.

She told of how launching the website was a perfect opportunity to combine her interest in business with helping people with special needs.

The website was launched a year ago and is the largest online resource for the autism community with a nationwide provider directory, discussion forums, autism news and other resources.
Cari said.
“Making those connections, you can find people that have walked a mile in your shoes,”
The site launched its social network in November.

Parents can now create a profile page and are able to share information with their child’s teachers, therapists and other professionals. They also can set up a profile page for their child.
Parents can connect with other parents, family members and individuals on the spectrum as well as being able to communicate privately with their child’s healthcare providers.
Providers can also create a business profile page in which to build a following.

Cari told of how some parts of the website are free while other sections have a fee, starting at about $9.95 a month to about $150 for a lifetime membership.

She further adds:
“I’ve never enjoyed what I’m doing more than what I’m doing right now,

“I get to create something really cool and, on the other hand, get to help someone. It makes you feel good.”

Source :  Autism Daily News Cast , 17th March 2014

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

National Seminar on Inclusive Education at ODHISA

National Seminar on Inclusive Education: Issues on Policies and Practices 
                              Dated 22nd – 23rd March, 2014


• Existing Govt. Policies for Inclusive Education for CWSN

• Challenges in Implementation of Inclusive Education

• Quality concerns related to Inclusive Education

• SSA & Inclusive Education for CWSN in different states

• Inclusive Practices in Higher Education

• Inclusive Practices in Teacher Education

• Any other topics that which may serve the broader category of the focal theme


• Submission of Abstract: 10th March 2014

• Notification of Selection: 12th March 2014

• Submission of Full Paper & filled in Registration Form:
18th March 2014

• Last date of Registration: 15th March 2014 

Download the details from the link , given below : 

Source : Milton Charitable Foundation for The Visually Handicapped

CBSE 2014: Special initiatives for Special category candidates of Class 10 and 12

Exams are difficult for all students, but even more for those falling under 'special category' such as Visually Impaired, Dyslexic, Hearing Impaired/ Dumb, Physically Handicapped, Spastic and Autistic candidates. 

 Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), understanding the importance of education for all students, has taken special initiatives to make the examinations as convenient as possible for the differently abled, while still retaining the original syllabus, paper pattern and difficulty levels. 

                                   CBSE Special category candidates


1. Subject choice:
Special category students are exempted from studying a third language up to Class 8, and can choose one language and any four electives at Secondary School level. Electives available are: Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Another Language, Music, Painting, Home Science, Foundation of Information Technology, Commerce (Elements of Commerce) and Commerce (Elements of Book Keeping and Accountancy).

2. Scribe:
Special category students have permission to opt for a scribe during examinations free of cost. The scribe will be selected by Centre Superintendent of the Examination Centre and must be a student of a class lower than the candidate taking the exam. The scribe will be given remuneration from the Board of Rs 100 per day.

3. Extra time during exam:
Students from the special category appearing for Class 10 or Class 12 examination will receive extra time to complete their exam; 60 extra minutes for a paper of 3 hours duration, 50 extra minutes for a paper of 2 ½ hours duration, 40 extra minutes for a paper of 2 hours duration and 30 extra minutes for a paper of 1 ½ hours duration.

4. Alternative question paper:
Question papers are also available in Braille, large print and choice of questions in place of visual based questions (example maps) are also provided for special category students.

5. Special exam centres:
Candidates of special category can avail separate exam centres with provisions of easy access and flexible seating arrangements. Invigilators at the different exam centres are given extra training.

6. Informed regional centres:
The answer sheets of the special category students include their specific condition and are sent to checking centres accordingly.

A total of 3180 special category candidates are attempting the Class 10 exams, with 452 Visually Impaired, 788 Dyslexic, 232 Hearing Impaired/Dumb, 1527 Physically Handicapped, 161 Spastic and 20 Autistic. For the Class 12 exams, 2453 special category candidates are registered, with 388 Visually Impaired, 452 Dyslexic, 167 Hearing Impaired/Dumb, 1308 Physically Handicapped, 128 Spastic and 10 Autistic.

Source : India Today Education , 3rd March 2014

A physically-challenged person shows the way - Kakinada ( AP )

G. Krishnamurthya, 60-year-old physically-challenged man from Hyderabad, is offering help to those who are in need of money. A stock-broker by profession, Mr. Krishna Murthy had been paralysed by 80 per cent due to the tuberculosis inflicted to his spine card when he was 10.

“I am not in a position to spend money from my pocket, but I am able to provide a platform for those who are in need of money and those who wish to spend on philanthropy. My role is to check the credentials of the needy and introduce them to the donors. The needy can call me on my mobile phone number 99481-56392,” Mr. Krishnamurthy announced while addressing a meeting organised by Sri Ramakrishna Seva Samiti here to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He was one of the three speakers who graced the occasion and felicitated by the Samithi.

Thirty one-year-old K. Rajesh of Hyderabad is on the job of providing medical help to orphans. A certified male nurse, Mr. Rajesh offers shelter, food, treatment and medicines to those who suffer chronic ailments. “I am taking care of destitutes suffering cancer and other chronic ailments,” he said, adding that he got inspired by the preaching of Swami Vivekananda. Ch. Suryanarayana, president of the Samiti, announced a contribution of Rs. 1 lakh each to Mr. Krishna Murthy and Mr. Rajesh on the spot.

Penke Nukaraju, auto-rickshaw driver from the city, had been on the job of distributing rice to the rickshaw pullers who lost their livelihood due to dominance of the three-wheelers. He collects about 500 kg of rice from philanthropists every month and distributes the same to about 100 rickshaw pullers who were aged and could not go for work. “The credit goes to the philanthropists,” he said in a humble tone.

Source : The Hindu , 4th March 2014

Data Entry Operator in Vigilance Net : Balangir

A data entry operator working at  Development and Handicapped section in the office of the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) here was arrested by Vigilance sleuths for taking gratification of `10,000 to issue physically handicapped certificate to one Tapan Herna of Swadhinpara, Titlagarh on Monday. The bribe amount was also recovered from his office almirah.

The arrested Debraj Kumar Giri demanded the bribe to allow the Orthopeadician, Balangir to issue Physically Handicapped Certificate indicating his disability as more than 50 per cent.

Earlier, Herna was issued Physically Handicapped Certificate having 45 per cent disability which is to be renewed every five years. On February 28, Herna had applied online to the authorities for its renewal and was physically tested by the team of doctors on March 1 in the office of CDMO. 

Following the complaint of Herna, Vigilance sleuths laid a trap. On Monday Giri told Herna to keep the bribe money in an envelope and wait in front of the CDMO office. Later, Giri came out with a plastic bag and asked Herna to keep the money in the bag.

Thereafter, Giri went inside the office and kept the bag with the graft amount in his office almirah. At this time, the Vigilance officials arrived and seized the money. 

Source : The New Indian Express , 4th march 2014

Mentally challenged student exploited on school premises : Nepal

It has been found that a teacher of Singha Devi Primary School has been exploiting a mentally challenged girl student for the past two years in the name of Practical Education at Barnalu VDC in Okhaldhunga.

Asmita Thapa, a mentally challenged student at Singha Devi Primary School in Barnalu, Okhaldhunga, cleaning the school toilet on Sunday.


Mentally challenged, Asmita Thapa of Ubu VDC, is a grade I student of the school who cannot speak properly. But the Head teacher Saraswati KC of the school has been exploiting her for the past two years.

Asmita was made to clean toilets, utensils, clean the school and its surroundings among other things even though the government has appointed a staff to look after the mentally challenged students like Asmita in schools.

Locals said that though the government has managed a staff to look after mentally challenged students in schools, the staff is hardly seen at school. They said Asmita became a victim because the staff is not present there. “We hardly see the staff in the school,” said a local guardian.

Asmita has been studying and living in the school for the past two years. School sources said that teachers prepare breakfast in the school and make Asmita clean the utensils.

Head teacher KC said that she asked Asmita to clean the toilets and do other work to provide her ‘practical education’ in the school. “We are directed to do so by the higher authority,” she added.

Parbati Khatri, another teacher said that they did not ask Asmita to do such works. “Asmita herself cleans the toilets, What can we do?” she added.

With integrated education, the school has been operating classes for mentally challenged children for the past ten years. The school runs classes for 10 mentally retarded children in a sources class. But Asmita is the only student who takes such classes in the school.

District Education Officer Lok Bahadur Lopchan said the school should not use mentally challenged students to cleaning toilets and utensils in the name of practical education.

“Such students should not be exploited,” he said, adding, “Investigation will be carried out.” He said that action would be taken against the culprits if they were found guilty.

According to DEO, 80,000 rupees has been allocated to operate the source classes this fiscal.

Source : The Himalayan , 2nd March 2014

AP govt to train people with disabilities : Hyderabad

In an attempt to empower close to 4.3 lakh adult disabled people in the state, government bodies are now trying to train them in entrepreneurial skills so that they can live a life of dignity.

A pilot project has been proposed to provide vocational training to physically-challenged people so that they can start their own businesses such as mobile repair shops, stationery shops and manufacturing of clothes and footwear. Over 3,500 people in rural areas have already been trained to earn their own living.

"We are reaching out to the disabled people in more than 700 mandals of the state. These livelihood programmes will enable them to enter the professional mainstream," said A Murali, additional CEO, Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP).

After a long campaign, a GO was issued recently which extended entrepreneurial incentives under the Industrial Investment Promotion Policy to the differently-abled at par with incentives given to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. As per the GO, disabled people persons seeking to start their own businesses will be eligible for subsidies on land, power, skill upgradation etc. Further, women entrepreneurs will be eligible for an additional 5% investment above the 35% offered to men.

"Many physically-challenged people approach us to discuss how they can start their own enterprise, but are often unable to proceed because of specific guidelines. With the GO, there is finally some assistance," said Malla Reddy, assistant director of Andhra Pradesh Vikalunga Co-operative Corporation.

While the state's welfare department has tried to make an inclusive professional system for the physically-challenged by employing over 14,000 persons in government jobs, many continue to remain unemployed due to lack of opportunities. "There are only a certain number of vacancies available in government jobs. However, there is no limit or restriction for entrepreneurial enterprises. It should be encouraged and implemented to boost the quality of lives of the disabled people ," said Amruth Reddy, president, Differently-abled employees of Andhra Pradesh.

Source : TOI , 4th March 2014

The difficulty of a diagnosis: Is it anxiety, OCD, sensory processing disorder, autism, or all of the above?

When HJ was three years old, she had a few unusual fears that made daily life more than a bit challenging. Number one was going on elevators. You wouldn't think that would be such a big deal, but after more than a few times trudging up the stairs while dragging HJ with one hand and her baby sister hanging precariously in my other arm, I told myself that we had to figure out a better way.

The difficulty of a diagnosis: Is it anxiety, OCD, sensory processing disorder, autism, or all of the above?

HJ doing one of her favorite things, painting


Number two was going on highways. Again, you think this could be avoided enough that it wouldn't be such a problem, but finding roundabout ways to get to the places we needed to was really starting to complicate matters for us. Especially since we were usually running late due to another issue we had whenever we left the house.

That would be number three, and probably the biggest issue of all, HJ's fear of losing things. She was pretty much a pint-sized hoarder, gathering things from gel pens to plastic bags, socks, DVDs, papers, whatever was her preoccupation at the moment, and needing to carry them with her wherever she went. If that meant taking three bags of "stuff" with her, so be it. I know many a parent and therapist who advised us to have her pick out one or two things that she could take, but the tantrums that ensued when we attempted this new strategy made enforcing it nearly impossible.

I'm happy to report that in the past couple of years, HJ has pretty much grown out of fears #1 and #2, making daily life for our family much easier in those respects. Fear #3, unfortunately, has not completely dissipated, though its severity ebbs and flows depending on a variety of factors such as lack of sleep, overall stress, and general busyness of life.

The first developmental pediatrician we saw diagnosed her with general anxiety disorder. The idea that a three year old could have an anxiety disorder was news to me. We already knew that HJ had some sensory processing issues from our interactions with the Early Intervention occupational therapists. Her sensitivity to certain smells, sounds, textures, and general overstimulation made me pretty certain that this was a problem that HJ would have to overcome for daily functioning. We had also been told by her speech therapist that she likely had verbal apraxia, a neurological speech issue that made it difficult for her to produce certain sounds even though she knew the words.

But an anxiety disorder? It was such a broad and undefined concept to me. If I didn't know what it meant, how were we to help her deal with it?

We eventually found a caring therapist who worked with HJ on attachment issues. During my sessions with HJ and the therapist, I held her like a baby, looked into her eyes, rocked her and sang lullabies to her, fed her goldfish, and told her how much I loved her. It seemed to comfort her. I remember how relaxed she would get in my arms, when her eyes would go from anxiously looking around to the room to finally settling in my gaze and calming down. I hoped with all my heart that it was helping to reduce her anxiety and increase her overall feeling of security.

Since then, we've switched to another counselor who is working with HJ on specific strategies to help her with the daily challenges of school, such as how to interact with her peers in gym class or recess, when she is outside the structured boundaries of her self-contained special ed classroom. Thankfully, she loves her new counselor and has surprisingly opened up to her quite quickly. She sits there working on a coloring page or cutting up pieces of construction paper while telling her that sometimes it's too hard when she goes to the regular kindergarten class for literacy or how some days she doesn't want to go to school.

I know that HJ has made incredible strides since first coming home when she was 15 months old. When you meet her, she may still take a while to warm up, but once she feels comfortable and she's decided she's likes you, you'll hear her laugh, tell jokes and generally run around like a happy five-year should.

But there are still things that we need to figure out. It took a long time for me to accept that HJ had special needs. We tried putting her in regular preschool when she was three, and it was definitely not the right fit for her. Her special ed preschool turned out to be a godsend, in fact, and my only regret is that we didn't put her in it sooner.

All last year, we went back and forth with whether we should hold her back for kindergarten. Again, we went with the recommendations of the IEP team at her school, and put her in the full-day special ed kindergarten classroom, and she's been thriving.

Now it's that time of year again, and we're scrambling to determine what the best placement will be for her next year. Do we have her repeat kindergarten but put her in a mainstream class? Do we move her to a mainstream 1st grade class, and request a classroom aide? Do we let her continue in special ed, and possibly put her in a combined Kindergarten/1st grade special ed class? There are almost too many options at this point to understand what would be best for her.

Part of the difficulty is still not having a specific diagnosis for HJ, other than this collection of overlapping yet confusing labels of anxiety, sensory processing, and apraxia. Some days she spends so much time sorting little things like colored beads into a million different categories that I start to wonder if she has OCD or even autism. I'm well aware that Asperger's is no longer "an official diagnosis" and now part of the larger autism spectrum, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that a specific diagnosis such as Asperger's would almost be a relief to me, in that it would give me a way to understand HJ's issues and know better how to address them.
I completely relate to the way Hanna Rosin articulated it in her article, "Letting Go of Asperger's." She says about her son, "After a few years of resorting to elaborate, novelistic descriptions to explain him to teachers and friends, we began to wonder whether some more officially recognized category, even if flawed, might be helpful."

That's what I was really searching for. A way to explain to others, and to myself, the kinds of challenges that HJ faced daily, without having to detail her idiosyncrasies and quirks in overwhelming detail for people to understand what she was going through.

Recently we took HJ to another developmental pediatrician who specializes in neurodevelopmental delays and autism spectrum disorders. We've just started the testing and evaluation process, but I'm praying that we'll come out with a clearer outcome than we've had before. I'd really like a little more clarity than someone telling us, "Oh, but don't we all have some OCD tendencies?" Or, "My child has tantrums like that all the time..."

I also recognize that a diagnosis wouldn't make everything easier. I know that there could be limitations to her being "labeled" at a young age. However, after four and a half years with my daughter, my mother's intuition tells me that my lovely, unique, spirited girl has some challenges that she is going to need to face, and I want to be able to help her deal with those as much as humanly possible. And if a diagnosis is what is going to help us get there, at this point, I'm all for it.

Source : Chicago Now , 1st March 2014

Parents told to be aware of special children’s needs : Madurai

K. Geetha, Director, PRAVAAG centre, addressing a session of 'Win Autism' workshop in Madurai on Saturday. Photo: R. Ashok

K. Geetha, Director, PRAVAAG centre, addressing a session of 'Win Autism' workshop in Madurai on Saturday.

It is important for parents to know about autism”

“It is important for parents to know about autism and be an expert on their child affairs. Educate yourselves on your child’s needs and contribute to their development,” said K. Geetha, Director of PRAVAAG, Transitional centre for Children with Autism, at a ‘Win Autism’ workshop held at the Gandhi Memorial Museum here on Saturday.

The day-long workshop was organised by Sparks Vidyalaya, a school for autistic children and Association of Parent for Persons affected by Autism (AAPPAA). It brought together the parents of autistic children and special educators working with autistic children in the city. Ms. Geetha emphasised that it was important for parents to be “able to diagnose” their children early.

“Many parents notice symptoms of autism in their children and wait to see if they will outgrow the problems, which is wrong. Early intervention is effective since it will speed up development and work towards reducing symptoms of autism,” she said.

There are 15 schools in the district that cater to the needs of special children. Andavar P. Jaidev, founder of Sparks Vidyalaya School, said: “Madurai district has more than 400 autistic children.
There is a lack of awareness about autism among officials. Special schools and centres have inadequate infrastructure.

“The AAPPAA was formed so that we could come together and represent the children and people with autism who need such facilities and we are planning to approach the Social Welfare Department for the same,” he said.

Sessions on speech therapy and communication and understanding of sensory issues in children with autism were held by resource persons from the National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities, Chennai.

C.K. Dhanapandian, who spoke to the parents about management of challenging and emotional problems in children with autism, said a group approach towards addressing issues related to autism proved to be effective and it was a step towards societal inclusion. “It is very important for parents to be exposed to such multi-disciplinary sessions concerning their children since most often they are unaware of how to deal with emotional and communication related issues,” Mr Dhanapandian said while speaking on the sidelines of the workshop.  

Source : The Hindu , 2nd March 2014

Can an app help make life easier for children with ADHD?

We have tended to associate welfare technology with support for the elderly. Now researchers are looking at whether technology such as digital calendars and smartwatches can also provide support for children with autism and ADHD.

Being able to function well in the morning is a challenge for parents of children with cognitive problems. Small details such as putting their leggings on inside out, or an adult saying something 'the wrong way' can trigger a temper tantrum and ruin the entire day. Children can become unruly, and some even become aggressive when something prevents them from following their routines and habits.

This is one of many insights that researchers from SINTEF have learned from interviews with mothers of children who have autism or ADHD. "Being able to function well on a day-to-day basis is a big problem for these children – and for their families", say Lisbet Grut and Øystein Dale of SINTEF.

Technology that can help

Previous studies have shown that ordinary aids such as mobile phones and MP3 players can help young people with Asberger's and autism to plan time and activities. Smartwatches may be able to help remind sufferers about appointments and tasks, and various software on smartphones and tablets can help them visualise sequences and structures in activities. The researchers believe that by developing aids such as this, they could help provide support in everyday situations. Now they want to test out their theories.

Find solutions and allocate responsibility

A survey has already been carried out, in which researchers interviewed staff from NAV, Centres for Assistive Technology, service providers to the municipalities, assistive technology suppliers and selected families.

Lisbet Grut explains that the aim has been to find out where the problems lie, and what the essential factors are in finding a solution. "ADHD is a group that is easily neglected, and it is difficult to help sufferers, because their problems are varied and complex", she says. "But we believe that the work we are doing now will help us to find some good solutions, and provide clearer distinctions between the roles and responsibilities of the various support service organisations".

Service mechanism for rule-governed behaviour?

The interviews with the mothers and the support services revealed that assistive technology tends to be provided more on the basis of a diagnosis than on functional problems and needs. This means that many families are not getting the opportunity to try out technology that may be able to help them.

The families said that they would like NAV to focus on their needs instead of basing treatment on a diagnosis and on the technology NAV had approved as an aid.  Interviews with organisations involved in providing assistive technology revealed the same thing. Current regulations and practice in NAV mean that solutions are limited to a few aids, and solutions that are regarded as everyday technology are not taken into consideration.

Support services floundering

"We hope that this work will clarify some issues, but we freely admit that it is complicated and that there are no easy solutions", says Øystein Dale. "Many of the problems are caused by the fact that the various support bodies are not sure what their responsibilities are. Each expects that others will take responsibility for many of the tasks. A lack of resources and expertise in the municipalities and the Centres for Assistive Technology are other reasons why families feel that they are not getting enough support", adds Lisbet Grut.

Tests on three families

The interview process was the start of more comprehensive work in which the researchers, together with three families in Vestfold who have children with ADHD or autism, will begin trying out welfare technology. With the help of the researchers, these families will try out mobile apps, smartwatches and other technology that could help the children to keep track of their daily activities such as getting dressed, cleaning their teeth, etc.

The tests will take place in the spring, and a draft of the report should be ready by the summer. The Centre for Assistive Technology in Vestfold is involved in the project, and the lessons learned will be discussed with them at every stage.

The preliminary project and the project to test the welfare technology on children with ADHD and autism will be carried out by researchers from SINTEF Technology and Society.

More information Can be Collected From

The report from the preliminary project can be downloaded at
Source : Medical Express , 28th Feb 2014

Two sisters steal the spotlight with a heartwarming dance routine despite one of them, 9, being confined to a wheelchair from cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis


  • Gracie, 9, is in a wheelchair but doesn't see herself as disabled
  • In fact, both Quincy and Gracie incorporate wheelchairs in their heart-warming routine set to the song 'Reflection' from the popular Disney film Mulan
  • The girls performed their first ever national routine at Jamfest Super nationals in Kentucky 

    Two siblings from Shepardsville, Kentucky have an extraordinary dance routine that is gaining international attention.

    Even though Grace Latkovski, 9, uses a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis, that doesn't stop her and her sister Quincy Latkovski, 11, from competing at the Jamfest Super Nationals and becoming an instant darling among fans.
    In fact, both Quincy and Gracie incorporate wheelchairs in their heart-warming routine set to the song 'Reflection' from popular Disney film Mulan.

    Gracie Latkovski may be in a wheel chair but that doesn't stop her from living her life to the fullest

    Gracie Latkovski may be in a wheel chair but that doesn't stop her from living her life to the fullest

    Both Gracie (left) and her sister Quincy (right) use a wheelchair in their dance performance

    The routine incorporates the use of a mirror to illustrate the lyrics to the song 'Reflection' and to show how Gracie feels liberated on the inside despite her disability

    This year’s Jamfest Super Nationals was larger than ever with 300 teams performing and more than 4,000 dancers.

    'There wasn't a dry eye in the house,' Jamfest representative Hayley Reyes said of their unique performance.

    Jamfest was the first time the girls appeared on a national stage and they made quite the impression.

    'Within a second, everyone became a family,' Reyes said to HLN.

    The girls' mom Christin Latkovski told HLN that Gracie picks all her songs and that the lyrics, 'I am now in a world where I have to hide my heart and what I believe in, but somehow I will show the world what's inside my heart and be loved for who I am,' describes the way Gracie struggles with her disability but how she overcomes it.

    In the performance, Quincy doesn't push Gracie around, rather Gracie is able to operate her own motorized wheelchair on which she can twirl and dance.

    The girls show the national audience how they've manged to master their ability

    As Gracie twirls in her chair, Quincy does impressive flips in the air

    As Gracie twirls in her chair, Quincy does impressive flips in the air Gracie does not see herself as disabled and wants people to believe in themselves despite what other people may view as limitations.

    The sisters study at a dance studio where Gracie takes both private and group lessons. Gracie teaches others how to reveal who they are on the inside not through physical appearance but through art and creativity.

    The routine begins with both Gracie and her sister Quincy sitting in wheelchairs looking at each other from opposite sides.

    Eventually, Quincy rises from her wheelchair, dances through the mirror to the other side and acts as Quincy's inner self full of enthusiasm and exuberance.

    Quincy spins, pops her leg into the air, and even flips on the stage in front of the massive and appreciative audience.

    The girls spin hand in hand on the stage until Quincy walks back through the mirror for the grand finale.

    Even though Gracie may never be able to kick her legs, it doesn't make her feel any less special on the inside especially with the love of her mother, her older sister, and her adoring fans.

    Their touching routine was undeniably a showstopper
    Their touching routine was undeniably a showstopper

    The girls, pictured here with their parents and their little brother, love performing together and working together to create art
    The girls, pictured here with their parents and their little brother, love performing together and working together to create art

    Source : Daily Mail - UK , 2nd March 2014

ATSUM submits memo to rights parties : Imphal

The All Tribal Disabled Union, Manipur (ATDUM) has submitted a memorandum to the political parties including the Congress, the BJP, CPI, JD(U), NCP, MSCP, MPTC, MPP, NPF, JD(S), FB, SS, BSP, PDA, RSP, NPP, Manipur on February 19 for protecting and safeguarding the rights and interest of the persons living with disabilities by including in their manifestoes in the ensuing Lok Sabha election.

"The coming Parliamentary election which is going to be held very shortly but all the political parties do not realise that the persons living with disabilities have also valuable votes," said the ATDUM.

It lamented that the issues of students, farmers and youths are clearly reflected in their manifestoes.

"But not a single political party awares the plight of the persons living with disabilities till date," it rued.

According to the Union, the persons living with disabilities are physically, mentally, socially and economically downtrodden section in the society.

"But the fruits of the development at this fast changing world hardly reach to us," the ATDUM stated.

"Therefore, ATDUM will try its best to mobilize and campaign and sensitize the value of the votes of the disabled people in the upcoming poll," it added.

Source : E- Pao , 2nd March 2014

Arjuna awardee loses sight in police action

For Ram Karan Singh, an Arjuna Award winner in athletics, going for the Asian Games trial in April now looks like a far-fetched dream. The 23-year-old, who was partially visually challenged, lost his eyesight completely after he was injured in the police action on Thursday. The police ‘highhandedness’ took place during a protest against issuance of an ordinance on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill.

Ram Karan Singh

                        Ram Karan Singh

The activists of Persons with Disabilities, who were a part of All India Disabilities Alliance, were protesting outside Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's residence when the police used force to evict them. They wanted to meet Mr. Gandhi and convey their message to the President requesting him not to sign the ordinance on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill as is being planned by the UPA government.

“Earlier in the day, my friends were protesting against the Bill at the All India Congress Committee office. In the evening, I got to know they were lathi-charged; some of my visually challenged friends and I went to support them. We were protesting in front of Mr. Gandhi’s residence where the police had erected barricades. When we tried to cross them, the policemen hit us with lathis,” said Mr. Singh, talking to The Hindu.

“I was hit on my left eye and several of my friends too were injured. We were taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where the doctors told me that the lens of my eye had been dislocated. I cannot see anything after that incident,” he added.

Mr. Singh had lost his eyesight in an accident when he was 14 but was able to see with his left eye after he was operated upon in 2006. That is when he applied for the CellOne Marathon in Delhi in the disabled category and won the gold medal in athletics. This was the first step towards a sporting career and he never looked back.

In 2010, he received a silver medal in the Asian Games; in 2011, he won a bronze in the World Championship in Turkey; and in 2012, the prestigious Arjuna Award was conferred on him.

Source : The Hindu , 1st March 2014

Wheelchairs for disabled and elderly advocates at Bhopal district court

Disabled and elderly advocates have been facilitated in their work due to availability of wheelchairs on the premises of Bhopal district court, according to a press release.

State Senior Citizens' Welfare Commission has appreciated this arrangement. The commission has sent a letter in this regard to District Registrar of Bhopal District Court. The commission has hoped that like District Court, other institutions and government departments will also make similar arrangements for the convenience of disabled persons and senior citizens.

Source : TOI , 28th Feb 2014

Centre clears proposals for visually handicapped, disabled

 The government today gave its nod to a proposal to provide accessible mobile phones and laptops to visually impaired students and enhance income eligibility ceiling for the disabled to help them get more concession and subsidy in purchase and fittings of aids and appliances. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the proposal of the Department of Disability Affairs to provide accessible mobile phone to visually impaired students of 18 years and above only once in five years and to provide laptop, Braille Note Taker and Brailler to school-going disabled students (10th and above) once in 10 years.

New hope. AFP

It also decided to bring certain modifications and revision of cost norms in the Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids/Appliances (ADIP Scheme). The changes will be effective from 1 April 2014. As per the modifications, the income eligibility ceiling for 100 percent concession in purchase of such fittings has been increased from the existing Rs 6,500 per month to Rs 15,000 per month and for a 50 percent concession from Rs 15,001 to Rs 20,000 per month, a government release said. The cost ceiling for aids/appliances has been revised from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 for single disability and from Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 for students with disabilities. The ceiling of cost of medical/surgical correction which presently ranges from Rs 500 to Rs 3,000 has also been revised. It will be now Rs 1,000 for hearing and speech-impaired, the double of what it was earlier at Rs 500 and for visually disabled it has been doubled to Rs 2,000.

The proposal also seeks to enhance the extent of subsidy for motorized tricycles and wheelchairs from the present Rs 6,000 to Rs 25,000 for severely disabled and for locomotor disabilities such as quadriplegic (SCI), muscular dystrophy, stroke, cerebral palsy, hemiplegia and any other person with similar conditions where either three/four limbs or one half of the body are severely impaired. This will be provided to persons of 18 years and above, once in 10 years. There is also a provision for cochlear implant for 500 children per year with hearing disability under the scheme, with a ceiling of Rs 6 lakh per unit. Those earning less than Rs 15,000 per month will be eligible for 100 per cent concession while those earning between Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,001 will get 50 percent concession.

The ADIP Scheme was launched in 1981 with the objective of providing durable/sophisticated and scientifically manufactured modern, standard aids and appliances to promote physical/social and psychological rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential. The scheme was revised last in 2005.

Source : First Post India , 28th Feb 2014