Visually challenged N. Sneha addressed the participants on she overcame disability to complete her graduation and enter post-graduation

At a workshop on “Disability Management” at Bharathiar University, persons with disability along with disability experts spoke and demonstrated to social work students on ways used to overcome disability and lead a near-to-normal life.

The workshop, organised at the Department of Social Work for students of affiliated colleges of the university here on Monday and Tuesday, was conducted by the UDIS (You and the Disabled) Forum. What was different in this workshop was the sharing of experiences by those with disability. While a resource person introduced the disability and theoretically explained the causes, identification and assistive technologies and devices that aid those with disabilities, persons with disabilities demonstrated how they used these devices and technologies.

Visually challenged N. Sneha addressed the participants on she overcame disability to complete her graduation and enter post-graduation. She is a PG student of English in the university department. She explained the various assistive devices she used to make herself as independent as possible. The way she moves around, the way she learns music, and over and above all, the way she gives examination online using her laptop, were explained in great detail. V. Mrunalini, Assistant Professor in Special Education, Avinashilingam University for Women, explained the characteristics of the visually challenged, the ways in which the vision loss could be compensated through utilisation of other senses, and how a social worker could offer support to them by putting themselves in the shoes of the visually challenged.

In another session, M.B. Jaiganesh, International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (IVECI), spoke on the causes, identification and types of hearing impairment. He also briefed the students on basics of sign language and also gave them some exercises.

Prabhavathy, a hearing impaired girl explained in sign language the difficulties she faced because of her disability, people’s apathy, and after sharing her experience urged the participants to learn sign language. There were other sessions on locomotor disabilities, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. The role of parents, society and especially professional social workers, was explained. The workshop was earlier inaugurated by P.K. Manoharan, Registrar of Bharathiar University. M.N. G. Mani, Managing Trustee of UDIS Forum, presided.

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