Helmut Gensler, a physical disability teacher-cum-trainer spoke at a workshop at MSSW on disability simulation

To understand the problems of disability, one needs to experience it, said Helmut Gensler, a physical disability teacher-cum-trainer at Schule am Hofgarten in Germany.

Speaking at a workshop for disability simulation at Madras School of Social Work (MSSW), he said students should have exposure and a chance to feel and live with disability.

“I did an exercise with the students here wherein I asked them to draw a circle in one hand and write their name with the other. If you look at their handwriting, it will resemble the way spastic children write,” he said.

He added there was no one particular solution to various types of disability. “The idea is to understand each problem and see what can be done.”

Mary Angeline, head of the department of social work in MSSW, said the department was conducting another workshop on palliative care.

“Usually, only doctors and nurses are involved in providing palliative care. But that may not suffice and social workers need to be roped in to focus on the caregivers as they also work on the psychosocial aspect of an individual,” she added.

The workshops were organised as a precursor to a two-day International Social Work Conference which will be held at Hotel Hablis in the city on February 7 and 8. At the conference, scholars and social work practitioners will deliberate, share their research and best practise models in the field of social work.

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