Services of doctors, life skill trainers, speech therapists will be made available

The government will set up a State Resource Centre in Chennai, the first of its kind in the country, for the benefit of parents of the differently-abled to help them understand the requirements of their children, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Thursday.

“Through the centre, differently-abled and their parents can make use of the services of doctors, life skill trainers, speech therapists and experts dealing with other disabilities attached to the departments of health and welfare of the differently-abled,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said in a suo motu statement in the Assembly.

She said the centre would be in the forefront in early diagnosis of the nature of the disabilities and treatment, besides supplying equipment to differently-abled children and helping them get disability certificates and government assistance.

“There will be a separate unit in the centre, providing information on various disabilities, treatment and counselling available and about centres in other places dealing with the disabled. A booklet on various centres in India will also be published and it would be of great help to the parents,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said.

“To encourage the reading habit among differently-abled children, a separate library will be created in the Coimbatore District Central Library at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh,” she said.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said her government had been implementing various schemes for the welfare of differently-abled in the State and providing inclusive education to children affected by dyslexia, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome and autism, depending on the nature and degree of the problem.

She said the government had appointed 4,010 special teachers, 17 life-skill trainers and 719 volunteers at a cost of Rs. 41 crore to bring new hope in their lives. A total of 601 medical camps across the State helped identifying 15,888 such children.

The government spent Rs 3.49 crore for giving them equipment and 27 children underwent operations.

A sports and cultural event was organised for these children. Ramps and special toilets have been constructed in 714 schools.