The main objective of the recently held "Abilities Expo - 2007 was to help improve the quality of life of the differently-abled and professionals in this field."Labdub, labdub, something, something" rocked the song as Sadan of AKIYA School for Special Children, kept perfect time and danced to the lively beat. This was part of the cultural show put up by the differently-abled children at the "Abilities Expo- 2007" supported by AKIYA, the LIONS District 324 A5 and the Business and Community Foundation at Valluvar Kottam recently. With the prime objective of helping to improve the quality of life for these people and for the professionals who help them, the expo was held for two days and children who were visually and hearing impaired, mentally retarded and afflicted orthopaedically, came with their parents to participate.
Aids and appliancesThe expo also catered to professionals in this field. There were different stalls, brightly decorated. The emphasis lay mainly on the aids and appliances that were needed for the children like wheelchair and hearing aid, Braille equipment and watches. Self-help groups had stalls that displayed what they had made like the one rupee shop where chocolates, biscuits and sweets were sold for a rupee and candles, jute bags and terra cotta jewellery, games like dunking the basketball into the hoop, carrom, jigsaws and puzzles, attracted the attention of the kids. The highlight of "Abilities 2007" was the medical camp, where anyone could have eye screening, blood grouping and a dental check- up, free of cost.Simultaneously, group discussions and workshops went on for parents and professionals in this field. Topics like management, behaviour therapy, autism behaviour management, communication and speech, recreation, sports and other vital topics were discussed by specialised people. After the invocation, the cultural show took off with a kolattam and a village dance. Eashwaran, a visually impaired violinist from Madurai, gave a performance that was essentially classical and the children listened in rapt attention. It was a special day for very special people who came together to celebrate their abilities and achievements.