What govt needs to do to make Rights of Persons with Disability Act work

By Koshy Mathew

“A human being is a magnificent creation and the magnificence must reflect in a humane, magnanimous, and all-inclusive manner so that every individual tends to feel that she/he deserves space,” as observed by the Supreme Court in the Pranay Kumar Podder vs State of Tripura and Others case in 2017.

There is potential progress on the horizon as inclusion, integration and phrases that would define their essence are discussed zealously, but what portends horror is that it is still left to choice – that it is not the practice.

Policymakers say let’s change the rules, activists say let’s change the mindset, politicians say let’s treat “them” as “Divine”, courts say let’s be magnanimous and civil society says let’s earn favours from God – all this haggle is for accepting the “other”. Read more

Here’s why Cricket for the Blind can be a game changer

Cricket for the blind can become a means for expression, exposure and empowerment for the visually impaired population of our country.

By George Abraham

In February 2017, India won the 2nd T-20 World Cup for Cricket for the Blind, beating Pakistan in the finals at Bengaluru. The entire nation celebrated. Cash prizes were announced. The Prime Minister tweeted and invited the team home for tea. Television channels hosted the Indian Blind Cricket team on news programmes and chat and reality shows. Social media was abuzz with videos, photos, posts, and discussions on the triumph.

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How Technology Is Helping Visually Impaired People Take Exams Independently

In the Digital India of today, there is a need to re-look at the modes of assessment for blind and visually impaired students.

Do you remember playing ‘Chinese Whispers’ as kids? Whispering words and phrases down a chain of friends, and ending up in giggles at the distorted line of communication!

For those who are not familiar with the game, one person whispers a phrase into the ear of the next person in line, who then whispers the word to the third in line. When the word reaches the last person in the chain, the phrase is spelled out loud. Usually, the phrase is very different from what was communicated by the first person in the chain. An ideal case of lost in translation!

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10 Tips to Improve the Visually Impaired’s Entire Flying Experience

By George Abraham

If you are visually impaired, traveling by air can be a harrowing and difficult experience. George Abraham gives some quick tips that will help ensure a smooth and safe journey the next time you’re flying.

A few years ago, a blind woman was offloaded at Mumbai airport, along with her two infants, while she was on her way to Goa. The airlines said they could not manage the disabled woman and her two kids onboard. A week later, a blind corporate executive was offloaded at Patna airport on similar grounds. In the recent past, there have been several instances where people with disabilities have run into problems with air travel. Due to this, there is a general apprehension amongst people with disability about traveling alone by air.

Here are 10 useful tips that can help such individuals experience trouble-free travel by air. Read more

Serving Blind Customers at a Restaurant?

Understand What it’s Like for Your Customers with Blindness

If you work in the restaurant or hospitality industry, you’ve seen it all; all kinds of people come through your doors and eat at your tables w9kozrk. You’ve seen impatient jerks, nice guys, great tippers, one-penny tip leaving insulters, and probably even your share of last minute “tables for fifty, please!” But just for a moment, let’s talk specifically about the customers that while you probably have seen them, they might not have seen you. I’m speaking about serving blind customers – or more appropriately: how you can serve your customers who are blind (and why that differentiation is important). Read more

Four tips for guiding blind walkers

By Maria Johnson

A long brisk walk on a sunny morning. That is something I love to do when I’m not teaching group fitness classes at the gym. I hit the hills alone with my thoughts to keep me company. Alone. All alone. Well, that’s how it used to be…

Walking is a great activity for many, even for those who are legally blind. I prefer a long power walk over a short run any day. Personally, I believe that you’re either a runner, or you’re not. I’m not. And that whole “runner’s high” thing… what is that?  I never, ever, felt it.  Perhaps it’s because I would silently chant “I hate this, I hate this…” with every mile I ran. I eventually stopped running and scaled back to power walking. If you’re blind, and you want to get outside, feel the sun on your face, and increase your activity level (not by running), you might want to pair up with a sighted guide and walk off your worries!! I understand that not everybody needs a guide, but if you do, just ask a friend, co-worker, or family member to accompany you.
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Fabricating cures for Blindness

By Pramila Komanduri

Two Blind Brothers is the name of a clothing company in New York City which was started by two brothers, Bradford and Bryan Manning, who have had Stargardt’s disease since they were young children. Both brothers went on to participate in sports and complete their college education from the University of Virginia in spite of the disease which causes progressive loss of central vision in the eyes. Recognizing that sense of touch is important for the visually impaired, the Manning brothers developed the idea of creating clothing which feels good to the touch. All garments come with a metal tag which is embossed with the word ‘brother’ in Braille. As both brothers have full-time jobs outside of the clothing company they are able to donate all proceeds from it towards research for cures for blindness. Pramila Komanduri spoke to Bradford and Bryan, here are excerpts from the interview. Read more