Accepting disability

A resident of Delhi, Balraj (name changed) began to lose his eye sight at the age of 50. He visited the Shroff Charity Eye Hospital where he was diagnosed with an eye condition called Retina Detachment. Since there is no medical solution for his condition, doctors at Shroff Hospital advised Balraj to focus on rehabilitation. In the past, Shroff Charity Eye Hospital has referred several cases to Eyeway whom they had turned down clinically. Ophthalmologists at Shroff believe Eyeway to be a helpful resource in guiding visually impaired people on how to live a life with blindness.

Balraj visited the Eyeway center in Delhi along with his wife to share his dilemma. He was in a depressed state thinking he was completely incapable of continuing with his normal life because of sight loss. Our counselor helped him understand the need to stop battling with the disability and instead focus on accepting his new state of being. At a later age, one is often set in their ways of life and less receptive to change. But in Balraj’s case, the counselor advised him to slowly adjust to his new reality and explore ways in which he could continue to lead a happy independent life.

Balraj works as an Office Superintendent with Indian Railways. He has a good track record since he joined the job as a Lower Division Clerk in 1989. His current work involved extensive computer usage which he was unable to do because of his eye condition. He was disappointed with his underperformance at the job. Eyeway apprised him of the use of computers with the aid of screen reading software and also took him through a demo on how to use a mobile phone with talk back assistance. Our counselor advised him to enroll for a mobility and computer training at National Association for Blind (NAB). We advised him to get his Disability Certificate issued, based on which he would be entitled for a needs based training while he continued in his job. All required documents were shared with Balraj, including the DoPT (Department of Personnel Training) guidelines, RPWD Act 2016 and Disability Rules. The DoPT guidelines clearly state that if a person develops a disability on the job, he/she is entitled to rehabilitative training without being marked absent from the job.

Balraj shared with the Eyeway team that he is a follower of Brahma Kumari Shivani, a spiritual teacher. He used to regularly attend her lectures but stopped going after he developed this disability. To induce positive thinking and an accepting attitude, our counselor recommended that he listen to Shivani’s lectures which are easily available online.

Balraj was relieved and happy with the engagement at Eyeway. He had in the past contacted other institutions but here he felt he received a more empathetic response to his concerns.

Balraj took the counselor’s advice and has obtained his Disability Certificate. He has now been advised to write to his Head of Department seeking permission for rehabilitative training so he can perform his job well. All necessary documents for this communication have been provided to Balraj by Eyeway.