Accessibility March 18, 2020
Save The Destitute Foundation makes history, becomes J&K’s 1st organisation to use Braille visiting cards
Jammu and Kashmir-based NGO Save the Destitute Foundation, which works in the space of inclusion, is the state’s first organisation to start using Braille visiting cards. In doing so, it hopes to set a trend in the state and encourage other organisations to do the same.
In a strong push towards accessibility and inclusion, Save The Destitute Foundation (STDF), an organisation working in the space of disability, education and health in Jammu and Kashmir, has introduced Braille visiting cards. STDF is the first organisation in this state to do so.
Little inclusion in education in J&K
For the last three years STDF has been working in the space of inclusive education and has conducted many conferences for parents of children with disabilities. The organisation’s founder Zaheer Jan wants to encourage all mainstream schools in the state to introduce inclusive education practices.
Mainstream private schools should make their education more inclusive by giving admission to all children with special needs like autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities by hiring special educators, physiotherapists, speech therapists etc. This is the need of the hour In Jammu and Kashmir. Many parents of special needs kids are depressed as none of the mainstream schools will enrol their children. – Zaheer Jan, Founder Chairman, Save The Destitute Foundation
Zaheer says that if schools in the state take the lead in inclusive education, the stress on parents would be eased. “This will also lead to a more inclusive society”, adds Poonam Dinshaw, Member-Advisor, STDF. “There should be equal educational opportunities for specially abled children”.
Braille visiting cards a step towards creating awareness
By introducing Braille visiting cards, STDF hopes to send out the message of inclusion in the state. Awareness about this is lacking especially in the space of education. “Inclusive education happens when children with and without disabilities participate and learn together in the same classes”, says Zaheer. “Research shows that when a child with disabilities attends classes alongside peers who do not have disabilities, good things happen”.
Zaheer hopes to put his learnings about accessibility and inclusion int practice in Jammu and Kashmir and build awareness. “I travelled to Bengaluru last year and found that every company uses Braille cards. I felt it was time for our organisation to do the same. We have started this initiative so everyone in Jammu Kashmir so that everyone understands the importance of accessibility and inclusion”.
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