In 2007 Sense International joined forces with the Dhaka-based Centre for Disability in Development, to create Bangladesh’s first ever programme of services for children with deafblindness. Before this, deafblindness was not recognised as a disability by the Government of Bangladesh.
We work closely with parents so that their child with deafblindness can develop communication, self-help and mobility skills – and grow in confidence. In addition, we help young adults to learn work skills so that they can earn a wage, contribute to their family’s income and participate in society.
- We have offered home-based education and rehabilitation to over 650 children and 50 adults in the rural areas of Bangladesh and the capital city of Dhaka.
- We have set up deafblind services at 16 locations in 15 districts, and 28 specialist Deafblind Field Educators (DFE) have been trained to work with deafblind people.
- We have introduced Bangla sign language, a tactile communication method for people with deafblindness.
- We have raised awareness of deafblindness with over 150 teachers so they understand the unique needs of children with deafblindness.
A chance to work
Our trained educators work with young adults with deafblindness and their families so that they can learn work skills.
For example, a man with deafblindness was suffering from a lack of confidence and other social difficulties. With support from us he now works confidently in a small shop. Another young woman helps out at her family’s plant nursery.
We work with parent groups and organisations in 16 districts to support families and help them fight for their children’s rights – and we have raised awareness of deafblindness in more than 400 disability organisations.
- As a result of working closely with the Ministry of Health, one-stop services for people with disabilities have been introduced by the Department of Social Welfare.
- As a result of our strong advocacy, deafblindness has been included in the government’s draft Disability Bill.
- The Ministry of Disaster Management, which supports people affected by flood, now also supports families with a person with deafblindness.
- The Government has also planned provision for 35 people with deafblindness in its newly built disability rehabilitation complex.
- We worked on a prime time TV documentary that explained our work with people with deafblindness.
This year Sense International concluded a project in Bangladesh, supported by the Scottish government, which improved the health and education of 655 children and young people with deafblindness. The final project evaluation reported that mothers were really pleased with the progress their children had made and praised the way our work had influenced the Government of Bangladesh to recognise deafblindness as a unique category of disability.
“A year ago, I was sitting on this very road and begging for a living. Now at the same spot, I do meaningful work. My pride is restored” - Babu Akand, a 40-year-old man with deafblindness
Contact Sense International (India)
In Bangladesh, Sense International work through our lead partner - Centre for Disability in Development (CDD). All enquiries should be directed to Sense International (India) below.
Sense International (India)
2nd Floor, Administrative Block
Andhjan Mandal Campus
Opp. Indian Institute of Management (IIM)
Vastrapur, Ahmedabad - 380 015
Tel: +91 79 2630 1282
Fax: +91 79 2630 1590
First published: Thursday 27 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 13 October 2017