Disabilities are often seen as a curse by society, and there is little support from the government. Many families with a child with deafblindness live very difficult lives.
Peru has a population of 32.5 million and it is estimated there are 650,000 people living with mild forms of deafblindness, and an estimated 65,000 people living with severe forms of deafblindness. Sense International started its operation in Peru in 2004 with the opening of a day centre for deafblind people and, since 2009, Sense International (Peru) has provided programmes on education, rehabilitation, vocational training, capacity building and advocacy.
Sense International (Peru) works, closely, with a network of Civil Society Organisations and government agenciesto raise awareness of the situation of people with deafblindness and to promote their progress and development.
Education and rehabilitation
We have designed a tailored programme to improve education services for students with deafblindness and multiple disabilities. The programme consists of:
- Preparation of specialised materials: handbooks on educational care for students with deafblindness and another on multisensory stimulation for students with deafblindness and multiple disability.
- Guidance on the implementation of sensory stimulation rooms and provision of sensory stimulation packs which aim to improve special education schools and early intervention centres, respectively.
- Regular face-to-face and online teacher training courses.
- Inclusion of the needs of the people with deafblindness in the policy, plans and programmes of the Ministry of Education
We provide home-based rehabilitation programmes in marginal and surrounding areas of the cities of Huaraz (Ancash), Arequipa, Cusco and Lima. The programme consists of:
- Toolboxes on the Community Based Rehabilitation programme and Institutional Rehabilitation programme.
- Networking with regional and local government groups for the support and care of individuals receiving Community Based Rehabilitation.
- More than 100 children have been supported with individual development plans.
We provide a vocational training programme in the cities of Arequipa, La Libertad (Trujillo) and Lima to support the development of people with deafblindness and their families. The programme has the following stages:
- Detection and identification of people who might benefit from the scheme with the support of local partner organisations.
- Design and implementation of occupational workshops according to the profile/expectations of the individuals (e.g. what skills they want to learn) as well as opportunities in the market.
- Training, support and implementation of the business plans of the people with deafblindness.
- Delivery of seed funds for the business plans and support and accompaniment through the process of setting up their micro-enterprise.
Advocacy and campaigning
We advocate to the Government for the inclusion of people with deafblindness in social programmes. We have achieved:
- The recognition of deafblindness as unique disability at regional and national levels.
- The inclusion of deafblindness in the national plans on human rights and vulnerable groups
- The validation of alternative communication systems for people with deafblindness with the support of the Ministry of Education.
- The preparation of a study on the characteristics of people with deafblindness with the support of the Ministry of Labour.
Work in progress
We are working to promote the rights of people with deafblindness by ensuring that:
- The Peruvian education system includes deafblindness in its process/ procedures.
- The Peruvian health system creates protocols for the care of people with disabilities including deafblindness.
- Peruvian training and employment programmes include people with deafblindness as direct beneficiaries.
- We support and share good practices with other countries in Latin America.
“Sense International Peru has contributed substantially in my life – it is the only institution in our country that looks after people who are deafblind/MSI. It has taught me so much and has helped me understand I can help this special group of people”
Director of Santa Lucia, Special Education School.
Watch our subtitled video that outlines the work we do in Peru. You can also watch the video on YouTube.
Discover how our work has helped some deafblind children and adults around the world lead better and fuller lives.
Harry was born prematurely, and spent the first two months of his life in an incubator. When he was three he contracted bronchial pneumonia as a result of living in damp conditions and acquired serious hearing loss.
Harry's father, Abel, was desperate to help him learn to communicate and engage with outside world again. He secured his son a place at the Centre of Special Basic Education and they referred him to Sense International for specialist support. After seven months of intensive therapy Harry can now respond to simple instructions and is learning sign language.
Lunelis from Lima was born with multi-sensory impairments into economic hardship. When Lunelis started at CEBE La Inmaculada school in 2009, she appeared sullen and easily upset, and found it difficult to adapt to new surroundings or people.
In addition to transforming her communicative abilities and social interactions, Sense International (Peru) is helping Lunelis to progress her learning. With increased attention capabilities, Lunelis now widely receives information and stimulation through her senses.
First published: Thursday 27 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 1 November 2019