Multiple Disabilities
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Have you seen the movie, Black? The one which starred Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherji, where the latter played the role of a deaf and blind woman. The film revolves around Michelle who lost her eyesight and hearing at the age of two. She grows up as a violent and uncontrollable child who is then slowly tamed and trained by her teacher, who later develops Alzheimer’s. 

Helen Keller was an American author and disability rights activist who lost her eyesight and hearing when she was 19 months old. She was the first deafblind person to graduate, and she had an exceptional IQ of 160!

As per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, Multiple disability is a condition in which a person may have a combination of hearing and visual impairments, causing severe communication, developmental and educational problems. 

Out of the 2.68 crore disabled population of India, 8% are estimated to live with multiple disabilities

Multiple disabilities can be a combination of disabilities such as 

  • Speech, 
  • Physical mobility
  • Learning
  • Mental disabilities
  • Visual
  • Hearing
  • Brain injury and more. 

This includes people with deaf-blindness or cerebral palsy and speech problems, etc. 

Persons with multiple disabilities face unique challenges as they navigate the world around them. They require interventions like special education, physiotherapy, speech therapy, vision rehabilitation therapy and so on. Some individuals with multiple disabilities may have difficulty with mobility, requiring mobility aids and personal care assistants, while others may require assistive technology to communicate. 

Specially for those who are deafblind, communication can be particularly challenging. However, there are many ways to communicate, such as tactile signing or braille. 

Sense International  has been working for people with deaf, blindness, and multiple disabilities for a long time and also  Muskan - Foundation for people with multiple disabilities

Despite the challenges individuals with multiple disabilities face, by raising awareness and providing support, we can help to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

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Familiarize yourself with and expand your vocabulary of disability-related terminology! 
N - Nurturing
S - Subtitled films
I - Interpreter services
A - Accessibility
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