NAB solutions for rehabilitation for the visually impaired are implemented by its trained and experienced team of rehabilitation therapists. They use adaptive techniques for doing ordinary tasks so a visually impaired person can learn to be independent. A batch of students completes a program in four months; six months if it includes placement.This free residential program is designed to meet the personal goals of an individual. Each is given personal and professional instruction, often using special Braille-enabled equipment and tools. A rehabilitation program is an extensive commitment and includes training in these areas:
Adjusting to and coping with vision loss can be a difficult emotional process.NAB counselors assist individuals adjust to their vision loss, helping them to develop coping, problem-solving and decision-making skills while reducing stress and anxiety. Trainers, counselors, and volunteers serve as an information and referral source to connect the individual to the community. Counseling also prepares the student to face a period of intense training and about managing life and work as an independent individual.
Hygiene, personal and home management
Basic hygiene habits and personal management techniques are taught through repetition and process. Students are taught to manage their medication, groom themselves, tell time, identify currency, clothes and more.
The 6-week mobility program covers the rules of walking in public using a cane, moving about in a room, negotiating steps and escalators, commuting in a bus and learning techniques to map and memorize routes and layouts.
A 3-4 weeks communication skills program typically covers basic conversational English, reading with prescribed magnifiers and glasses, writing their signature, letters, and envelopes, phone dialing, keyboarding and reading and writing Braille. Since placement within a corporate organization is the goal, the program also has a component on how to communicate in the workplace.
- Vocational skills b. Advanced vocational skills IT testing, audio data entry
NAB positions itself as a recruiter and a trainer. The end result of a rehabilitation cycle includes job placement. Its team is always out in the field establishing relationships with corporates and organizations where visually impaired people can be placed. NAB proactively trains these organizations on how to understand and interact with visually impaired people. NAB’s placement team seeks placement for positions and roles that include repetitive tasks that enable visually impaired people to work in a mapped and process-driven role. Examples front desk management, garment industry, lathe and machine operation, drilling, manufacture, and more.
This is a very important service that NAB renders to its placed students. A few months of working and living independently exposes them to harsh reality and many of them require remedial counseling to encourage and boost their confidence. NAB also counsels with organizations where visually impaired individuals have faced challenges and prejudices.
Center for Visually Impaired with Other Disabilities
This was established in 2001 the help of Sense International as there was no specific program or center for deaf, blind and differently able children. It extends center-based training and home-based training. Deaf and blind children are taught ADL skills while adults are taught communication skills, Braille, computer skills and daily living skills. Children and adults alike are trained by special educators along with parents/guardians in the Center. More than 38 deaf and blind children and adults have been completely trained free of cost.
Employment & Placement
Training without employment and subsequent placement leads to frustration and disappointment. Till date, NAB’s employment and placement service has trained and placed more than 1500 visually challenged young men and women in government, public and private sectors, small scale industries and self employment. A professionally trained Placement Officer (PO) checks the suitability of each registered individual against a database of job requirements. The service places candidates only after conducting a completely tailored job orientation at the site. Orientation includes regular follow ups and checks in the work place. This follow up support boosts the confidence of the visually impaired worker and encourages him/her to work with confidence as an equal with their sighted colleagues. Our visually impaired workers today work as machine operators, assemblers, telephone operators, stenographers, machine operators and as support staff. Some have been employed as legal advisors while others work in the IT sector. Candidates with an innovative streak in them have been encouraged to set up their self-employed businesses. This department has earned and won 9 awards, including a National Award in 1997.
Integrated Education for Visually Impaired Children
NAB’s philosophy is that visually impaired children must attend a normal school and not a blind school to enable them to interact in a sighted world from an early stage. This inclusive education program focuses on integrating visually impaired children in mainstream schools. Supported by the NAB parent body and the Dept of Education, NAB (Karnataka) has processed more than 4000 visually impaired children till date and currently has more than 500 visually impaired children in this program today. Each NAB teacher is responsible for 8 children and s/he makes regular visits to these schools and educates them along with their sighted peers. The program includes the supply of learning aids for the children.
The benefit of early engagement and integration are
-The child aspires to a higher standard competing with normal children – Helps a child adjust to a college environment – Sensitizes sighted children to those with special needs
The role of the teacher in this unique program includes counseling of
– Parents to integrate their children into a normal school – School authorities to admit visually handicapped children into a mainstream school NAB has 40 rural and urban units with 40 teachers all over Karnataka. The prominent locations include Bidar, Gundlupet, Hassan and multiple locations within Bangalore.