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The latest from the world of the disabled
It empowers people with visual impairment
The Delhi branch of the National Association for the Blind (NAB), in R K Puram has devised a software which allows students with visual impairment to work on papers, read their mail and even take print–outs. The program is the brainchild of Mr Dipender Monacha who is himself visually impaired.

The “Talking computer” sounds out each command and word that has been keyed in. This enables the 300 visually impaired students at the center to have e–mail accounts of their own and browse the Net. It has also helped them to find jobs in organizations like Indian Oil and Punjab National Bank. This software which is both in English and Hindi and the Braille embosser helps students to take printouts in Braille. The facility has enabled NAB to transcribe books into Braille, giving the students better access to books they can read.

Training opportunities for blind students at the National Institute of Fashion Designing
The Blind Relief Association and the National Institute of Fashion Designing (NIFT) have implemented job opportunities for people with visual impairment in the field of garment manufacturing. The training by NIFT for blind students is for a period of 45 days. They are required to have passed class VIII as the minimum educational qualifications required. Their work involves folding, collar setting, tagging and packing. They are also involved in semi–automatic machine operations like pocket creasing, collar and cuff turning and blocking.

Launch of the Disability Awareness Campaign 2000
The National Center for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People and DISHA have jointly launched the Disability Awareness Campaign 2000 to promote greater awareness about disability in the city of Delhi, particularly among school and college students. DISHA has been working for the rehabilitation of people with disability and has taken upon itself the task of training them in different skills to enable them to gain employment.

The Awareness Team personally visited each school and college that participated in this sensitization campaign. The campaign included performance of plays, screening of video films, poster and quiz competitions and so on. The non–disabled students got a chance to meet and know some disabled young adults.

UTI Bank sponsors public booths for disabled people in Ahmedabad
The UTI bank has sponsored 25 public telephone booths for persons with some form of disability or the other in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. For the Blind People’s Association, Ahmedabad, it is a regular project. It is run with the support of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Ahmedabad, Urban Development Authority, Ahmedabad Telephones, the State Transport Corporation and local sponsors, and already has about 300 people in the waiting list. The UTI Bank, on its own initiative sanctioned the amount for 25 booths. The person with disability is provided a telephone booth near his house. All the income from the PCO goes to the person himself/herself. The PCO can also be used to sell other daily use items. About 170 such booths have already been established in and around Ahmedabad.

For further details, contact
The UTI Bank, 131, Maker Towers,
Cuffe Parade, Colaba,
Mumbai 400 005, Maharashtra, India.

Parking facilities for disabled people
The Delhi Traffic Police issues a sticker for affixing on vehicles belonging to disabled drivers. The sticker is available free of cost from the office of the DCP/Traffic, VIP, Teen Murti Traffic Lines, New Delhi, on production of a disability certificate from a Government doctor. The sticker allows a person with disability to park his/her vehicle in areas prohibited for parking, in order to make places more accessible for disabled people. Public places like India Habitat Center, the domestic and international airports of New Delhi, now have specified parking areas for disabled people.

Waiting hall in the north
The Northern Railways has built a waiting hall for disabled people and senior citizens at the New Delhi railway station on the Ajmeri Gate side. The waiting hall is equipped with wheel chairs. Adapted furniture, a water cooler and toilets specially designed for disabled people are its main features. This is one small step on the part of the Indian Railways towards making journeys of disabled people a little more comfortable