Families of persons with extensive or multiple disabilities, such as profound visual disability, physical disability, or mental retardation or cerebral palsy and mental retardation together, experience enormous stresses which often disrupt family life. In the absence of any support services for these families, multiple disabilities the whole family members goes through acute stress leading to further complications.
In rural and urban slum areas, services are almost nonexistent, and even where they exist, are not equipped sufficiently either to deal with the number of disabled families or deal with the actual complex needs of these families. As persons with multiple and severe disabilities may not be able to participate directly in organizations, or in development activities, there is a need to facilitate the formation of family-level mutual support groups of parents and families of persons with multiple disabilities, severe disabilities.
Before initiating the project Kiranam, conducted a study in the area to identify the number and type of disabled persons living in that area. Based on the study Kiranam made repeated contacts with each family and developed the concept of Parents Association with families having disabled persons. Though the response was not encouraging in the initial stages, most of the parents now have become active members of the association, and work as volunteers and take care of the day-to-day functioning of the association.
This Project includes a large number of highly educated persons from various disciplines having keen interest in doing social service. Specialists including psychiatrist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, orthopedic surgeon etc. man the unit. This association has been taking active support of eminent personalities, who have unblemished record of public services as advisors in various fields to guide Kiranam in achieving it's goal. This association could gain the confidence of the NIMH, Secunderabad and was able to process the project for vocational training in 'envelops making', 'bookbinding' and 'manufacturing of registers'.
Kiranam has been guiding the Parents Association to take up the following activities :
- i) to promote independence in disabled persons.
- ii) facilitate guardianship where necessary.
- iii) address the concerns of those special persons who do not have their family support.