StepOne – Job placement program for persons with disability - A Social Work intervention
Submitted to the University of Madras in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the M.Phil Degree Examination in Social Work By
Under the guidance of Dr. Udaya Mahadevan Department of Social Work, Loyola College.
March 2008 Department of Social Work Loyola College, Chennai – 600034
This is to certify that we have through this Practicum Report and we hereby certify that this is a bonafide work of K.C.Lazar, studying M.Phil Social Work in Loyola College, Chennai.
Supervisor Dr.Udaya Mahadevan Reader Department of Social Work Loyola College, Chennai
Head of the Department Rev.Fr.J.M.Das Reader Department of Social Work Loyola College, Chennai
First of all, I thank The Almighty God for his countless blessings and confidence he has given me in this wonderful endeavor.
Iam greatly thankful to the Trustees and colleagues at Bhoomika Trust, Chennai for their continuous support and encouragement in this initiative.
I thank my guide Dr.Udaya Mahadevan for her meticulous guidance and support.
I take this opportunity to thank Mr.Gopi and all the staff and residents of Nethrodaya for their generous support in this effort.
I thank all the candidates, who believed in my work and came along to make this journey a pleasant one.
Last, but not the least, I thank my wife Vincy and son Kevin, for their emotional support.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE NO. Approval sheet Certificate from Bhoomika Trust Acknowledgements Table of contents Chapter - I
Executive summary: Disability in ancient times Eugenic movement Rehabilitation and Habilitation Definition of the terms impairment, disability and handicap ICF - International Classification of Functions and ability Involvement of International Labor Organizations Human Rights and Disability Constitutional Provisions and Legislative Support Legislative support Social Welfare Schemes introduced during the various Five Year Plans 7 8 10 12 15 17 18 19 24 25 26
1 2 3 4
Chapter - II
In India statistics on persons with disability Visual Impairment and Blindness India - visually impaired What is Social Work? 33 35 37 44
Social work intervention Bhoomika Trust The program - StepOne About Nethrodaya The planned social work intervention
51 52 55 57 58
Chapter - III
Intervention involving Social Casework Intervention involving Social Work Administration Intervention involving Social Group Work Intervention from an employer’s perspective 61 69 79 82
Chapter – IV
The out come of an Eclectic approach Future direction The model of intervention Time allocation Annexures Consent letter and offer letter from employers (Pilot Phase) Letter from donor (Pilot Phase) Appraisal – checklist – sample Consent letter and offer letter from employers – (Second phase) Testimonial from a candidate Letter from Secretary – Loyola College Letter from donors (Second phase) References 100-101 102 103 104-106 107-108 92 - 97 98 87 88 89 90
Chapter - I
StepOne –Job placement program for persons with disability – A Social Work intervention
“Disabled people have got so much to offer. It would be better if people stopped looking at everything that we can’t do and looked at what we can do”. (Peter Flynn, 1998:27)
One of the greatest challenges for people with disability is to get a decent regular job. A job in line with their skills and abilities; which will enhance their self esteem and make them less dependent on others.
As observed by International Labor Organization, all through history people with disability have been trapped in vicious circle of marginalization, poverty and social exclusion. To break away from this vicious cycle they require a regular job which is hard to fetch.
Moving away from the charity mode, there is growing recognition of the Rights Based approach to the issue. But inspite of various welfare measures, the employment status of persons with disability is yet to achieve any appreciable levels. According to 2007 World Bank report almost half the disabled population in India do not have regular job. If efforts are not made to enhance their economic contributions, society will continue to provide them an “unwanted status”.
Aim of this practicum was to arrange placement for five visually impaired persons, using the methods and principles of Social Work. The program was done under the aegis of Bhoomika Trust where the Social Worker is employed as Program Manager.
This practicum titled StepOne based on the Empowerment Model of Social Work used a combination of Social Work methods, namely Social Work Administration, Social Casework and Social Group Work. Social Work Administration to develop the program in the context of the
Social Agency, Bhoomika Trust and for coordinating with other agencies, Social Casework and Social Group Work to effectively engage Visually Impaired persons and to enhance their social functioning. This 220 hour Social Work Practicum was done over a period of 45 days, between October and December 2007, in Chennai. Placement was successfully arranged for three out of the four candidates, who completed the program. One of the candidate opted out voluntarily during the initial stage itself.
Owing to the encouraging response in the pilot phase, Bhoomika Trust has agreed to support StepOne as a regular ongoing activity. The donor base for the program has increased. Three more persons have got job through this program. The workable model developed in this intervention is scalable and can be replicated in any organization offering services for people with disability.
Disability in ancient times -
The society has treated persons with disability based on their economic contributions. When they were considered as a burden, they were subjected to all forms of ill-treatment, whereas when they were able to contribute, their status changed.
During the prehistoric period society was more considerate and relieved them from the traditional activity, namely hunting and gathering. Wil Roebroeks, Professor in Archaeology of the Ancient Stone Age, of the Leiden University in Netherlands in his article, “The paradox of the Neanderthals”, reports that Neanderthals took care of wounded and disabled individuals, although these people were no longer had to hunt productively. During the mid 13th to 18th century, under the various Poor Laws, notable the Elizabethan Poor Law they were confined to Alms-Houses, as the society felt it as an economic burden to take care of people with disability. They were literally dumped into these alms-houses which lacked basic facilities.
Early efforts to improve the lives of people with disability:
Most of the developments were initiated by few individuals who were witnesses to the illtreatment and abuse the disabled were subjected to during the period of confinement in almshouses. Condition of these alms-houses was getting worse days by day due to growing crowd and poor living arrangements. People with all type of disabilities were forced to live together, without any basic facilities for treatment and care. Mentally ill people who could not be housed in these alms houses were sent to jails. Focus of these Poor Laws was not to alleviate the sufferings of the poor but to protect the rich from the pestering cries of alms seekers, and the mentally ill.
People housed in these centers were subjected to all sorts of atrocities and humiliation. These centers housing the physically and mentally disabled were even converted as amusement centers to entertain the general public, who were even willing to pay a fee. As objects of laughter, people with disability were made to entertain the crowd.
It was a practice in Ancient Rome, during the games at the Coliseum to throw disabled children under horses’ hooves; blind gladiators and dwarfs women were made to fight. Court jesters, such as Henry VIII’s William Somner, were often disabled, and dwarfs featured as freaks in many court pictures.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, “ships of fools” containing “mad” people sailed from port to port, where the public paid to come and laugh at them. The “fools” were then abandoned at the end of the tour. In 18th century in London, people visited “Bedlam” (the Hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem) to laugh at the mentally ill. Circuses and freak shows continued the tradition.
Standing away from the rest of the crowd, hurt by such in human practices few individuals were able to bring about improvements in the conditions of these alms houses. Initial attempts were to
separate and house them based on their functional limitations. Training and rehabilitation started much later.
Dorothea Dix made significant contribution to improve the conditions of the mentally ill people housed in prisons all over America. During one such public display, people with visual impairment were made to play musical instruments, not knowing what was happening they created all sorts of sounds to the great amusement of the spectators. All enjoyed but not Valentin Hauy (1745 – 1822).
This Frenchmen who was pained by this incident resolved to do something for their development, thus was born the first school for the visually impaired in 1787. In 1817 the American School for the Deaf was founded in Hartford, Connecticut. This was the first school for disabled children anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. In 1848 the Perkins Institution, was founded by Samuel Gridley Howe in Boston, Massachusetts. This was the first residential institution for people with mental retardation. In 1864, the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind was authorized by the U.S. Congress to grant college degrees. It was the first college in the world established for people with disabilities. Subsequently more such special centers came about to improve the lives of people with disability.
Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) reports that in India it was by Ms. Annie Sharp, a British Christian Missionary who started an Industrial Home and School for the visually impaired in 1887 at Amritsar marking the beginning of organized efforts to provide education to visually impaired children. Soon another school was set up at Palamkottah by another Christian Missionary. Lal Behari Shah was the first Indian to set up Calcutta school for the Blind in 1893.
A similar form of ill-treatment is noted again during the Eugenic movement. Eugenics is a term that was coined by Sir Francis Galton in his book Essays in Eugenics in 1883. The movement held that the human species could be improved through the systematic control of breeding
practices. Eugenics was widely viewed by many as an applied form of husbandry, and many of its supporters noted the gains that had been made through the planned and controlled breeding of non-human animals. If, as with these other animals, a nation could develop methods to ensure that those with “desired” characteristics bred more (termed “positive eugenics”) while at the same time diminishing the breeding of those with “undesirable” characteristics (termed “negative eugenics”), the species would presumably evolve to a more advanced level (Kevles, 1985).
In the United States, early eugenics was inextricably connected to care and treatment of disabled persons, and especially persons who were diagnosed as “feeble-minded” (O’Brien, 1999; Smith, 1985). The feeble-minded classification included the subcategories of, from lowest to highest in “intellectual capability,” idiots, imbeciles and morons. Such persons, and especially the morons, were believed to be the nucleus from which a wide range of social evils, including immorality, criminal behavior, and poverty, originated. It was further argued by eugenic supporters that in the vast majority of cases feeble-mindedness was the result of heredity, and therefore enhancing the environmental opportunities such persons were afforded would do little to improve their lot. The fear that fueled the eugenics movement was enhanced by the birth differential argument, as supporters of eugenic control argued that the moron population was expanding far more quickly than the “regular” population, and that these persons would eventually become the dominant class within the nation (Gould, 1981).
As no form of treatment was available at that time, society wanted to get rid of people with disability at any cost. Each country developed mechanisms to get this done.
Americans embraced the eugenics movement by passing laws to prevent people with disabilities from moving to the U.S., marrying or having children. Eugenics laws led to the institutionalization and forced sterilization of disabled adults and children. Countries wanted to have only the so called and perfect, again for economic consideration.
Worst was under the Nazi Hitler, who thought that it was burden to maintain people with disability, thus ordered to kill them. It is estimated that between 1933 and 1939, more than
5,00,000 were killed in Germany alone. Eugenic thoughts were also widely accepted in UK, Germany, China and Japan.
All these reflect the idea that people with disability are more of an economic burden, which was not acceptable by a society which was keen to develop and flourish. Associated with this is the negative attitude and practices towards them.
It was only after the major wars, notably the World War I & II, that there was a drastic change in the way the society approached people with disability. The society felt the pinch only when strong soldiers became disabled in war. Every effort was made to restore the lives of soldiers who were wounded and disabled because of the war.
In response several centers were established all over the world to treat and enable them to lead a better live. Progress made post war was enormous. Organized efforts were made with enormous government funding. Such developments benefited persons who were disabled since birth. Rehabilitation centers came about. Research was initiated to understand the issue and to suggest ways to restore the lost abilities.
Rehabilitation and Habilitation:
Origin of the Latin word term Rehabilitation was in the civil or cannon law of a feudal society in the Middle Ages. It was referred to a process of restoration to a baron or knights his former power and position which had been lost or forfeited, usually due to the whim or disfavor of his liege lord.
The rehabilitation refers to “make fit again”. In the health care setting rehabilitation refers to multidimensional process that go beyond medical treatment to help those with injuries and illness to re-establish themselves as productive and socially-integrated citizens.
While the idea has been around for centuries it only began to take hold during the First World War when so many injured soldiers needed to become re-established upon their return home. There has always been a moral imperative about Rehab; that it is not enough to keep people who are ill or injured alive, but that their lives must be worth living. There has also been an economic imperative for rehabilitation; that is, to reduce the economic burden of people with disabilities on society. So it is not surprising that interest in rehabilitation increased in war-time as the numbers of injured are so inflated.
Sometime after the Second World War, the specialty of rehabilitation became formalized in North America. In 1958, Dr. Howard Rusk, one of the early promoters of rehabilitation in the US, stated that its objectives rehabilitation were to eliminate the physical disability if possible; to alleviate the disability to the greatest extent possible; and to retrain the person with a residual physical disability to live and work to the hilt of his capabilities.
Occupational Therapy developed in 19th century with its roots in the context of long term mental illness. Occupation attempted the need to reduce physical restraint among patients in isolation centers what were then known as Insane Asylums. This discipline also grew out of the Settlement House Movement with its teaching of life skills for prevention and health promotion especially for immigrant and poor populations. There was also the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement and its idea of an almost spiritual power for well-being through artistic activities.
Physical Therapy started with the practice of massage. It also developed by nurses who had been trained in muscle re-education for their work with orthopedic surgeons in the US. It also has roots in the work done by what were known as “Physical Therapy Physicians”, doctors who used electricity as treatment beginning in the 1890s.
For Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), there were roots in speech correction and elocution and there was an emphasis on communication skills. Some speech teachers developed a therapy aspect to their work beginning in the 1920s and some took on the problem of hearing deficits. With increased focus on the welfare of disabled soldiers in the period after World War the field of rehabilitation gained significance.
Today with the dawn of modern social thinking and practice the term “rehabilitation”, principally refers to the restoration of a person to his former capacity, most often his physical or mental capacity.
It also includes “habilitation”, which is not restoring but achieving independence, self-care, and work potential in the instance; like in the case of person born with visual impairment.
Civil Rights Movement:
In 1964 The Civil Rights Act, was signed by American President Johnson. This Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin and creed (gender was added later). This Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations and employment as well as in federally assisted programs.
Disability Rights Movement:
In the 1950’s and 60’s the achievements of the Civil Rights Movements in the United States, enabled people with disability to take up their issues as well. Mostly with the support of disabled war veterans. Particularly in America several landmark legislations were enacted to promote the rights of people with disability.
Posts war effects spilled over to India as well. Facilities for disabled soldiers came about all over the world, which was later extended for people born with disabilities. The school for the Blind in Dheradun was one such attempt.
Models of disability:
Largely under the influence of medical sciences the concept of disability was seen from a medical perspective, something which could be corrected and treated. This approach is referred to the Medical Model of disability. Growing body of medical knowledge, advances in the diagnostic and treatment procedure promoted this approach. Later there was a realization that more than the physical disability it was the social attitude and barrier which caused more difficulties.
Definition of the terms impairment, disability and handicap
According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity”.
Disability begins when health ended. In the larger context of health, World Health Organization had defined disability at three levels, namely Impairment, Disability and Handicap.
Impairment is defined as “any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function”, e.g. loss of foot, defective vision or mental retardation.
Disability has been defined as any restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.
Handicap is defined as a disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from impairment or a disability that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal (depending on age, sex and social and cultural factors) for that individual”.
The following illustration, explains the above terms:
Accident Loss of vision Cannot see Unemployed
Disease (or disorder) Impairment (extrinsic or intrinsic) Disability (objectified) Handicap (socialized)
From the larger perspective of the definition of health, intervention in disability will have to focus on social, environmental as well as medical components. Initially it will be more on the medical side, but later it has to be largely on the social and environmental factors addressing the issue of dependence and social cost.
In this context WHO had defined rehabilitation as, “the combined and coordinated use of medical, social, educational and vocational measures for training and retraining the individual to the highest possible level of functional ability”. It is a holistic approach aimed at reducing the impact of disabling and handicapping conditions and at enabling the disabled and handicapped to achieve social integration.
Social integration has been defined as the active participation of disabled and handicapped people in the mainstream of community life. Rehabilitation a multi-disciplinary effort involves the disciplines such as Physical medicine, Social Work, Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy, Vocational guidance, and placement services.
Dimensions of rehabilitation
Rehabilitation process involves working at four levels
i) Medical rehabilitation - restoration of function
ii) Vocational rehabilitation – restoration of capacity to earn a livelihood
iii) Social rehabilitation – restoration of family and social relationships
iv) Psychological rehabilitation – restoration of personal dignity and confidence
Of late there is a growing body of knowledge on disability and related issues. WHO estimates that 10% of the world’s population, which is approximately 650 million people, of which 200 million children experience some form of disability. The most common disabilities are associated with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes; injuries, such as those due to road traffic crashes, falls, landmines and violence; mental illness; malnutrition; HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. In this light we could see that the traditional way of understanding disability has been changed.
The 2007 World Bank report “People with disabilities in India: From Commitments to Outcome”, reports that there are some 40 to 80 million persons living with disability in India, which is between 4 and 8 percent of the population.
The following is the estimated percentage of people with disabilities in other Asian Countries China 5%, Pakistan 4.9%, Philippines 4.4%, and Nepal 5.0%.
Indian figures are slightly on the higher when compared with its neighbors.
ICF - International Classification of Functions and ability
In 1980, the World Health Organization introduced the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, commonly known as ICF. This provides a standard language and framework for the description of health and health-related states. ICF is a multipurpose classification intended for a wide range of uses in different sectors.
It is a classification of health and health-related domains; domains that help one to describe changes in body function and structure, what a person with a health condition can do in a standard environment (their level of capacity), as well as what they actually do in their usual environment (their level of performance).
These domains are classified from body, individual and societal perspectives by means of two lists: a list of body functions and structure, and a list of domains of activity and participation.
In ICF, the term functioning refers to all body functions, activities and participation, while disability is similarly an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. ICF also lists environmental factors that interact with all these components. Instead of focusing on the person’s disability, ICF's stress is on health and functioning. It is an effective tool for measuring functioning in society, no matter what the reason for one's impairments. Changed orientation towards disability, is geared towards enhancing participation and inclusion of persons with disability, so that their contribution is also accepted and valued.
Involvement of International Labor Organizations
As we have seen, the status of persons with disability has changed considerably over the past years. From period of isolation in Alms-Houses, to forced execution under the Eugenic Movement, they are now valued, respected, and are provided opportunity to acquire skills. Though there is improvement, it has not reached any significant level.
After the establishment of facilities to acquire work skills they were gradually into the work force. With more and more people entering the work force their economic contributions began to be counted on. To value their contributions and to create a conducive environment to include people with disability into the work force, United Nation’s, International Labor Organizations proposed standards and practices from time to time, and made them binding on its member countries.
The Vocational Rehabilitation (Disabled) Recommendation, 1955 was one of the earliest recommendations of the ILO, paving way for the entry of persons with disability into work force. This was followed by the Human Resources Development Recommendation in 1975.
The Vocational Rehabilitation of Employment of Disabled Persons came about in 1983, and the ILO Code of Practice on Managing Disability in the Workplace was proposed in 2001.
ILO reports that work of decent quality is the most effective means of escaping the vicious circle of marginalization, poverty and social exclusion. People with disabilities are frequently trapped in this vicious circle, and positive action is needed to assist them in breaking out of it. ILO is optimistic that the barriers which disabled people face in getting jobs and taking their place in society can and should be overcome through a variety of coordinated steps, like policy measures, regulations, programmes, and services.
Human Rights and Disability It is estimated that over 600 million people – or approximately 10 per cent of the world’s total population – have some form of disability, with over two thirds of them living in developing countries. They are being exposed to various forms of discrimination and social exclusion. Due to negative attitude, based on ignorance, low expectations and prejudice, persons with disabilities are excluded and marginalized. As a result they are deprived of active participation and contribution in the society. Though United Nations argues that persons with disabilities are entitled to the enjoyment of the full range of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights embodied in international human rights instruments on an equal basis with other persons, this is not reflected in reality. This situation is alike in both developed and developing nations. Persons with disabilities often encounter discriminatory practices and impediments which prevent them from exercising their rights and freedoms and make it difficult for them to participate fully in the activities of their societies.
The debate on disability rights is not about the enjoyment of specific rights. But, it is about ensuring the equal effective enjoyment of all human rights, without discrimination, by people with disabilities. The non discrimination principle aid in making human rights relevant to the specific context of disability, just as it does in the contexts of age, sex and children. Non discrimination, and the equal effective enjoyment of all human rights by people with disabilities are therefore the dominant theme of the long overdue reform in the way disability and persons with disabilities are viewed throughout the world. The Rights Based approach to Disability In the past, persons with disabilities suffered from a relative “invisibility”, and tended to be viewed as “objects” of protection, treatment and assistance rather than subjects of rights. As a result of this approach, persons with disabilities were excluded from mainstream society, and provided with special schools, sheltered workshops, and separate housing and transportation on the assumption that they were incapable of coping with either society at large or all or most major life activities. They were denied equal access to those basic rights and fundamental freedoms (e.g. health care, employment, education, vote, participation in cultural activities) that most people take for granted. However for the past two decades there has been a dramatic shift in this perspective. Persons with disabilities are now being viewed as holders of rights. This process is slow and uneven, but it is taking place in all economic and social systems. The rights-based approach to disability basically views persons with disabilities as subjects of law. It aims to empower disabled persons, and ensure their active participation in political, economic, social, and cultural life in a way that is respectful and accommodating of their difference. This approach is normatively based on international human rights standards and operationally directed to enhancing the promotion and protection of the human rights of persons with disabilities. Strengthening the protection of human rights is also a way to prevent disability. Core values of Human Rights: The four core values of human rights law which are of particular importance in the context of disability are:
the dignity of each individual, who is deemed to be of inestimable value because of
his/her inherent self-worth, and not because s/he is economically or otherwise “useful”; • the concept of autonomy or self-determination, which is based on the presumption of a
capacity for self-directed action and behaviour, and requires that the person be placed at the centre of all decisions affecting him/her; • • the inherent equality of all regardless of difference; and the ethic of solidarity, which requires society to sustain the freedom of the person
with appropriate social supports. The human rights perspective internationally gained momentum since the proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly of the year 1981 as the “International Year of the Disabled” under the slogan “Full Participation and Equality”. The General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons in 1982, which set the guidelines for a world strategy to promote “equality” and “full participation” by persons with disabilities in social life and development. As a follow-up to the World Program of Action, the General Assembly adopted in 1993 a resolution entitled Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for People with Disabilities. The Standard Rules explicitly take the International Bill of Human Rights (which comprises the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the two international Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Civil and Political Rights) as their political and moral foundation, and constitute an important reference guide in identifying the relevant obligations of States parties under the existing human rights instruments. They aim at ensuring that “girls, boys, men and women with disabilities, as members of their societies, may exercise the same rights and obligations as others”, and require States to remove obstacles to equal participation. Further in 1993, the Vienna Declaration for Human Rights reaffirmed that “all human rights and fundamental freedoms are universal, and thus unreservedly include persons with disabilities”,
and placed the active participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of civil society explicitly in a human rights context. OHCHR’S Mandate In its Resolution 2000/51 on the human rights of persons with disabilities, the Commission on Human Rights requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in cooperation with the United Nations Special Reporter on Disability, to examine measures to strengthen the protection and monitoring of the human rights of persons with disabilities. Following to that request, the Office of the High Commissioner developed a program aimed at enhancing the human rights dimension of disability, which aims at • encouraging the integration of disability issues in the activities of treaty-monitoring
bodies and human rights extra-conventional mechanisms (e.g. Special Reporters to the Commission on Human Rights); • supporting the elaboration of a new thematic Convention on the human rights and dignity
of persons with disabilities; • strengthening collaboration with the Special Reporter on disability of the Commission for
Social Development and other United Nations specialized agencies active in the area of disability. Integrating disability further into the work of existing human rights mechanisms and elaboration of a new convention should be seen as complementary approaches. Together with continuing efforts to address the social development dimension of the problems faced by persons with disabilities, this thus constitutes the so-called multi-track approach advocated by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Major religions and acts of charity:
All major religion promotes acts of charity. This forms the foundation for any type of effort to help the people with disability. Stemming from this philosophical and spiritual basis programs are being developed to improve the lives of people with disability.
In the Vedic literature, the Rig-Veda to be precise the word, Dhanam, indicates the social philosophy of those days to help the needy members of the society. It is mentioned in the RigVeda (VIII 6.5 & X 117.7) that “the riches of one who gives do not diminish… the solitary eater is also a solitary sinner”. In Bhagwat Gita, charity is explained with reference to material aid, knowledge (vidya) and protection against fear, i.e “abhaydan”. It is said that Lord Buddha had also spoken about welfare of the masses.
In ancient India during the reign of King Ashoka, there are indications that he institutionalized social services by appointing “Gopas” (social workers) whose task was to keep account of birth and marriages, and took care of when people were sick. King Ashoka has stated that “…I consider the promotion of people’s welfare my highest duty..” in one of the edicts of Ashoka Pillar.
Charity is promoted in Islam, and is referred to as “Zaka”. Bible has many verses promoting the welfare of the poor and the needy. Dr.Leonard Mayo refers to rehabilitation as being first a philosophy, second an objective and third a method.
For believers and non-believers, the act of extending support to relieve the pain and suffering of the fellow human-being, forms the basis of any rehabilitative process.
Disability in India:
India being a land of rich spiritual heritage, have always being empathetic to the needs of people with disabilities. In India people with disability were being taken care of by the family and
community. Dharmashalas were built to take care of those who were dependent on others. Such efforts were largely supported by volunteers and philanthropist. Though the British government helped such works of charity, the amount contributed was very meager. Soon after independence, India emerged as a welfare state. Each “Five Year Plan”, starting from the first one introduced various welfare measures for the betterment of people with disabilities.
As a Welfare State, India is committed to ensure the `Well-Being’ and `Quality of Life’ of its people in general and of vulnerable sections in particular. The Preamble, Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights in the Constitution of India stand testimony to the commitment of the State to its people.
These provisions envisage a very positive role for the State in bringing about groups of society. It reflects its special concern for the welfare and development of the disabled through special provisions to safeguard their rights. Some of the important provisions of the constitution are as follows:
Constitutional Provisions and Legislative Support:
According to Entry 9 in the List II of Schedule 7 of the Constitution, the subject of Relief to the Disabled and Unemployable’ is the responsibility of the State Governments.
Article 14 of the Constitution, states that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
While Article 15 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination against any citizen on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex etc.
Article 16 provides for equality of opportunities in mater of public appointments beings and forced labor.
Article 38 directs the State to strive for minimizing the inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities amongst groups of people, towards securing proper distribution of ownership and control of material resources so as to sub serve the common good.
Article 41 states that the State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.
Articles 46 lays down that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people.
Article 47 states about the duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.
There exists a plethora of social legislations to safeguard the interests of the persons in distress and to deal with the various social problems/evils. Some of the important legislations are listed below:
To ensure equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and their full participation in nation building, a comprehensive legislation namely, `The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 was enacted.
This was also in response to the ILO Convention No.159 regarding the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons (1983) that the government of India introduced reforms and policies concerning the employment opportunities for person with disabilities which are
aimed at providing them equal opportunity and participation in all spheres of social and economic domain.
The Act provides for both preventive and promotional aspects of rehabilitation like education, employment and vocational training, reservation, research and manpower development, creation of barrier-free environment, rehabilitation for persons with disability, unemployment allowance for the disabled, special insurance scheme for the disabled employees and establishment of homes for persons with severe disability etc. The Act has been amended in order to improve and further strengthen the scope and the facilities for the benefit of disabled persons.
The Rehabilitation Council of India, a statutory body was set up under the RCI Act of 1992. This body is responsible for regulating professional syllabus and enforcing uniform standards in training professionals and giving them recognition in different areas of disability.
The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act was passed in December, 1999. This Trust is a statutory body set up to safeguard the interests and the development of these groups. The Prevention of Beggary Acts which are State Acts also exist in a number of States.
Social Welfare Schemes introduced during the various Five Year Plans:
The various five year plans brought about the following social welfare programs and schemes. Several organizations were also set up as part of the five year plans:
During the First Five Year Plan (1951-56) the Central Social Welfare Board (CWSB) was set up with the object especially of assisting voluntary agencies in organizing welfare programmes for Women and Children and the Disabled Groups.
During the same period the Ministry of Education constituted a National Advisory Council for the education of the physically disabled was set up. The functions of this Council were to advise Central Government on problems concerning the education, training and employment and the provision of social and cultural amenities for the physically and mentally disabled to formulate new schemes and to provide liaison with voluntary organizations working in the field.
In the Fourth Plan (1966-71), in addition to the three National Institutes for the Blind, the Deaf and the Mentally Retarded, a National Institute of Orthopaedically Handicapped was set up. For the placement of Disabled persons in employment, special employment exchanges were also set up.
During the Fifth Plan (1974-79) to ensure healthy growth and development of children and reduce infant and maternal mortality rates, the scheme Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) was launched in 1975-76 on an experimental basis to provide a package of services consisting of supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-up, referral services, nutrition and health education and non-formal education to children in the age-group 0-6 and pregnant and nursing mothers in rural, urban and tribal areas.
Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), Kanpur was set up in 1976 as a registered body under Section 25 of Companies Act of 1956 for developing, manufacturing and supplying artificial limbs and rehabilitation aids to the disabled.
In the Sixth Plan period (1980-85) eleven District Rehabilitation Centers for the disabled were setup and four Regional Rehabilitation Training Centers (RRTC) were set up to provide technical support for developing training material and manuals and for providing material to create community awareness through the use of different media.
The Science and Technology Project in the Mission Mode of Application of Technology for the Welfare and Rehabilitation of the Disabled were launched in 1988.
Human Development being the main thrust of the Eighth Plan (1992-97) policies and programmes relating to survival, protection and development of all sections of the population especially those of the Disabled and Disadvantaged were implemented.
The enactment of a comprehensive legislation, namely, The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, was a land mark achievement in the history of the welfare of the Disabled.
The Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) was set up as a statutory body under the RCI Act of 1992 with the objective of upgrading and standardizing the syllabus and ensuring uniform standards of training of professionals for the welfare of the Disabled.
The National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) was incorporated in 1997 under Section 25 of Companies Act, 1956 as a company not for profit and wholly owned by the Government. It has an authorized share capital of Rs.400 crores. It is the apex level financial institution for routing funds through channel agencies in States/UTs.
The main objective of NHFDC is to promote economic development, self-employment for the benefit and economic rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. In this connection, the NHFDC extends loans to persons with disabilities for pursuing higher education; assist in the up gradation of technical and entrepreneurial skills and setting up of small scale industries. The Corporation provides loans to persons having disabilities of 40% or more and whose annual income is Rs.1 lakh per annum in urban areas and Rs.80, 000 in rural areas.
Under the micro-financing of NHFDC, loans upto Rs. 10,000/- per beneficiary were made available to disabled persons for undertaking income-generating-activities such as small business / trade, cottage industry, agricultural allied activities, etc.
NHFDC also provide loans to Parents’ Associations of mentally retarded persons to set up an income generating activity for the benefit of mentally retarded persons.
During the Eighth plan, to help persons with disabilities in getting gainful employment either through Special Cells in the Employment Exchanges or through Special Employment Exchanges located throughout the country, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Employment of the Handicapped was implemented.
At end of the Ninth plan, there were 41 Special Cells and 40 Employment Exchanges in the country.
Comptroller and Auditors General (CAG) report on the implementation of PWD Act:
The Supreme Audit Institution of India, the Comptroller and Auditors General (CAG) undertook an audit review to “examine the efficiency, economy and effectiveness of various programmes for empowerment of the disabled with reference to the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995”.
After scrutinizing the accounts of the programmes related to the period 1998-’99 to 2002-’03, the CAG arrived at a conclusion that “the Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, 1995 is being poorly implemented although eight years have elapsed after its enactment. Adequate measures, as envisaged under the Act, had not been taken for prevention of disabilities through early detection, awareness campaigns and training of staff of Primary Health Centers. The development of educational infrastructure for the disabled, research for new assistive devices and specialized training of teachers remained weak areas.
The report further said that the pace of identification of posts in State Government establishment, which could be reserved for Persons with Disability (PWD), was slow. Special Employment Exchanges could provide placement to only one per cent PWD registered in the live register each year between 1998 and 2000. The Government failed to ensure three per cent reservation of PWD in poverty alleviation schemes, thus depriving them of the opportunity of economic rehabilitation.”
Eleventh Five Year Plan (2008-2013)
On welfare measures for persons with disability, the Approach paper on the 11th Five Year reports that it will take special measures to not just prevent discrimination against the disabled, especially children with disability, but also introduce policies to empower them and enable them to lead a life of dignity. It further notes that the Persons with Disability (Equality Opportunities, Protection of Rights & Full Participation) Act, 1995 which provides various entitlements to persons with disability will be effectively operationalized.
Economic Survey for the year 2007-08
The recently released Economic Survey for the year 2007-08 report of the various budgetary allocation and measures taken for the development of persons with disability. It is reported that during 2007-08, an allocation of Rs. 221 crore was made for the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities. The programmes were implemented through National and Apex Institutes dealing with various categories of disabilities. These institutes conduct short term and long-term courses for various categories of personnel for providing rehabilitation services to those needing them. The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 is being implemented. Five Composite Rehabilitation Centres (CRCs) at Srinagar, Lucknow, Bhopal, Guwahati and Sundernagar provide facilities for manpower development and ensuring availability of rehabilitation services for all categories of persons with disabilities. Four Regional Rehabilitation Centres (RRCs) provide services to persons with spinal injuries at Chandigarh, Cuttack, Jabalpur and Bareilly. About 199 District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs) have been sanctioned in the country for providing comprehensive rehabilitation services at the grass root level.
The report further observes that under the scheme of Assistance to the Disabled for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP), Rs. 10.31 crore was released during 2007-08. The report included activities under the Deen Dayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme which provides financial assistance to voluntary organizations for running special schools for children
with hearing, visual and mental disability, rehabilitation centres for persons with various disabilities including leprosy cured persons, manpower development in the field of mental retardation and cerebral palsy. Under this scheme organizations are given grant-in-aid for both recurring and non-recurring expenditure to the extent of 90 per cent of the total approved cost of the project. During the year 2007-08, Rs. 22.30 crore was released up to November 2007 to voluntary organizations.
The National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation provides credit facilities to persons with disability for their economic empowerment and Rs. 7 crore has been released to the corporation till the end of November 2007.
Chapter - II
“Disabled people are not only the most deprived human beings in the developing world, they also the most neglected.” Amartya Sen
In India statistics on persons with disability
To begin with there are no clear cut indications on the actual number of persons with disability in India. There are only estimates, with varying figures in each report.
As already mentioned, according to the 2007 World Bank report “People with disabilities in India: From Commitments to Outcome”, in India people with disabilities comprise between 4 and 8 percent of the population (around 40-90 million individuals). It was reported that disabled people also have significantly lower employment rates than average, and this gap has been increasing over the past 15 years.
The large majority of persons with disability in India are capable of productive work. Despite this fact, the employment rate of disabled population is lower (about 60 percent on average) than the general population, with the gap widening in the 1990s. An issue of concern was the recent adverse development; decline in the employment rate of working age disabled people, from 42.7 percent in 1991 to 37.6 percent in 2002.
As pointed out by the CAG Report, government programs to fulfill the 3% reservation of the PWD Act has also failed to materialize. Public sector initiatives to provide jobs have had only very marginal impact.
Employment in private sector
In India the percentage of people with disabilities employed in the private sector is negligible. In 1999, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) conducted a study to examine the employment practices of the Indian corporate sector. The study found that among the 70 of India’s ‘Super 100’ companies which took part in the study, only
0.4% had employed the disabled, while 20 of the companies had not employed any disabled persons. The Persons with Disabilities Act recommends atleast 5% of the jobs in the private sector be reserved for persons with disabilities.
To encourage employment in private sector Government of India has announced a scheme in 2008, through which Provident Fund contributions for persons with disability will be borne by the government instead of the employer.
Challenges in getting employment:
According to International Labour Organisation, decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.
How do we see - a review of human visual system Light enters the eye by passing through the cornea, the anterior chamber, the pupil, the lens, and the vitreous to reach the retina. In the retina, the photoreceptors change the light into nerve signals that pass along the optic nerve, through the brain to the visual cortex, where the image is perceived. The cellular matrix of the cornea, lens, and nerve fiber layers of the retina are arranged in an extremely orderly manner resulting in optical clarity. Any damage to this orderly structural arrangement leads to an opacity. There are no cures for visual impairment or blindness. Research is being conducted on retinal, optic nerve, and cortical implants, but none are viable alternatives at this time. Significant advances in technology now offer such advantages as voice-command computers, head-mounted displays, and electronic travel aids for mobility. All visually impaired veterans should be offered the opportunity to benefit from new technologies and rehabilitation techniques.
Visual Impairment and Blindness Visual impairments can significantly affect individuals. However with effective rehabilitation services they can be assisted to lead less dependent satisfying lives. Patti Fuhr, OD, PhD and Lyman Norden, OD in their article “Primary Causes and Functional Implications of Blindness”, provides clarity on what is visual impairment, the way it is assessed and on the function of vision. According to them the word “blindness” refers to visual impairment ranging from legal blindness to total blindness. There are vast differences in severity of visual impairment between legal and total blindness, as well as differences in the impact that vision loss has on an individual’s ability to function in his/her environment. In the United States legal blindness is defined as follows: 1. Visual Acuity of 20/200 or worse in the better eye (with best eyeglass or contact lens correction) - or 2. Visual field restricted to 20 degrees or less in diameter in the better eye Visual acuity is the ability to distinguish details and shapes of objects with good contrast. Also called central vision, visual acuity is recorded as test distance/target size. A visual acuity of 20/20 means that a person can see a letter of five minutes of arc at 20 feet, which is thought of as normal vision. Visual acuity can be explained by this example. For instance, if a person has 20/200 visual acuity, it means that person must be 20 feet from an eye chart to see a letter that a person with normal vision could see at 200 feet. A person with normal vision could walk 180 feet behind that person with 20/200 (low vision) and still see the same target. Visual field is the entire area that the person can see when the eye is looking straight ahead, including central and peripheral vision. Binocular visual fields are perhaps a better indicator of visual function, since we walk around with both eyes open. However, in a clinical setting, visual
fields are measured monocularly in order to determine any abnormalities. This is essential, since the visual fields overlap in the nasal part of the visual fields of both eyes. Visual impairment refers to the function of the eye and can be measured with tests such as visual acuity, visual field, color vision, and contrast sensitivity. ICD Classification of Visual Impairment The International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision (ICD-9-CM) classifications for levels of visual impairment include:
Moderate low vision 20/80 Severe low vision 20/200 Profound low vision 20/500 Near blindness 20/1250 Total blindness no light perception A visual disability denotes how the person functions (rather than the function of the organ) and may be measured in terms of reading performance, performance of activities of daily living skills (ADLs), orientation and mobility, etc. They have a profound impact on a person’s everyday life and may result in Visual handicaps A visual handicap is a disadvantage the person experiences because of vision loss. It may involve the need for extra effort to perform certain tasks, such as reading, shopping, or preparing meals. A visual handicap may be an economic, social, or physical loss of independence. Low vision is a more encompassing term, and may be defined as any bilateral loss of vision that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses and interferes with daily living activities.
Low vision rehabilitation endeavors to help overcome the visual disabilities and decrease the magnitude of visual handicaps by increasing functional abilities. Low vision rehabilitation can help maintain or improve quality of life.
India - visually impaired Over the period the changing definition reflects the progress made towards the development of the visually impaired. Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995, refers "Blindness" to a condition where a person suffers from any of the following conditions, namely:(i) Total absence of sight. or (ii) Visual acuity not exceeding 6160 or 201200 (snellen) in the better eye with correcting lenses; or (iii) Limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degree or worse;
National Sample Survey Organisation 2002, defines Visual disability as follows: By visual disability, it was meant, loss or lack of ability to execute tasks requiring adequate visual acuity. For the survey, visually disabled included (a) those who did not have any light perception - both eyes taken together and (b) those who had light perception but could not correctly count fingers of hand (with spectacles/contact lenses if he/she used spectacles/contact lenses) from a distance of 3 metres (or 10 feet) in good day light with both eyes open. Night blindness was not considered as visual disability. Visual Disability or Blindness refers to a person’s inability to see either fully or partially. A visually disabled person is known to be suffering from visual impairment. Low Vision or Poor Eye Sight: A person with low vision or poor eyesight is one who continues to have the problem
even after going through medically approved corrective measures. This person with poor eyesight is still in a position to continue his/her tasks with appropriate assisted devices.
National Association for the Blind defines Legal blindness as visual acuity of not greater than 20/200 in the better eye with best correction or a visual field of less than 20 degrees. Legal blindness can mean tunnel vision, no central vision, cloudy or extremely blurred vision, seeing just shadows, or no vision at all. For the purpose of the practicum only those who are legally blind are included in the program. Statistics on visually impaired the world over and in India: According to 2002 World Health Organization, statistics, world over, in excess of 161 million people were visually impaired, 124 million people of whom had low vision and 37 million were blind. It was also reported that more than 90% of the world's visually impaired live in developing countries. Cataract and Glaucoma being the leading causes blindness. According to the NSSO 58th round survey in 2002 there were 18.49 million disabled people in India. Of this, 10.89 million were males and remaining 7.56 million were females, which is 59% and 49% respectively. Among the 18.49 million disabled people, 57.50 % were suffering from loco motor disability while 10.88% (20,13,400) were visually impaired, 4.39% (813,300) were people with low vision, 16.55 were having hearing impairment, 11.65% had speech disability, 5.37% were mentally retarded and 5.95% were mentally ill. Visual impairment and low vision put together 15.28% (28,26,700) forms the second leading cause of disability in India.
Visual impairment from a developmental perspective From a developmental perspective every individual has to meet various challenges at respective time period. Unless these challenges are met smooth transition form one stage to another would get affected. For individuals with impairment these regular challenges itself would become extraordinary. They require support and assistance from family, community and society at large in addressing these challenges.
Havighrust refers to developmental tasks as, “a task which arises at or about certain period in the life of the individual, successful achievement of which leads ti happiness and to success with later tasks, while failure leads to unhappiness and difficulty with later tasks. Havighrust has identified the following tasks related to early adulthood (18 to 40 years) Getting started in an occupation Selecting a mate Learning to live with a marriage partner Starting a family Rearing children Managing a home Taking on civic responsibility Finding a congenial social group
Elizebth Hurlock has identified some of the most important factors that influences the accomplishment of these developmental tasks: Factors influencing mastery of developmental tasks: Handicaps to mastery: A retarded developmental level Lack of opportunity to learn the developmental tasks or lack of guidance in their mastery Lack of motivation
Poor health Physical defects A low intellectual level
Aids to mastery: A normal or accelerated developmental level Opportunities to learn the developmental tasks and guidance in mastering them Motivation Good health and absence of physical defects
Importance of occupation Occupation provides an identity and recognition for individuals. Being without job is often like being without address. Not being able to get job significantly affects individuals, more so when they qualified but yet denied opportunity.
This has great relevance for person with disability who are often discriminated on the grounds of their disability. For an adult occupation is thus a vital building block for all subsequent activities in life. Unless the individual succeeds in getting a decent job, all the other subsequent tasks would get affected.
It has been reported that blindness, of all chronic illnesses and disabilities, is the second leading cause of inability to work (LaPlante, 1988), with visual impairments being historically correlated with underemployment, unemployment, and poverty (Kirchner, 1988).
Experience of Nethrodaya In a study conducted by Nethrodaya (a Chennai based NGO working for the welfare of people with visual impairment) in the year 2002, among visually impaired persons seeking alms in Chennai Sub-urban trains, it was found that of the 118 respondents 80% of them were graduates without jobs. Without a job they had no other means of survival. In this background it is thus essential to address this issue in a comprehensive manner.
Creating job opportunities for visually impaired
In India formal training for the visually impaired has been going one for more than century. Making best use of this learning opportunity, visually impaired persons have climbed up the ladder to achieve significant levels in their personal and social life. However for a vast majority of them with training and skills, employment and progress is still a distant dream.
It is estimated that there are over 100 institutions, governmental and non-governmental offering specialized training for the visually impaired to make them employable. Inspite of the training the numbers of persons who are able to get jobs are significantly less. With increase in the number of training opportunities for the visually impaired, joblessness among them is also increasing. While such training programs aims to develop them, lack of job opportunities dampens their desire to come up in life.
Table 1. Employment status of people with disabilities at work in millions as of 1991
Status Self Employment Agriculture Self Employment Non Agriculture Regular Employee Casual Labour
Rural 1.65 0.52 0.25 1.18
Urban 0.07 0.37 0.28 0.20
Total 1.72 0.89 0.53 1.38
Of the 16 million disabled people identified in 1991, as many as 11.4 million did not participate in the labour force.
Table 2. Activity status of unemployed disabled people in millions as of 1991
Status Attending education Attending domestic work Beggars Other Total
Rural 1.37 1.68 0.09 5.59 8.73
Urban 0.64 0.55 0.03 1.43 2.65
Total 2.01 2.23 0.12 7.02 11.38
It has also been reported that due to lack of marketing skills and confidence, people with disabilities have not fully utilized the various government self employment opportunities. Recent World Bank reports indicate that these figures have not changed much.
In a study conducted by Nethrodaya (a Chennai based NGO working for the welfare of people with visual impairment) in the year 2002, among visually impaired persons seeking alms in Chennai Sub-urban trains, it was found that of the 118 respondents 80% of them were graduates without jobs. Without a job they had no other means of survival.
Traditionally persons with disability have not been part of the socio-economic activity of the society, owing to their functional limitations. They were isolated and kept away from the society. However as the society progressed, things changed for good. Notable turning points with regards to persons with visual impairments were the following: founding of the special school, development of Braille, white cane, guide dogs and the latest being computer software which enables them to access computers.
Without jobs they find it extremely difficulty to support their family, and get out of the poverty cycle, forcing some them to seek alms.
One of the reasons for unemployment is that employers are just not aware of the capabilities of persons with disability. Though the person might have completed their graduation and training, enrolling on the companies register is a big process. Concerns of the employer chiefly revolve around accessibility, efficiency, mobility, safety, and image of the organization. As all this involves financial commitment, they take very careful calculated moves. Because of other business issues, such decisions are given a lesser priority. Comparatively decisions are made faster when it comes to donation for charity or sponsorship.
Why Social Work Intervention?
Strategy to address issue of unemployment among people with disability has to be multipronged, covering the various dimensions of; negative attitude, the issue of equal opportunity, the issue of acceptance of the worker, and the issue of low self esteem among people with disability. Moreover since childhood persons with disability are subjected to various types of discrimination. Their developmental process takes a different route from that of the other nondisabled individuals. As they depend on others for most of their day to day functions their psycho-socio development gets significantly affected. They tend to dependent on others and expect their sympathy and attention. Having brought up in special school with limited world view their ability their social functioning is affected. This gets reflected in their difficult to decide on career path or other major decisions in live is very much affected. They prefer to maintain status quo. So just providing them with some job may not solve the problem of unemployment. One has to work with them at an individual level and also in as a group to enhance their social functioning. Employers might employ them on sympathetic grounds, but retaining them would depend entirely on the performance of the candidates.
The employer would have to know about them and understand what they are capable of doing and not doing, while the candidate will have to understand the job tasks and be motivated to make his best effort. Social Work would be the most ideal way of addressing this issue as its various methods could deal with each of these issues. Of the various issues two key areas were chosen namely the issue of acceptance the employability of the visually impaired person and the issue of low self esteem among the visually impaired person was chosen. Visually impaired person have increased opportunity to get educated and trained to take up active employment. Though they possess the needed skills employers are not fully convinced to offer them a job. Failure to get jobs after completing the needed training further reduces their self esteem. To address these issues one has to involve persons with visual impairment, organization working for visually impaired persons and potential employers. As a social work intervention the entire program has to be developed within the context of a social agency. What is Social Work? The following international definition of social work was agreed and adopted in July 2007 by both the IASSW and the IFSW. According to which: Definition The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilizing theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work. The International Federation of Social Workers comments on the profession, its theory and values as follows:
Social work as it is practiced today in its various forms addresses the multiple, complex transactions between people and their environments. Its mission is to enable all people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives, and prevent dysfunction. Professional social work is focused on problem solving and change. As such, social workers are change agents in society and in the lives of the individuals, families and communities they serve. Social work is an interrelated system of values, theory and practice.
Values Social work grew out of humanitarian and democratic ideals, and its values are based on respect for the equality, worth, and dignity of all people. Since its beginnings over a century ago, social work practice has focused on meeting human needs and developing human potential. Human rights and social justice serve as the motivation and justification for social work action. In solidarity with those who are dis-advantaged, the profession strives to alleviate poverty and to liberate vulnerable and oppressed people in order to promote social inclusion. Social work values are embodied in the profession’s national and international codes of ethics. Theory Social work bases its methodology on a systematic body of evidence-based knowledge derived from research and practice evaluation, including local and indigenous knowledge specific to its context. It recognizes the complexity of interactions between human beings and their environment, and the capacity of people both to be affected by and to alter the multiple influences upon them including bio-psychosocial factors. The social work profession draws on theories of human development and behaviour and social systems to analyse complex situations and to facilitate individual, organisational, social and cultural changes. Practice Social work addresses the barriers, inequities and injustices that exist in society. It responds to crises and emergencies as well as to everyday personal and social problems. Social work utilises a variety of skills, techniques, and activities consistent with its holistic focus on persons and their
environments. Social work interventions range from primarily person-focused psychosocial processes to involvement in social policy, planning and development. These include counselling, clinical social work, group work, social pedagogical work, and family treatment and therapy as well as efforts to help people obtain services and resources in the community. Interventions also include agency administration, community organisation and engaging in social and political action to impact social policy and economic development. The holistic focus of social work is universal, but the priorities of social work practice will vary from country to country and from time to time depending on cultural, historical, and socio-economic conditions.
Social Work Practice takes the following path: • • • • • • • • Forming partnerships Articulating challenges Defining directions Identifying strength Analyzing resources capabilities Framing solutions Activating resources, creating alliances, and expanding opportunities Recognizing success and integrating gains
Core Purposes of the Social Work Profession Social work as it is practiced the world over is targeted at interventions for social support and for developmental, protective, preventive and/or therapeutic purposes.
Based on the available literature and views of practioner during consultations and the commentary on the international definition of social work, the following core purposes of social work have been identified: • Facilitate the inclusion of marginalised, socially excluded, dispossessed, vulnerable and
at-risk groups of people. • • Address and challenge barriers, inequalities and injustices that exist in society. Form short and longer-term working relationships with and mobilise individuals,
families, groups, organisations and communities to enhance their well-being and their problemsolving capacities. • • Assist and educate people to obtain services and resources in their communities. Formulate and implement policies and programmes that enhance people’s well-being,
promote development and human rights, and promote collective social harmony and social stability, insofar as such stability does not violate human rights. • Encourage people to engage in advocacy with regard to pertinent local, national, regional
and/or international concerns. • Act with and/or for people to advocate the formulation and targeted implementation of
policies that are consistent with the ethical principles of the profession. • Act with and/or for people to advocate changes in those policies and structural conditions
that maintain people in marginalised, dispossessed and vulnerable positions, and those that infringe the collective social harmony and stability of various ethnic groups, insofar as such stability does not violate human rights. • Work towards the protection of people who are not in a position to do so themselves, for
example children and youth in need of care and persons experiencing mental illness or mental retardation, within the parameters of accepted and ethically sound legislation. • Engage in social and political action to impact social policy and economic development,
and to effect change by critiquing and eliminating inequalities.
Enhance stable, harmonious and mutually respectful societies that do not violate people’s
human rights. • Promote respect for traditions, cultures, ideologies, beliefs and religions amongst
different ethnic groups and societies, insofar as these do not conflict with the fundamental human rights of people. • Plan, organise, administer and manage programmes and organisations dedicated to any of
the purposes delineated above. Domain of the Social Work Professional: • The development of the critically self-reflective practitioner, who is able to practice
within the value perspective of the social work profession, and shares responsibility with the employer for their well being and professional development, including the avoidance of ‘burnout’. • The recognition of the relationship between personal life experiences and personal value
systems and social work practice. • The appraisal of national, regional and/or international social work codes of ethics and
their applicability to context specific realities. • Preparation of social workers within a holistic framework, with skills to enable practice
in a range of contexts with diverse ethnic, cultural, ‘racial’ and gender groups, and other forms of diversities. • The development of the social worker who is able to conceptualize social work wisdom
derived from different cultures, traditions and customs in various ethnic groups, insofar that culture, tradition, custom and ethnicity are not used to violate human rights. • The development of the social worker who is able to deal with the complexities,
subtleties, multi-dimensional, ethical, legal and dialogical aspects of power.
Methods of Social Work Practice: • Sufficient practice skills in, and knowledge of, assessment, relationship building and
helping processes to achieve the identified goals of the programme for the purposes of social support, and developmental, protective, preventive and/or therapeutic intervention – depending on the particular focus of the programme or professional practice orientation. • The application of social work values, ethical principles, knowledge and skills to confront
inequality, and social, political and economic injustices. • Knowledge of social work research and skills in the use of research methods, including
ethical use of relevant research paradigms, and critical appreciation of the use of research and different sources of knowledge about social work practice. • The application of social work values, ethical principles, knowledge and skills to promote
care, mutual respect and mutual responsibility amongst members of a society. Paradigm of the Social Work Profession: Of particular current salience to professional social work education, training and practice are the following epistemological paradigms (which are not mutually exclusive), that should inform the core curricula:
An acknowledgement and recognition of the dignity, worth and the uniqueness of all
human beings. • Recognition of the interconnectedness that exists within and across all systems at micro,
mezzo and macro levels. • An emphasis on the importance of advocacy and changes in socio-structural, political and
economic conditions that disempower, marginalise and exclude people. • A focus on capacity-building and empowerment of individuals, families, groups,
organisations and communities through a human-centred developmental approach.
Knowledge about and respect for the rights of service users. Problem-solving and anticipatory socialisation through an understanding of the normative
developmental life cycle, and expected life tasks and crises in relation to age-related influences, with due consideration to socio-cultural expectations. • beings. • An appreciation and respect for diversity in relation to ’race’, culture, religion, ethnicity, The assumption, identification and recognition of strengths and potential of all human
linguistic origin, gender, sexual orientation and differential abilities. Lorenz, W., “Social work in Europe – Portrait of a diverse professional group”, in Hessle, S. (Ed.). “International Standard Setting of Higher Social Work Education” Stockholm University, Stockholm Studies of Social Work (2001). Theoretical frame-work: - Empowerment Model.
Empowerment in this context refers to a process in which (a) Social workers and client engage in activities “that aim to reduce their powerlessness that has been created by negative valuations based on membership in a stigmatized group” (Solomon, 1976, p.19) and (b) clients become strong enough to participate within, share in the control of, and influence events and institutions that effect their lives.
The opportunity to acquire education and skill is very limited in India mostly confined to urban areas. As a result people with disability have limited opportunity to develop. All through their life, they are confined to limited spaces and contacts, thus their understanding of the external world is very inadequate.
Empowerment is a process of strengthening individuals who are weak and vulnerable. External support is inevitable for persons with impairment. However the extent of this support varies from individual to individual. Being dependent on someone since childhood greatly affects the personality of people with disability. They tend to grow with the belief that they have to depend
on others all through their life. In addition the negative experiences of stigmatization, ridicule and deprivation. Moreover their self esteem tends to be low. Except a few who dare out to venture, a majority of them elicit sympathy from others.
Their situation very much reflects that of people born in certain minority groups, whose experiences of discrimination and stigmatization since childhood tend to make them feel powerless and weak. Considerable effort would be needed to develop and empower them so that their dependency on others could get reduced.
By applying a combination of social work methods it will be possible to empower and enable them to lead a less dependent life. This approach would be more suitable especially for those who are eager to come up but do not have the opportunity.
Social work intervention:
Having chosen the Social Work intervention, it is necessary to justify how these methods would be applied.
As already indicated, employment is a major concern for people with visual impairment. Working within the context of the Social Agency it is necessary to address with the frame work of the vision and mission of the organization. Hence the method of Social Work Administration is applied to translate the objectives of the organization into specific workable program to address the problem at hand.
It is the process of applying professional competencies to develop, execute, monitor and evaluate the program. The process also involved coordinating with another Social Agency, mobilizing needed resources and identifying potential commercial organizations.
Unemployment among person with disability is both an individual problem as well as a social problem. Making an entry into the company is only half the job, but retaining the job is the
challenge. To make this happen it is imperative that we engage the client in a systematic manner. They are engaged both as individuals’ as well in groups Social Casework and Social Group Work techniques.
The social agency
Bhoomika Trust is Chennai based NGO focusing on the educational and livelihood needs of underprivileged sections of the society. Established in the year 2001 in the wake of Gujarat earth quake by a group of philanthropist, the organization has been rendering many services. Initially it focused on mobilizing relief materials to the victims of the earth quake, and later focused on their livelihood needs, by providing tools of trade. In the subsequent years the Trust continued to provide educational assistance to enable children form the underprivileged sections to complete their basic schooling. Soon after the December 2004 South Asian Tsunami the Trust brought to fore its rich experience in dealing with the Gujarat earth quake. Relief materials were mobilized and distributed to all the affected areas. The Trust also facilitated interaction between Government agencies, affected communities, NGO fraternity and volunteers. These meeting were focused at identifying affected communities and the type of assistance required, and to avoid duplication of services. The Trust contributed significantly in setting up NGO Coordination Resource Center (NCRC) at Nagapattinam. As a donor intermediary the Trust identified several projects executed by partner NGO’s which were focused at improving education, livelihood and housing needs of the affected community. The Trust also developed and executed several programs in collaboration with partner NGO’s.
Focus areas: Providing educational assistance to underprivileged students Providing livelihood support to needy individuals
Providing/coordinating relief and rehabilitation support during times of disaster Providing support to other NGOs
Some of the ongoing programs of Bhoomika Trust are:
Neighbourhood Free Tuition Center :
Bhoomika Trust’s NFTC [Neighbourhood Free Tuition Center] program is being implemented in eight tsunami affected districts of Tamil Nadu with the support of six local NGO’s. About 3000 students from class I to VIII, studying in local village schools who are academically weak and whose parents cannot afford paid private tuitions benefit from this program. These students are provided regular supplementary educational support in the evenings by educated women within their neighbourhood. Student Tutor ratio is maintained at 25:1 to ensure individual care and attention. This program also provides part-time employment to these unemployed and under employed Tutors.
Needs and Feeds:
Needs and Feeds is an initiative of Bhoomika Trust to facilitate donation in kind between donors and Non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations need various items like computers, cupboards, files, used paper, books, chairs, tables, and so on to enhance their service delivery. At the same time one could find individuals and organizations evincing interest in giving away things (new and used) which are needed by these non-profits. Bridging this gap is the goal of Needs and Feeds.
JobLinks is an initiative by Bhoomika Trust to provide a link between unemployed tsunamiaffected individuals in Chennai and employers. It serves as a link between the community and the corporates through grassroots NGOs.
True Gifts is operated by Bhoomika Trust, effectively linking your contributions with program needs at various NGOs, providing you the satisfaction of knowing where your funds have been used, while adding an additional stream of revenue for NGOs Funds for StepOne would be mobilized through True Gifts program.
Bhoomika Trust executes its various programs by effectively networking with other field based organizations.
Role of the social worker in the agency
The Social Worker is employed in the organization in the capacity of Program Manager. Job profile includes evaluating proposal, monitoring ongoing programs, and developing programs in line with the goals and objectives of the organization. The Social Worker is also partly involved Administration, Fund Raising, and Public Relations activities of the organization.
The learning environment provided by the Trust enabled the Social Worker to develop a suitable intervention program to address the employment needs of visually impaired persons. Social Work Administration enables one to transform policy and plans of the organization into workable program, which could be developed and executed in a professional manner. Focus of the Trust is to address the educational and livelihood needs of the underprivileged. The Trust also has rich experience as a donor intermediary and collaborating with partner NGO’s. Based on the experience gained at Bhoomika Trust the Social Worker in consultation with the Trustees and colleagues developed an intervention on the principles of Social Work Administration. The program titled StepOne aims to create job opportunities for persons with visual impairment.
Potential employers would be identified and contacted in consultation with the Trustees and colleagues of the organization. To know more about persons with visual impairment and to identify 10 such persons the program would be done in collaboration with Nethrodaya. Funds required for the program would be generated exclusively by contacting potential in a systematic manner. Appeals, consent forms, donor management, official correspondence, and every other aspect of the program would be documented and recorded on the principles of Social Work Administration. Social Casework would be employed to understand each of the candidates and to assess their skills and abilities, and to match them depending on the availability of jobs. Social Group Work would be employed to enable the candidates to share and learn from one another. The Social Worker has thus planned to apply the methods of Social Work, to provide one month job opportunities for 10 visually impaired persons work with the candidates in a systematic manner involving the methods of Social Work and ensure that all the 10 are offered regular jobs in the same concern on completion of one month.
StepOne - An appeal with a difference
Not many employers are aware of the fact that disabled persons are skilled, far more dedicated, and regular and switch jobs less often, then their non-disabled counterparts. This was found in a study conducted by a UK based organization which facilitates jobs for the disabled.
But the widespread misconception among employer is that disabled persons are generally dependent, and are non-productive in commercial terms, hence not suitable for employment.
In a study conducted in the city of Chennai in 2002, by Nethrodaya (an NGO for persons with visual impairment), it was found that several of the visually impaired persons seeking alms in the suburban trains, were actually graduates sans jobs.
While persons with disability lament on the lack of opportunity to showcase their abilities, employers need assurance of their capabilities before they are taken on board.
StepOne is a unique opportunity addressing the concerns of the employers while giving the disabled an opportunity to display their skills and abilities.
Employers who have never utilized the services of disabled persons are welcome to offer a one month “Office Experience Opportunity” for qualified candidates. As it’s a FREE TRAINING, the employer need not be concerned about paying the candidate or offering them a job at the end of the training program. They just have to provide guidance and supervision during the training and offer a completion certificate at the end of the training period. This will enable the candidate to include it in their resume.
While the candidate gets office experience, it could also be an opportunity for the employer to have a first hand experience of having disabled member in their organization.
StepOne is an initiative of Bhoomika Trust, which facilitates such opportunities by networking employers and NGO’s in Chennai with differently-abled persons. Bhoomika Trust does not charge any fee for this venture.
This is actual appeal which was sent to various commercial organizations.
Reason for choosing Nethrodaya:
Having developed the framework the first task was to collaborate with an organization that works for the welfare of persons with visual impairment. In this regard the Social Worker had discussions with Mr.Gopi, Founder Trustee of Nethrodaya. Bhoomika Trust has already been supporting Nethrodaya through their True Gifts programs. This already existing relationship with Nethrodaya was tapped for this program.
Nethrodaya was established in the on October 2, 2002, by C. Govindakrishnan (Gopi) an individual from the community of visually impaired to provide hostel facility for visually impaired candidates pursuing studies in the city of Chennai. Though there are avenues to get higher studies, visually impaired students are not able to utilize it for want of staying facilities. This hostel addresses these issues.
The organization was established with the following vision, mission and goal:
Vision Creation of a suitable environment for nurturing the abilities and talents of the visually impaired, by means of which they would be able to live their lives with a sense of dignity and self worth as productive members of society.
Mission To light up the path of the visually impaired by enabling the fulfillment of their true potential.
Goal To act as a resource centre and liaison body for the visually impaired and to lobby with the government for the rights of the differently abled.
The organization endeavors to help the visually impaired stand on their own feet, through a variety of vital services in keeping with its vision, mission and goal. Nethrodaya’s services go beyond the mere provision of basic needs and focus on facilitating the development of the potential that the visually impaired have.
Jyothir Bhavan is Nethrodaya’s user-friendly hostel for poor, visually impaired college going students in Tamil Nadu state. Here, students with satisfactory academic credentials from all over Tamil Nadu receive all the support they need to pursue their education. Services include provision of nutritious food and facilities for stay, free of charge. Access to a well coordinated reader services. In addition the hostlers are also provided training in Yoga, Spoken English and on JAWS, computer skills.
The planned social work intervention –
The first step would be to discuss with the Trustees about the problems of persons with visual impairment and the need to initiate an intervention. This would be followed by a series of brainstorming session with the colleagues at Bhoomika Trust to develop the program.
An appeal would be circulated to potential employers, who would be interested in offering this program. Based on this appeal, employers who have not employed persons with disability earlier would be contacted, both individually and through forums.
Depending on the type of vacancies available and the profile of the candidate needed a vacancy list would be prepared.
Simultaneously seven persons with visual impairment who have completed their studies and ready to join work would be contacted through Nethrodaya.
Candidates would be enabled to prepare their resume. Candidates would be oriented and prepared for the program. Vacancy list and profile of candidates would be matched, in consultation with the placement officers of the commercial organization.
Candidates would be placed on the job and would be regularly followed up. Candidates would be provided needed support to do well and to excel. The Social Worker would be periodically visiting the place of work to interact with the employer and the candidate to offer help.
Candidates as a group would be met on weekends at a common place to assess the progress. This would provide an opportunity to share and learn from one another.
As it’s a free training, the candidate would not receive any salary from the employer during the training period. To cover for travel and food during the training period, it is also planned to provide a small monitory incentive for those who complete the training. Funds for this stipend would be mobilized.
Its targeted to offer this training opportunity to five persons with disability. Success of the program would depend on the number of candidates securing a regular job at the organizations that do their training. The over all program would also be assessed and evaluated.
Chapter - III
“The problem is not how to wipe out the differences but how to unite with the differences intact”. – Rabindranath Tagore (quoted in Alur)
Intervention involving Social Casework
Linton B.Swift refers to Casework as “the art of assisting the individual in developing and making use of his/her personal capacity to deal with problems which he/she faces in his social environment”.
Dr. Grace Mathew explains Social Casework as one of the methods of social work used by social workers, working in social welfare agencies. The method is used to help clients to deal with problems of social functioning. It is a personalized service, rendered to individuals and their families through a one to one relationship. While working with the visually impaired individuals at Nethrodaya it was soon realized that unemployment among them was just the tip of an ice berg. Getting them job may not be sufficient to enhance their social functioning. Visually impaired individuals have difficulty in getting job due to a combination of social, psychological and physiological factors that have been affecting them since they lost vision, at birth or later. It was necessary to help them in such a way so that they are enabled to mobilize their internal and external resources and are assisted in taking a lead role in meeting their difficulties. In this process Social casework was indispensable. Social casework method has its foundations on certain philosophical values, principles, knowledge of behavioral and social sciences, tools and techniques of helping. Interviewing and relationship are two important tools of social Casework that aid in understanding the client in totality, and aid in intervening. The caseworker brings about the required change in the client through the special relationship that is developed in the process.
Basic philosophical assumptions of social casework are i) Every human being has to be considered as a person with dignity and worth ii) Human beings are interdependent iii) There have common human needs that need to be met for growth and development of individuals iv) Every individual has within him/her the potential for growth and achievement and he/she has the right to the realization of this potential. v) Society has the obligation to help those who do not have the means to for the realization of their potentials. Principles of Social Casework The following are the principles of social casework i) The principle of individualization ii) Acceptance iii) Non-condemning attitude iv) Client self-determination v) Clients participation vi) Confidentiality vii) Controlled emotional involvement
In the process of enabling and empowering visually impaired clients, the following techniques of social casework were used. The tow major goals of casework is to render help to the client to cope with the problem which the client cannot handle unaided and to enhance the operations of the clients ego function whereby the client moves towards greater ability in handling their life problems. They are equipped to carry forward and apply in other problem areas as well.
The following are the various techniques of Social casework
Supportive Techniques: Acceptance: Assurance Facilitation of expression of feelings Allying feelings that are overpowering Accrediting and building of self confidence: Encouragement and reassurance: Being with the client: Emotional support Action-oriented support Advocacy Techniques for Enhancing Resources Providing material help Change of physical environment Enhancing information and knowledge Counseling techniques Reflective discussion: Advice Motivation: Clarification Correcting perception Modeling
Role Play Reality Orientation Remove guilt feelings Partialization Interpretation Universalization Setting limits Confrontation Reaching out Renewing family links Improving communication patters Changing attitudes
The first task was to identify visually impaired persons from the organizations data base, who have completed their studies and have not succeeded in getting job. Placement service is one of the extended services of the organization. From the placement data bank the Social Worker identified the following candidates who were seeking for jobs. 1. Mr.Janakiraman 2. Mr. Kutalamuthu 3. Ms.Kaladevi 4. Ms.Habi
Though it was planned to get 10 candidates, we managed only 7 who met the requirement of the program. It was decided to begin with these seven and add on others as we progressed. The following candidates joined in the subsequent sessions 5. Mr.Rajendran
6. Mr.Sabarivendan 7. Mr.Rekha
The candidates were first met on 23rd October 2007. The purpose of the meeting was to explain them about the program and to find out if they are interested in getting involved. The meeting was held at Nethrodaya. The Social Worker first of all introduced himself and his role in the organization. The program was explained in detail with its objectives. The candidate were willing to get involved in the program After this common meeting the Social Worker met each of the candidates individually to know more about them and to find out the type job that would match their skills and abilities. Social Casework methods were used to identify and prepare the candidates. Several programs are already on creating job for people with disabilities. But a closer look would reveal that may do not stay for long on the job. Entry might by on sympathetic groups, but continuation is definitely a matter of performance. Unless the person performs as expected on the job, it is unlikely that believe would be retained. Acceptance: It is through supportive techniques that the client gets the experience of being helped. Acceptance is one of the basic techniques of helping. It is both a principle and technique of casework. It is an approach, an ongoing disposition through which the client feels that he / she is welcome to social work agency and that the social worker wants to help them. Initially the clients were little apprehensive when the Social Worker told the he would get them opportunity to work in companies. This changed when they were actually taken to the companies for interview. They started realizing that the Social Worker was actually taking effort and started showing greater interest in what the social worker says. The clients begin to realize that they are being helped and it’s genuine. Accompanying the client during the interview; contacting them periodically aided this process.
Through this program the candidates will be provided one month work opportunity to showcase their skills and abilities. To make this happen, considerable preparation is required. Individual sessions were conducted to get a detailed profile of each of the candidates. Fist session would be an introduction of the program and to know if they would be willing to take part. As there is no job guarantee candidates were a little concerned about getting involved. Social Casework method was employed to prepare the candidate for the job and to enable him/her to do well as required of the talk so that the employer would retain them on their performance and worth as individuals. To begin with a baseline assessment is done of the candidates on the demographic variables. This assessment is done at all level 1) emotionally 2) psychologically and 3) socially. Casework sessions enabled the candidates to ventilate their feelings of rejection. Candidates were also assessed on their capabilities; what they could do and what they cannot. Unless this is known it would not be possible to find a right job for the candidate. The challenge in placement services is to find the right candidate for the right job. All the candidates were well qualified graduates with the varied training experiences. They were processing certificates issued by organizations of national repute, vouching for their skills. But when actually assessed it was very different. Candidates who were qualified as a telephone operator lacked basic communication skill. Similarly candidates with a pass certificate in JAWS could not work on computers. Such discrepancy between their certificate and their actually will reflects the quality of the training offered at their centers. undermine their chance of getting jobs. Some candidates were sharp and they able to follow oral instructions, but some were show and required additional clarifications. Candidate who stayed in hostel were independent than whose staying with parents. Out of the requirement of the candidates for the program was that they should be able to travel independently any where in the city. The program aims to make them less dependent on others, getting used to travel alone was in that direction. Such deficiency would greatly
Candidates living with family were not willing to travel alone, but persons staying in hostels were willing to travel. For candidates living with parents some one as the other would always accompany them, but candidates who stayed in hostel were really to trained to travel any where in the city all alone. They just required one orientation to the places were difference require this. The need for job was felt greater among those who were staying alone in hostel, but this degree of keenness and commitment was not reflected in those staying with parents. The entire program was purely voluntary and without any compulsion. There was no form of payment collected from the candidates for this program. Candidates had the option of joining or leaving at their choice but they were required to do it formally inform in advance. Advocacy Having got a fair knowledge about each of these candidates, the next challenge was find out companies which would be willing to give them one month work opportunity. Advocacy involves making a request to a third person in support and on behalf of the client. The most important aspect of the StepOne program was advocacy. Having understood the skills and profiles of the client, the social worker advocates on their behalf. Social worker contacts employers and their human resource team and discuss jobs which could be done by the client. In India it is not mandatory to provide jobs for persons with disability. Hence generally they are avoided. The social worker extensively used this technique to get one month job opportunity for five visually impaired persons. Accrediting and building of self confidence: The social worker cannot solve all the clients’ problems. Social casework is a process of enabling the client to deal with their problems. They are provided support so that the client faces and solves it on their own problems. All the clients were given telephone based jobs. Though some were ready from day one, others were very nervous and lacked confidence. When they shared their difficulty with the social worker, helped them to build their self confidence. Encouragement and reassurance:
One of the questions that the social worker would ask the client during the first week was about the colleagues in the department. Generally the clients keep to them selves. Due to fear of being rejected and earlier negative experiences, they require encouragement to speak out and make friendship with others in the department. Generally others in the company would avoid reaching out to the clients. Social worker would tell them that unless the clients are proactive, it will not be possible to develop relationship and goodwill with others, which would later play a significant role when the management considers them for employment. Reflective discussion: Reflective discussion is a counseling technique. This is the discussion between the social worker and the client based upon the clients deep thinking on the different areas of his/her life that have a bearing upon his/her problem. Persons with visually impairment are generally avoided and not given and responsibility. Such treatment makes the impaired person to believe that that they are incapable of taking responsibility. But unless they show interest to take up responsibilities, employers are not going to give them a job. Job and responsibility go together. It was observed that the clients preferred to do simple routine tasks and avoided taking responsibility. This tendency was shared with the social worker during the discussion he had with the employer. Based on this the social worker had sessions on reflective discussion who were avoiding responsibility. This enabled the clients to change this behavior. Due to this change in behavior this client was assigned the responsibility of distributing snacks for night shift staff. This was followed by telephone code for locking STD facility. When the client started showing interest gradually responsibility also increased. The employer was greatly impressed by this. Casework helped in bringing about a change in behavior of the client. Motivation: In casework, motivation refers to influencing the client to take a course of action that is considered good for him or is necessary for solving the problem he faces.
One of the clients was going late to office too often. The employer expressed displeasure about this, and this was increasing clients negative scoring. While discussing it was clear that the client had no valid reason for going late and was taking it lightly. At another place, the client was exceptionally punctually, which really stunned the employer. The social worker discussed with the client and explained how punctuality could affect her job prospects. She was staying quite close to the company. Sharing the incidence of stunning punctuality of the other client, the social worker was able to motivate her. By motivating the social worker was able to influence the clients in improving their work performance, which greatly aided in getting job.
Intervention involving Social Work Administration
Modern Social Work may be defined as a professional service to people for the purpose of assisting them as individuals or in groups to attain satisfying social relationships and economic standards of life in accordance with their wishes and capacity and in harmony with those of the community.
Social Work Administration: This refers to the process of applying professional competence to implementing certain programs of social welfare through social agencies in fulfillment of the objects and policy of the agency. In order to make the program more effective, the agency adopts certain administrative, financial and procedural practices.
As social welfare services are becoming increasingly more complex, with multiple partners, a sound administration is vitally important.
The purpose of social work is to render human service according to certain techniques; administration is the business of social work. Effective management and human service are
therefore supplementary to each other. Sound administration and competent professional services are the head and heart which are essential to the effective activity of the body of the organized humanitarian endeavor.
Purpose of Social Work administration:
The purpose of administration is to facilitate combined efforts of a group of persons to achieve some common objectives. It is process of i. Getting facts pertinent to the agency’s objectives and programs as the basis for taking decision ii. Analyzing available pertinent facts and making guesses about the future iii. Identifying and selecting for action one of several alternatives available to the social welfare agency, considering the forecast that have been made iv. Making plans for effectively carrying out the objectives of the agency on the basis of the alternatives selected v. Arranging a division of work into such units that each unit can be assigned to persons for execution vi. Establishing continuous use of appropriate measures, procedures and practices to ensure that all the activities in the agency contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the agency programs vii. Lying down and following financial practices in order to ensure economical and wise utilization of public funds viii. Lying down standards of work in an agency and mechanism of their enforcement
ix. Establishing sound communication and supervision system and maintaining effective community relations x. Evolving mechanisms of coordination within an agency and with other agencies xi. Arranging a system of monitoring and evaluation of agencies work.
The administrative process should be based on democratic norms with shared responsibility. There should be arrangements for periodical evaluation of the administrative process, procedures practices and the results achieved.
Functions of the administration:
According to Ray Jones, following are some of the functions of the sound administration. i. Determining the purpose, aims and objects of the organization
ii. Working with the board iii. Providing financial administration iv. Marinating effective public relations and proper coordination with the other agencies v. Evaluating accurately the total outcome in relation to the established purposes
Major areas of administration
Program development and use of sound methods and techniques
ii. Coordination iii. Supervision and leadership iv. Reporting v. Monitoring and evaluation vi. Mobilization and maintenance of resources, budget and fiscal controls and the concept of accountability vii. Maintenance of proper records
Purposes without programs are meaningless. Programs with out policies are undirected. Policy offer support for the program. Bhoomika Trust has clear objectives, well defined mission and vision, which forms the basic philosophy and principles underlying the various services. Implementing the program in a social work agency in collaboration with other agencies makes it imperative to base the program on the sound principles of Social Work Administration.
StepOne was based on the following techniques of Social Work Administration:
Every program in a social welfare agency is based on public funds, so every care has to be taken to meticulously plan the program. The democratic process that is followed at Bhoomika Trust enabled the Social Worker to plan the program in a systematic manner. Planning – is the conscious and deliberate guidance of thinking so as to create logical means of achieving agreed upon goals. Social planning is needed to the following reasons a) efficiency, b) effectiveness, c) accountability and d) morale
Aspects of planning
i) To lay down objectives ii) To identify problem iii) To gather facts iv) To create working methods v) To analyze facts vi) To define goal and fix priorities vii) To locate resources viii) To anticipate outcome
ix) To consider alternatives x) To evaluate achievements and to revise methods
Principles of planning i) It’s a continuous process ii) Should come from top, and should be done at all levels iii) Ensure participation iv) Clear objective v) Should grow out of the needs of the people
vi) Should have adequate factual data vii) Requires skills and leadership viii) Must take into consideration the needs and resources of the community
ix) Needs effective methods of evaluation
The method of Social Work Administration is applied in the context of developing and executing the program at Bhoomika Trust. Social work administration is a method of converting social policy and plan into action. Focus of Bhoomika Trust is to support education related projects. The Social Worker was able to convince the Trustee on this new initiate to help persons with disability. As the program falls in line with the intermediary role of the organization, the Trustees gave a go-ahead to this venture.
Once the concept was conceptualized the Social Worker had a series of discussions with the Trustees and colleagues at Bhoomika Trust to plan the program. In a systematic manner the Social Worker started with discussions with the Trustees. The discussions revolved around how the program would reflect the overall vision and mission of the organization. Discussions with the colleagues were concerning the day-to-day activities of the program.
The plan was broken down into daily and weekly activities, with continuous discussion with colleagues and Trustees respectively. Planning was done on a SMART basis, where S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Achievable, R-Realistic and T for time bound. As an ongoing process course correction were made as when it was necessary. Initially it was planned to provide the opportunity for 10 visually impaired persons, but at start we had only 4 candidates, so it was discussed and decided to begin, and include candidates as we go along.
Decision making is an essential component. Social Work Administration is a process of making decisions, making choices of the available options. As a systematic process it was based on the proper understanding of the situation. The democratic atmosphere prevailing at Bhoomika Trust
enabled the Social Worker to discuss the possible alternatives and choose the most appropriate option.
One of the important tools of administration is having the proper staff. The small team at Bhoomika Trust, consists of 2 Program Managers, 1 Field Officer, 1 Management Trainee and 1 Office Assistant. All the staffs were well oriented on the program.
The various tasks of the program were discussed by the Program Managers, keeping the Field Officer in the loop and allocated accordingly.
In the initial stages the tasks were mainly assigned between both the Programs managers and the Field Officer. However in the later stages, the Management Trainee was gradually roped in. The Management Trainee is a visually impaired person. As the program develops it is planned to assign more and more routine tasks to the Management Trainee.
Office Procedure and methods:
The business functions and methods of a social agency would include all those activities which are concerned with getting the routine business of the office done efficiently. These relate to all the office work – receipt of letter, sending replies, filing papers, proper filing, and indexing, The Social Worker systematically followed office procedures for efficiency in doing the routine day-to-day activities. Replying to emails, indexing and filing documents (Soft copy and Hard copy) time in respective folders / files, making entry of all inward and outward correspondence in appropriate registers are some of them. The importance of this would be felt only when we have to locate a particular file or document. If such routine work are not done properly can be a source of botheration. Such procedures will also make the work system dependent and not person dependent. Work can continue irrespective of change in personnel.
A statement showing the various sources from which money is to be raised during a particular period and the programs and activities on which it will be utilized. Budgetary process is therefore a fundamental part of planning process. A budget is a complete financial forecast based on available data about the financial condition of the agency. It is process of determining distribution of funds for the certain welfare services based on examination of needs. Budgeting forms the preparation for fundraising which address the following questions activities for which money is required total amount required possible available sources methods to be adopted
As public funding is the basis for social welfare programs, it is essential to have a statement prepared for every program showing the amount required for the various components and how the money would be raised, and the source.
Social Worker did budgeting for StepOne in consultation with the Trustees and the colleagues of Bhoomika Trust. With regards to this program the expenses was under two main heading. One is the stipend for the client to take care of the costs that they incur towards traveling and food during the one month work. This was worked at Rs 50/- per day, thus for each candidate Bhoomika Trust would pay Rs 1500/- on completion of one month. The others expenses includes travel, postage, telephone, stationery, internet and other miscellaneous expenses. Except the stipend for the candidate, all the expenses were covered under the operating expenses of the organization. Thus it was necessary to raise funds to meet the stipend costs.
Fundraising is an important activity of social welfare agencies, which requires systematic planning and preparation. Preparation attempts to address these issues:
Preparation I) Activity for which it is required II) Total amount required III) Period for which it will be used IV) Possible resources V) Contacts for these resources VI) Time required VII) Methods found useful (earlier experiences)
VIII) Cost of fund raised
StepOne was being done as pilot project, on a small budget. The Social worker in consultation with the Trustees and colleagues worked out a suitable fund raising strategy. As the cost was worked on a stipend basis it was decided to follow ‘support a candidate’ sponsorship appeal.
Appeals were prepared seeking funds for the programs and were sent to two potential foundations. Street Source Foundations showed interest in the program and invited Social Worker for a discussion. Representation of foundation was given a presentation of the project. In response to the appeal and the subsequent discussion Street Edge Foundation provided funds to support the stipend of five candidates. Coordination
Coordination is the process of bringing together logical and organic relationships. Bhoomika Trust has rich experiences in coordination during the tsunami intervention work. Some of the ongoing programs of the organization namely True Gifts and NFTC, are based on coordination with several organizations.
A similar strategy was applied in StepOne. A strategic alliance was established with NGO’s working for the welfare of persons with disability and with employers who have not employed persons with disability and were willing to consider them.
Success of coordination would depend on adjustment, harmony and cooperation among the partners.
Some of the advantages of coordination are:
a. prevents duplication of efforts b. economizes expenditure c. promotes best practices d. prevents competitive fund-raising e. improves general efficiency
Coordination with Nethrodaya Having developed the framework the first task was to collaborate with an organization that works for the welfare of persons with visual impairment. In this regard the Social Worker had discussions with Mr.Gopi, Founder Trustee of Nethrodaya. Bhoomika Trust has already been supporting Nethrodaya through their True Gifts programs. This already existing relationship with Nethrodaya was tapped for this program. The program was discussed in detail with the Founder Trustee and other members of the organization, who readily agreed to offer full support for this initiative. To know more about persons with visual impairment the Social Worker volunteered to read for them. As many of the hostlers are doing their graduation they required assistance to read their books. By offering reading services to a group of them, regularly for almost ten days the Social Worker had to great opportunity to know them personally. This experience helped during the later intervention with them. .
Coordination with employers:
Having got the approval of the Trustees, the next big challenge was to identify Companies which have not employed persons with disabilities. The next task was to involve the Bhoomika Team in the program in a systematic manner. Efficiently tapping on the referrals provided by the Trustees of the Bhoomika, it was possible to identify a handful of small organisation which fulfilled the criteria. The social worker
capitalized on the contacts provided by the Trustees. Getting approval from a large company would be a tedious process. Hence it was decided to focus on smaller organization, as the process of getting approval be simpler. Based on the discussion had with the colleagues at Bhoomika Trust, organisation which would be interested in the program was identified. Then next step was to contact them initially through e-mail with a write up of the program followed by a personal visit to explain the details. For the purpose the social worker had prepared a write up. E-mail provided very effective as it considerably same time. Because of their other business consultants few could not consider the offer. Few said that they would have anyone other than persons with visual impairment. Of the 6 companies contacted, three agreed and called for further discussions. Meeting with the heads of the organization was primarily to explain the programs and to identify tasks which could be done by these candidates. During the meeting the Social Worker would gave a presentation about Bhoomika Trust, its origin and its activities. This was followed by a brief presentation on StepOne. The purpose was to give an orientation on the program and to know if they would be interested in getting involved. As neither of them had employed visually persons earlier, the process involved visit to the work spot and discussions with their HR team to explore and first out areas where they would fit into.
“JAWS” is a screen reading software developed Freedom Scientific Inc. The software enables visually impaired persons to work on computers. Using JAWS they could comfortably work on MS office supported to program like MS word, MS excel. The social Worker gave a demonstration about the Software to the heads of the commercial organization to educate them and to identify tasks for the candidates. All agreed to put them on telephone related talks and agreed to explore additions tasks as days go on. However one agreed to add JAWS. The process was formalized by putting the details into writing so that everything is in black and white.
Intervention involving Social Group Work
Social Group Work: The intervention process for enabling persons with disability to take up responsible occupation roles will be done based on the Social Group Work Method. According to Konopka, Social Group Work is a method of Social Work which helps the individuals to enhance their social functioning through purposeful group experiences and to cope more effectively with their personal, group or community problems. Trecker defines it as a method through which individuals in groups and social agency settings are helped through a worker, who guides their interaction through program activities so that they may relate themselves to other people and experience growth opportunities in accordance with their need and capacities to the end on individual, group and community development. Objectives of Group Work: The various guided group interactions, the individuals in the group are helped to develop their personalities. Trecker explain these through these objectives
Group Workers are interested in furthering the social adjustment of the individuals and in developing the social consciousness of the group.
It is an objective of the group work to help individuals develop their capacities and participate intelligently in the groups
Group work provides experiences that are relaxing and give individuals a chance to create, to share and to express themselves.
Group Work enriches community life when individuals learn how to take responsibility for their own behaviour and how to become participating members of the society.
Principles of Social Group Work According to Trecker the following are the some of the principles of Social Group Work: a. The principles of planned group formation b. The principles of specific objectives c. The principle of purposeful worker-group relationship d. The principle of continuous individualization e. The principle of guided group interactions f. The principle of democratic group self determination g. The principle of flexible functional organization h. The principle of progressive program experience
Target Group: This intervention was with a group of 7 visually impaired individuals who are doing one month work at various companies through the StepOne program.
Commonality of the group: All the candidates are visually impaired. They have completed their basic education, some graduates while some are post graduates. Inspite of having the basic qualifications required to join work force, they have not been successful. Their impairment coupled with negative discrimination has prevented them from getting job. Through this StepOne program, all these candidates would get opportunity to work for one month in companies that have so far not employed persons with visual impairment. This one month would be a golden opportunity for the candidate to showcase their skills and abilities and impress the employer. There is no job guarantee in this program. The employer would take the decision of employing them at the end of one month. If the candidate is able to prove that he/she will be an asset for the organization, there is an increased opportunity for getting job. The purpose of these Group Work sessions during the program is to enable the candidate to share and learn from one another through the facilitation provided by the Group Worker, so that they could impress their respective employer. There are totally five sessions, each of fours hours duration. The first session before the start of the program, followed four sessions while they are on the job. Sessions were held at Nethrodaya on Sundays from 2.00 to 6.00 PM. Each candidate views the opportunity differently. Though they have the required qualification, the candidates do not have any work experience. It will be their first work experience. Working in a new environment with new a set of people who have little understanding on visual impairment posses its own challenges. As the nature of company is varied so are their individuals work tasks. Some might be able to adjust well to the situation, while some may not. When they are brought together as a group, it will be an opportunity for them to know about the ways others are dealing with the challenges. By guiding them through a planned process of interaction, the Professional Social Worker provides them the opportunity to share and learn from others.
Each session is carefully designed to meet this goal. Members would be guided to share their concerns in a non-threatening environment. Since all of them are alike they wouldn't have the fear of being ridiculed or stigmatized. As the sessions progress members would develop effective ways of dealing with the challenges at work. Sessions would be filled with lots of creative interaction and activities. Members would also be enabled to take a realistic practical approach, where by they learn to make adequate modifications in their work style in a way that enhances their performance, develop good working relation ship with their colleagues and also help them to impresses their employers. The first session would be an introductory session, during which the Social Worker would explain the program, and clarify their doubts and concerns. During the subsequent eight to twelve sessions the members would be made to interact in a guided manner, with plenty of opportunity to share and grow. In Social Group Work the Worker is interested in helping to bring out the individual changes, growth and social development for the group as a whole and for the community as a result of guided group interaction.
Intervention from an employer’s perspective
Effective utilization of men and materials in a coordinated fashion to achieve its preset goal is the purpose of any organization. Profit reflects the success of any organization. All inputs are measured in terms investments and the corresponding output as profits. To remain and grow in business, the organization has to run profitably. All the actions and decisions taken by the management is counted on these two vital components, how much do they have to invest, and what will be the profit. When it comes to employing persons with disabilities, these are two things that bother employers. What special adjustments does one have to do, and how will it affect the organizations profit. Will it make business to employ persons with disabilities. Experiences in the US have actually proved that it does make sense to employ persons with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities are more committed, regular, switch jobs less often, and the cost of making the adjustments is very minimal. Going by these several companies US and UK have employed persons with disabilities, and have reaped rewards. More over the statutory requirements are adhered to more closely. In India, PWD Act only recommends a 5% reservation. The employers do not have any statutory obligation to employ person with disabilities. In this background employment is done purely on the decision on the consideration of the individual employers. While the Rights Based Perspective, of equal opportunity is just getting momentum in India. The recent initiative of the government of India to contribute towards the Provident Fund is hope to make a significant influence. In this practicum the Social Worker attempts to create jobs for visually impaired persons in organizations that have so far not employed persons with disability. The candidate would be provided one month opportunity to work and prove their abilities. There is no job guarantee, if the employer is satisfied, than there is an increased chance of getting job.
Job interview: According to Scott and others, “an interview is a purposeful exchange of ideas, the answering of questions and communication between two or more persons”. Based on the discussion the Social Worker has with the employers, as assessment is made on the type of skills required fro the job, then the social worker matches it with the available profile of candidates, and then arranges for a formal interview. The social worker prepares the candidate and accompanies the candidate for the interview. During the face-to-face personal interview the employer gets to know more about the candidate and takes decision on providing the one month work opportunity. Process of matching abilities with job requirements:
During the one month period the Social Worker has constant contact with the employers and the others in the department. Being their first time work interactions with persons with disability, they have mixed experiences. Considerable changes happen during these interactions. It’s an opportunity for the non-disabled members to understand and to know more about them. It is an opportunity to correct their myths and misconceptions regarding persons with disability. The Social Worker prepares the candidate to an ambassador in creating appositive influence, and to correct their wrong perceptions. The feed back received from the employer is fed back to the candidates during the Sunday Group Work sessions. Such inputs enable the candidate to improve their performances.
Appraisal: According to Heyel, “it is the process of evaluating the performance and qualifications of an employee in terms of the requirements of the job for which he is employed, for the purpose of administration including placement, selection for promotions, providing financial rewards and other actions which require differential treatment among the members of a group as distinguished from the actions which require affecting all members equally”. The decision to provide one month work opportunity could be on sympathy, but the decision to employ the person would be based purely on the performance of the candidate. The employers are asked to make an objective evaluation on the performance of the candidate. In this program the candidate were appraised by their immediate Supervisor / Manager / CEO on various parameters on completion of the one month program. Various components were covered in the appraisal. It reflected an overall evaluation. Both the positive aspects and the ones which required improvement were uncovered in the appraisal. The Social Worker developed a checklist type of appraisal form for the purpose. The decision to employ reflects the rating the candidate gets on this appraisal form. When it comes to salary negotiations, and terms of employment, the Social Worker leaves it to the
candidate and the employer, while ensuring that the candidate is not exploited due to unfair employment practices. The Social Worker helps the candidate to take a decision with regards to employment based on his/her experience, salary, and other terms of employment. Except one candidate, all the others were keen on continuing the work, and were glad that they got the job.
Chapter - IV
The only disability in life is a bad attitude. ~Scott Hamilton
The out come of an Eclectic approach:
The Social Worker used an Eclectic approach integrating the methods of Social Work namely Social Work Administration, Social Casework, and Social Group Work. By integrating the various methods appropriately it was possible to address the complex issue of unemployment among person with disability. The complex nature of the issue challenge was such that, unless the Social Worker adopted these three methods, it would not have been possible to address the various dimensions of the challenge. Three out of four visually impaired persons got jobs in companies which have never employed persons with visual impairment in the past. This was made possible through StepOne. Strategy adopted in the program enabled employers to observe the work of visually impaired persons for one month and take a decision Switching roles, switching perspectives, being with client, going beyond their immediate concern of employment, seeing from the employers, taking a larger perspective of disability was a great experience. This integration helped in getting results from multi sides. The Social Worker was able to empower visually impaired candidates, sensitized non-disabled on the issue of disability and more importantly succeeded in getting jobs for them.
In the pilot phase, working at a micro and mezzo level, StepOne succeeded in getting jobs for three visually impaired persons. This encouraging response made Bhoomika Trust to make it a regular program.
With the learning gained in the pilot phase, the second phase of the program started in February 2008. The program is now open to persons with disability, who have difficulty in getting jobs. Two visually impaired candidates and one orthopedically challenged candidate have already got jobs, making the total number of candidates who got job through this program as six. Three new donors have come forward to support the program. Efforts are already underway to contact other NGO’s and Special School offering programs for persons with disability.
Loyola College, Chennai has agreed to provide space in the Social Work Department to conduct the weekly Sunday Group Work Sessions. During these session candidate will be further empowered based on the techniques of Social Work. They would be offered support to work on Marco level issues on a Rights Perspective. The Department of Social Work would support StepOne from a theoretical and academic angle. It is hoped that this program initiated with the support of Bhoomika Trust would be replicated in other places for the benefit of persons with disability.
Time allocation Details (22nd October 2007 to 6th December 2007) – 45 days
Duration in hours
Casework Sessions - 8 to 12 sessions with each candidate
Group Work Sessions - First session to explain the program and - Four Sundays at Nethrodaya 2-6 pm during the one month program
Social Work Administrations -Meetings with Trustees -Meetings with colleagues at Bhoomika Trust -Meeting with Employers -Fundraising
Discussion with guide Library work, recording and documenting Total
10 10 220 hours
THE PROGRAM CONTINUES
THE PROGRAM CONTINUES
THE PROGRAM CONTINUES
THE PROGRAM CONTINUES
THE PROGRAM CONTINUES
THE PROGRAM CONTINUES
THE PROGRAM CONTINUES
THE PROGRAM CONTINUES
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