Ignorance of ability is the disability

Kashmir has countless visually impaired people desiring for their right to education. It is
important to mention that many specially-able people have made their presence felt in different
walks of life, such as in the competitive exams, higher education, sports, employment and the
likewise.
But when you come across a visually impaired person, what first comes to our mind? Pity
and does that help them in any way. Infact, it gives them the feeling of inferiority complex and
self-pity.
Jammu and Kashmir Disabilities Act was introduced in 1998 and aimed at providing
equal opportunities; protection of rights and full participation of disabled people, but the same
has not been implemented in letter and spirit in the state. A Blind training school is a pre-
requisite for better life opportunities of people with impaired vision. In many other states of
India, the governments have taken special steps at ensuring special provisions and skilled training
to blind people. But in this state, the same is not true.
Kashmiratch(2012) Of approximately three lakh physically challenged people in Jammu
and Kashmir, two lakh four thousand constitute the persons afflicted with blindness. However,
these lesser fortunate people have no access to opportunities like education, employment and
other civil and political rights. Despite of their sizeable number in the state, blind people in
Jammu and Kashmir have been denied all the facilities, even a basic training school.
It is important to realise that sight loss is a natural phenomenon which can affect anyone.
There are many blind people in our society and they are always at a disadvantage because they
are not able to do the same activities as a normal person. They used to be part of the disabled
category of people, but are now called as the differently abled people. This is true to a large
extent because though they are not able to see properly, they are able to have sharp senses in the
other organs and are reasonably able to cope with their blindness.

A report by Javaid Tak (Disability Activist) reveals that its surprising to know that as per
Census 2001 our state Jammu and Kashmir has 302670 persons with disabilities out of which
2,08,713 persons face disability in seeing. The coming census report on disability is expected to
be more alarming and astonishing. As per WHO reports around 285 million people are visually
impaired globally: 39 million are blind and 246 million people have low vision. About 90% of the
world’s visually impaired live in developing countries. In developing countries, 60% of children
die within a year of going blind.

For study and work, books are recorded on cassettes or CDs; Braille (a script that
requires punching paper to read the dots created) is used. But, some use computers by using
simple screen-reading software like JAWS (Job Access with Speech) which displays everything
displayed on the monitor. In place of the mouse, they use keyboard commands which enable
them to work with almost all Windows-based applications.
Jaws can also help them to read any document after the text is converted into a
document.

The Braille is a method of reading that is possible with the books being designed in such
a way that they have raised dots on the pages.
The blind person needs to run the hand over these pages line by line and they will be
able to decipher these symbols into language form and be able to read. Though a person who is
blind may not be able to participate completely in the society, Braille has made it possible for
them to try to take part in many activities.so government must take necessary steps to distribute
these Braille machines to the blinds on a large scale to help Them to take part in various
competitions.

So, have you ever put on a blindfold and pretended that you couldn't see? You probably
bumped into things and got confused about which way you were going. Just for five minutes,
close your eyes and carry on with the work that you were doing-this first-hand experience would
Somehow help you to peep into the world of visually challenged persons Daniel leaner’s
Empathy can help us to get an inkling of what sort of challenges a person with no vision has to
go through.

The visually challenged persons are quite self-sufficient in their mobility and have a good
hearing and speaking skills. But often it had been seen that people talk to individuals
accompanying the visually impaired rather we should talk directly, as they don’t need an
interpreter. So, they should be allowed to be independent and self-sufficient. One should be
courteous to treat them like anybody else as they are not deaf or mentally retarded and one
should communicate with them in a normal procedure.

The development and awareness in the society, apart from outlook and changes in
science and technology has improved the status of visually impaired. Just with a little more
assistance, encouragement and moral support they can also live their life like normal with a
barrier-free environment.

The famous blind people created a positive attitude of society towards the blind. A
positive attitude depends not so much on bright individuals, as on the level of democracy and
humanism of a society in different periods of historical development.

The best opportunities for the development of the talents of the blind can be provided
by democratic and humanistic social conditions.