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Visually-impaired need more job opportunities- Indian Express( Mumbai Newsline)

Date on which testimonial was published:
5 Nov 2001

“Today, the biggest challenge for us is not coping with the handicap. It is getting the opportunity to work,” said Suhas Karnik, Honorary Secretary of National Association for the blind and also the in-charge of its department of employment.
This was a sentiment echoed by several people at a daylong exhibition organised by the NAB at the Sachiwalay Gymkhana on Saturday.

This exhibition attempted to convey that the visually-impaired can work as well as others and that job opportunities for them should not be restricted to self-employment schemes.

Vocations range from physiotherapy to stenography, computer operations to medical transcriptions the possibilities and potentials are plenty. Opportunities however seem very few.

Karnik also said that the reservation for the disabled or visually-impaired in government jobs has not been implemented. He also pointed out that the increasing disinvestment will further reduce this possibility.

Deepak Radhakrishnan, who received training in physiotherapy at NAB after his graduation in commerce, is currently practising in Malabar Hill. He says, “So far I have received no complaints and the patients are happy with the treatment.”

Arti Bubna director of the Institute Voice Vision, demonstrated several computer operations with the help of a software which vocally enables every action of the operator.

With a batch of almost 20 students ready to start work, she expressed the same concern. “We are not a profit-making institute, the software required is expensive at Rs 40,000. The students are not getting jobs, although with the help of the software they can work independently. We want the employers to approach us and at least give our students a chance to prove their skills.”

C B Kulkarni, an instructor in the NAB’s typing institute, said the student can take dictation on a machine that types in Braille instead of a notebook and a pen. They can write 80 words per minute and type an average of 30 words per minute. He said the students have been trained as any other typists and can draft all kinds of letters which include statistics and tables and so on. The problem, however, seems to be the same. No takers.

Mehmood Khan, one of those successfully employed as a medical transcriptionist can be done completely on our own and there is no dependence. So more people should get into this as this is a new avenue for the visually-impaired.”

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