What do you do when you want to gift something to a disabled friend? Do you send a handwritten greeting card to your visually challenged friend? Or learn Braille just to send a greeting card? Their needs might be entirely different than ours in some aspects and to assume that we know better about their situation or needs would be a great fault.
When Prarthana Kaul and Prateek Kaul were working on an event involving blind kids, they realised this fact and it did not take long for them to start GiftAbled Foundation, a community which helps connect differently-abled people with others through sensitization workshops and events to bridge the communication gap.
GiftAbled Foundation is a non-profit organisation that takes part in a lot of initiatives, including:
- Providing gifts for differently-abled people such as Braille greeting cards, Braille slates and stylus, canes, games and drawing boards, and word blocks etc.
- Conducting events and learning workshops for the disabled. Their events are all inclusive where people with disabilities (PWDs) and others come together and interact with each other to promote learning and interaction. Workshops for special people are also held which help them improve their skills.
- They also conduct awareness and sensitization workshops for people. The workshops comprise skill enhancements like learning Braille and ‘Sign’ language apart from understanding the challenges of people with disabilities.
Recently, GiftAbled organised an archery event for the visually impaired. Yes! You read that right. To mark the World Disability Day, GiftAbled Foundation is organising an event ArtAbled from December 3, 2014, to December 7, 2014, with Chesire Disability Trust. Through ArtAbled, people with disability will get a chance to showcase their skills and talents in the form of paintings, music, dance and products made by them. Some of the programs of ArtAbled include –
- Exhibition-cum-product sale– Sale of various products made by people with disability such as paintings, ear rings, pouches, bags and so on. The entire sales amount will be taken home by organisations and individuals who are provided with free stalls at ArtAbled.
- Step towards inclusiveness– An exclusive session for employers to become aware of the disability sector, and the methods of reaching out to disabled candidates during the hiring process. Apart from gaining knowledge on how to create inclusive environments at the office place, the employers can know about effectively setting up low cost disabled-friendly office spaces, ultimately resulting in job opportunities for persons with disability.
- Assistive devices session– Through this session, employers can become aware of how persons with disability work effectively on par with non-disabled, and help them in decision making for hiring persons with disability. For employees, it is a knowledgeable session to experience the solutions used by various persons with disability and obtain the ‘ability approach’ (solution to enable disability).
- Vision Club- A club for visually impaired people will also be inaugurated on the last day of the event. At present, GiftAbled runs Deaf Club, where people interact with deaf people and try to understand their needs and also organise a lot of events like storytelling and theatre etc.
During the entire event, organisers will also be looking to fulfil the wishes and needs of people with disability, which will be posted on their ‘Wall of Hope’ — a special corner where wishes of the people with disability are collected and posted. Participants can come forward and donate to fulfil the wishes. This is a very interesting and much needed initiative for people of both communities to come together and understand each other.