Our society is an association of Persons with Disability and a non govt. organisation whose main object is promotion of welfare of persons with disability – highlighting such issues as health, education and training, accessibility, rehabilitation and employment, accident prevention and disability awareness. This task is accomplished through influencing and lobbying the government, NGOs, civil society, local government institutions, local intellectuals, donors, social and religious leaders and others through personal contact, group interaction, meetings, seminars, workshops, television programmes, magazine and newspaper articles, rallies and campaigns.
We work with number of other national and international organisations for raising awareness about prevention and management of SCI. We organise active rehabilitation workshops for people with SCI inviting resource persons from Empowering Spinal Cord Injury Person (ESCIP) US, Mobility India (MI) and Motivation, UK. TAP is also promoting wheelchair rugby in India with the support of International Humanitarian Foundation (IHF), USA and ESCIP. TAP is raising local funds and sponsoring poor people with SCI for active rehabilitation at ISIC, Delhi and providing physiotherapy in house.
Our works highlight topics such as Active rehabilitation, Peer counseling, Occupational & Physio therapy. We demonstrate how to maintain proper standing balance. We exhibit some adaptive devices that help in their activities of daily living (eating toileting, brushing, operating a key board and similar activities, etc). We conduct interactive discussions on technology and caregiver/family support issues. We’ve a forum for individuals with spinal cord injuries to discuss problems and appropriate solutions. For better understanding on rehabilitation, we invite SCI Persons, Spine surgeons, Corporate Hospitals & Nursing Homes, Physio Centers & Physio colleges & Nursing Schools from five districts (Visakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram, Srikakulam, East Godavari & West Godavari).
The Ability People (TAP) in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India is educating new and existing SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) persons with permanent disability on the following topics:
- Psychological support
- Economical rehabilitation/Vocational training
- Resettlement and follow-up
- Awareness and prevention
- Community based rehabilitation
- Advocacy and networking.
Our work will focus on the development of appropriate services for people with spinal injury in India where services are limited. The ultimate aim of rehabilitation is to ensure the successful reintegration of the spinally injured individual to the community. Organisations can effectively realize this aim by both following a comprehensive rehabilitation model and by establishing an effective organisational management structure. Accordingly the main areas of focus will be
(i) Development of comprehensive rehabilitation services
(ii) Reintegration of the spinal injured individual in the community
(iii) Development of organisational and management capacity of SCI service providers
This will allow participants to learn more about the overall approaches taken with regard to comprehensive rehabilitation management from both the international and Indian perspectives. Here participants will have the opportunity for role of caregiver and family in the rehabilitation. In addition a number of practical workshops will be held throughout the day. These Workshops will have a strong focus on providing participants with practical skills that they can utilise when they return to their own workplaces.
Spinal cord injury is a permanent disability which transforms the person’s life and rehabilitation is the key to facing life with dignity. Rehabilitation is the most important aspect to a successful personal and professional life. Under the banner of The Ability People, it is our desire to see all paraplegics and quadriplegics in India to strive toward independence and usefulness to their families and society.
Our primary mission is to empower the physically challenged and the down-trodden so that they become capable of living a self-reliant life, full of dignity and pride for themselves and for their family. Every paralyzed person has only one wish and one goal; to walk again and become totally independent. This can only be possible with complete cure which is long awaited. Recent research has shown the possibility of such a cure within the next five to seven years. “Many people don’t believe in this but most of us do. Until such time we have to go through extensive rehabilitation which can restore some lost functions and give us some freedom“.
Our aim is to reduce the patient’s dependence on drugs, relieve pain, improve mobility, strengthen muscles and enhance self-reliance. We try to help the patients to lead as joyful and fulfilled a life as possible. This leads a productive, self-reliant life. We also offer Psychological and Spiritual Counseling for patients and their families.
- Self care evaluation and training
- Aquistation and training in assistive devices
- Use of adaptive clothing
- Homemaking and child care
- Work simplification and energy conservation
- Use of prevocational and energy conservation
- Use of leisure activities.
- Orthotic training
- Wheelchair management
- Home evaluation & adaptation
- Architectural adaptations
- Aquistation and training in use of communication and devices.
We mainly work on Active Rehabilitation (AR): It is grassroots transfer of practical life and social skills from experienced, active wheelchair users to newly disabled and/or less empowered wheelchair users in their communities. AR results in improved quality of life through promotion of health, self-confidence, mobility, rights and independence. AR is especially needed in those countries where people with SCI have limited access to rehabilitation as well as education or vocational training after the injury. There is a predictable relationship between the level of injury and the expected functional outcomes in SCI. Typical degree of independence expected for each level of SCI can be specified for large groups of individuals. Any general expectations must be individualized based of the unique characteristics of the case.
Peer Counseling: Patient sustaining an injury to the spinal cord undergoes significant changes in host of behaviors for e.g. the ability to relieve pressure on the skin and ability to ambulate. The disability changes the patient’s need as well as the way to fulfill these needs. But the new behaviors will not occur until the patient has learned them. Effective learning would be not only to acquire those skills but also to use them at appropriate time. A Peer counselor can provide a lot of Psychological support to the patient and can help him/her in coming out of the depression phase and can advise the patients about the coping mechanism from his personal experiences and also of those who have been counseled in the past.
- Psycho Social Counseling
- Sexuality and Spinal Cord Injury
- Vocational Counseling
- Special Employment Exchanges for the Physically Handicapped
- Vocational Rehabilitation Centre
- District Rehabilitation Centre
- Regional Rehabilitation Training Centre ( RRTCs)
- Psycho Social Counseling
- Vocational Counseling
Social Work: People with spinal cord injuries need a very specific social counseling, as it would depend on the socio- economic and cultural background in each case. Responsibilities of a Medical Social Worker (MSW) would include the social assessment at the time of admission. It would help the MSW to decide the kind of help the person would require to be reintegrated into the mainstream after discharge from the hospital. MSW also decides on the role of individual’s family in assisting him or her in social adjustment in the new role.
These aims are being achieved through :
- Counseling – Social and Vocational
- Arranging the required aids and appliances namely wheelchair, walking aid (crutches,calipers) so as to bring about maximum possible physical independence.
- Developing social and communication skills so as to make him confident to face the so called`able bodied’ world.
- Arrange social gatherings so as to smoothly integrate them into the society during hospitalization through organizing movie shows, musical evenings, sports and recreational activities.
- Realizing a communication gap between the doctors, administration and the patients, the MSW acts as a liaison with all different sections of the hospital.
Apart from social counseling, MSW needs to arrange economic assistance, blood, aids and equipments, medicine and legal help for getting compensation. To attain the aforesaid goals, MSW, needs to act as a liaison officer with different government, non-government organizations, institutions and individuals. It. has to be seen that the MSW disseminates all the information on the options available regarding
- Availability of loans
- Reservation in government jobs/ employment opportunities
- Disability Rights
Follow-ups of the patients is needed to ascertain the quality of successful rehabilitation and reintegration to fill in the gaps wherever needed. In spite of all the above mentioned responsibilities, the MSW does not fail to be empathetic, a good listener, a resource person, approachable and ready to lend a helping hand any time and all the time.