Rehan is an active and curious five-year-old boy who is eager to learn new things. Rehan has deafblindness and hails from a village in the Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh.
The realization that their child had disabilities came as a shock to Rehan’s family. Mr. Imam Ali, Rehan’s father, reflects, “When we came to know that Rehan has issues with hearing, vision and he is also unable to speak, we were very upset. We didn’t know what to do with him or if he could ever learn anything.”
To the family’s relief, Rehan was identified by a team of Perkins-trained educators two years ago through a door-to-door screening in his village. “When the identification team came to us and explained to us that Rehan can learn, it gave us some hope for Rehan,” Mr. Ali shared. Prior to that he had no access to educational opportunities as there were no services for children with disabilities in his village. He was also lacking access to devices that could support his learning.
Without access to education or learning, Rehan was isolated at home. He was uncomfortable interacting with people in his community and reluctant to play with children in the neighbourhood.
After Rehan’s identification, he was enrolled in home-based educational services with a Perkins-trained teacher. Bringing immense joy to his family, he also started attending the Perkins-supported Sharbatpur Community Intervention Centre. “The happiest moment for me and my family was when – like my other children – Rehan also started going to the intervention centre to study,” said his father.
With this educational support Rehan has shown tremendous improvement. Rehan has developed a deep bond with his teacher, Sofia, and is always excited to come to the Community Intervention Centre. He also participates in group activities with his peers.
With Rehan’s identification also came the assessment of his vision, after which he was prescribed high-powered glasses. While previously Rehan was not utilizing his residual vision, these glasses provided the opportunity to use his vision to the maximum ability. It took some adjustment, but Rehan’s educational team together with his family encouraged him to rely on the glasses to perform daily activities. Now he is comfortable moving around independently and engaging in activities.
The happiest moment for me and my family was when – like my other children – Rehan also started going to the intervention centre to study.Rehan’s Father
In the short span since he started receiving intervention, Rehan has learned new skills and started participating in extracurricular activities. He can now communicate with his family and other children using gestures. At the Community Intervention Centre he enjoys playing ball and making collages with his friends.
The Jayati Bharatam project team in Sitapur has also provided support for obtaining Rehan’s Aadhar card (identification card) and disability certificate, which will allow the family to access government benefits and resources made available for persons with disabilities.