APCAS Activities

Employment Promotion Project for Visually Handicapped "Bring Bright for Blind

Project Term
June 2010 - March 2011

Background
According to the census in 2001 by the Department of Census and Statistics of Sri Lanka about 4% of people are completely blind among disabled. This census was done about 9 years ago. Hence it does not include the statistics of some villages in northern and eastern provinces where the war was going on and remote areas as well. So we can estimate this number seems to be at least 400,000 in Sri Lanka.

The massage centres run by disabled persons in the South Asian Region in countries like India and Nepal are well known. Japan, China and Thailand are some other countries in which these centres are operated successfully.

Especially in Nepal, the issue of poverty among visually handicapped people has been overcome through this profession. But still in Sri Lanka, it is hard to find this type of a solution so far because of solid stereotype based on non-scientific concepts for blind people.

As an example, though the Seeduwa Vocational Training Centre conducts massage therapy courses for visually handicapped people. But there is no organization which has come forward to offer them jobs. Hence these students remain unemployed.


Aim
1. Uplifting the visually handicapped persons and their family members from the core of poverty by providing a job opportunity after finishing the training.

2. Imposing social value for visually handicapped people by identifying their negative mental attitudes.


Beneficiaries
Visually Handicapped people who have trained as massage therapists under the vocational training center in Seeduwa.

Donor&Partner
CEPA (Donor)

Implementation
DSC_0085.JPG1. Study of Pre Attitudes and Post Attitudes
We should identify the attitudes of people towards massage and the occupying visually handicapped people as massage therapists.

2. Awareness Program
As the result of the pre attitude test, we identified that most of the people do not aware that visually handicapped people have an aptitude for masseurs. Therefore we launched the radio programs to make people aware of the benefit of the getting a massage and the ability of visually handicapped people as a masseurs with participation of Ayurvedhic doctor. On the other hand through the newspaper articles and workshop we have conveyed the same message to people.

3. Launching Advertising program on foot massage and Promoting Employment.
To aware the hotels and Ayurvedha hospitals about the marketing value of employing visually handicapped to their places and the how it comes under the corporate social responsibility and the benefits gained to them such as increasing the customers and the social recognition to them.

4. Improving the course module of Seeduwa Vocational Training Centre.
Under the supervision of well recognized massage training instructors and the Aurvedha doctors support to improve the course module most effective way as customers’ needs. It helps to have a good recognition among the massage training institutions and customers.