BERDO works to economically empower the persons with disability

Published : 21 Dec 2019 07:45 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 07:49 PM

Ahammad Parvej Khan With an aim to empower and streamlining the people with visually impairment and other type of disabilities in the society through end of discrimination and injustices, the organisation BERDO has been working relentlessly for quite a long period of about 30 years. The organisation, named Blind Education and Rehabilitation Development Organisation (BERDO) operates its activities to empower the persons with disability by promoting rights, ensuring broader access through capacity development, service delivery and resource mobilization at local and national level across the country. BERDO runs Residential School for the Children with Visually Impairment, School of Information & Technology for the Visually Impairment (SITVI) , Braille Book Production Centre, Job Placement, Empowerment Program for the Children with Disabilities (EPCD), Promotion of Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh (PHRPBD) and Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program. BERDO focuses on ensuring equal access, active participation and dignified life of persons with disability. BERDO runs the blind School since 2006, providing education to the children with visually impairment through Braille system. Talking to Bangladesh Post, the founder and Executive Director of BERDO, Md. Saidul Huq said BERDO works relentlessly for the development and rehabilitation of the visually impaired and other disabled persons for quite a long period of time. He expresses need to have cooperation from the government to set up a brail press in the BERDO office premises so that the blind learners get a support from the organisation. The organisation collects through donation and local sponsorship to meet the education cost, Running Blind school for visually impaired students has been a continuous activity of BERDO. The School of Information and Technology, another initiative of BERDO, was established for the persons with Visually Impairment (SITVI) aiming to provide computer learning for their skill development, make proficient in computer operation and internet. BERDO has so far provided computer training to more than 200 blind students. The organisation has set up a well equipped Braille Library with a host of talking books, Compact Disc (CD) and a lot of Braille books and other relevant materials. A recording studio is there in Braille Library for producing need based talking books. Currently there have 500 Braille books, 300 talking books are available in the library. Each day about 15 to 20 blind students come to library for study. BERDO has been striving to develop this library to meet growing demand of visually impaired students. BERDO Produces Braille books, a distinct system of books that are compatible for learning of visually impaired students/ persons, on different subjects. Students and Persons with Visually Impairment as well collect Braille books for their study. As of now BERDO has 5 modern Braille printers and 1 recording studio. This center has so far produced 1583 Braille books. In 2019, BERDO has successfully printed 67 sets of Braille books for class viii students of NCTB (National Curriculum Text Book Board) and in the meanwhile all printed Braille books have been handed over to NCTB. One of the major activities of BERDO is placement of jobs for the Persons with Disabilities. BERDO has been continuously strived to find out appropriate employment opportunity for the potential persons with disabilities in different organizations. Typically BERDO communicates with prospective employers for employing PWDs as per their competencies and qualification. So far BERDO has been able to placement for jobs about 15 persons with disabilities in different organizations like E-Co Fab Shirt Ltd 3. The project of “Promotion of Human Rights of Persons with Disability in Bangladesh (PHRPBD)” that is aimed for protecting and upholding human rights of disabled community has been implemented by BERDO with partnership of Center for Disability in Development (CDD) since 1st July, 2010. The main objective of the project is to empower the people with disability through group formation in the community. There are ten women groups consisting of 116 enrolled members of Persons with disability. Major interventions are conduct courtyard meetings, distribution of assistive devices, assists Persons with disability for getting disabilities allowances, assist children with disability for admission into schools, referral services and regular follow ups. BERDO is actively involved in community based rehabilitation for the Persons with Disabilities with following strategy i.e. Community Counseling, training in mobility and daily living skills, facilitating access to loan, community awareness-raising, formation of local self-help group, parents groups and Disability Persons Organizations (DPOs), facilitating contact with different authorities, facilitating school enrolment. Right now, 9 groups in Gazipur City Corporation, 8 groups in Barisal and 8 groups in Banaripara have been formed. Total 25 groups are working in this area.