United Way Chennai will focus keenly on four aspects of disability
Early detection of childhood disability
Ensure that disabilities are detected and managed early
Employability of people with disabilities
According to the 2011 census only 36.3% of the disabled population (ie 98 lakhs) are employed. Of these, about 71 lakh are men and 27 lakh are women.
For persons with disability, sports is not a luxury. It is an important health requirement.
Accessibility and quality assistive devices
This is an overarching need. Nothing worthwhile can be achieved in disability space without this need being addressed. Our goal is to enable inclusivity and make a positive change to the life of every person with disability in the State.
Accessible petty shops for the differently abled, in partnership with the Tamilnadu Differently Abled Federation Charitable Trust.
Through Battle of Buffet 2018, we have given away grants to around 36 NGOs including those working in the field of disability.
United Way Chennai in the past has supported projects in collaboration with recognized organizations in the disability space. In the year 2012-13, we identified, trained and placed people with disabilities in corporate sectors. We interviewed 230 people out of which 20 were selected for training by our corporate partner R.R.Donnelley. They were trained in soft skills, computer and English and placed in top companies.
During the years 2015,16 and 17, through the annual fundraiser event Battle of Buffet, we have been able to raise funding support for 25 NGOs working in the disability space. We have also supported organizations like Youth4Jobs and V-Shesh, who focus on identification, training and employability of persons with disability, placing them in appropriate jobs in well-known companies.
For people with learning disabilities:
In 2016-17, United Way Chennai supported Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA) for ‘Tamizh Vazhi Payirchi’, a project on remediation for children with specific learning disabilities. A Tamil remedial kit was developed and resource rooms were set up in 5 schools. Resource persons from 36 schools in Minjur and Puzhal areas were trained. Pilot training and implementation in 20 schools was carried out by MDA. Now the kit is being used in schools where the resource rooms have been set up and continuous monitoring is being done by trained mentors.
Livelihood for people with motor disabilities:
In 2017, we supported a livelihoods project to provide vocational support for people with disabilities in collaboration with Centre for Development and Communication Trust (CENDECT). A production plant was set up in Theni where people with physical disabilities were trained to make agarbatthis, soaps, shampoos and candles. Additionally, in order to make the initiative sustainable, a delivery van was also purchased. The van is being used by people with disability to market and sell their products effectively.