Learning Centres have been established in the four regions of the country to develop expertise and knowledge on deafblindness. The Deafblind Regional Centres (DbRCs) assess information gaps and requirements of the region and accordingly develop programmes and learning materials for deafblind children and adults, families of deafblind individuals, educators, medical practitioners, government official and general public. These materials are developed and designed in user friendly formats.
The information developed will support early identification at health centres, increase knowledge on working with deafblind children, promote the rights of deafblind people, make resources available for family members, provide training modules for government programmes etc.
Currently there are three Deafblind Regional Centres:
- Blind People's Association (India), Ahmedabad – DbRC West
- National Association for the Blind, New Delhi – DbRC North
- The Spastic Society of TamilNadu, Chennai – DbRC South
- Aakansha Lion's School for Mentally Handicaped – DbRC East
The DbSCs concept is further decentralised to the state level with the setting up of Deafblind State Centres (DbSCs) on deafblindness in five states of India. These are:
- National Association for the Blind, Unit Maharashtra- DbSC Maharashtra
- Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind, Karnataka- DbSC Karnataka
- Caritas Goa, Panjim- DbSC Goa
- Kottayam Social Service Society, Kottayam- DbSC Kerala
- UMA Educational & Technical Society, Kakinada- DbSC Andhra Pradesh
- Holy Cross Service Society, Trichy - DbSC TamilNadu
There is a need to develop human resources that can address the care, rehabilitation and education of deafblind childen and adults. To meet this gap, we developed the first curriculum for a diploma course on deafblindness in India in 2000. There are now three institutes in India that offer this course and every year about 60 teachers graduate from these institutions.
Since we began, we have trained 2600 teachers on appropriate techniques for teaching children with deafblindness in mainstream schools and issues relating to deafblindness.