Child with multiple Disabilities exploring leaves of plants with the support of her special educator

Our Vision, Purpose

Our Vision is of a world in which all children and adults with deafblindness and multiple disabilities can be full and active members of society.

Our purpose is to work in partnership with others - people with deafblindness and multiple disabilities, their families, caregivers and professionals - to ensure that everyone facing challenges because of deafblindness and multiple disabilities has access to advice, opportunities and support.

A student with Deafblndness signing Namaste

Our Values

The values guide all that we do:

The worth of Individuals: We embrace diversity and respond to Individual needs.

Self-determination: We promote the rights of individuals and provide support for this where necessary.

Personal fulfilment: We promote opportunities for all individuals to develop and achieve their potential.

Openness and honesty: Our interactions are transparent, open to scrutiny and built on trust and accountability.

95% of what we learn is through our eyes and ears. Imagine what it is like to be deafblind!

Deafblindness is a unique disability that combines varying degrees of both hearing and visual impairment. All individuals who are deafblind experience extreme challenges with communication, mobility as well as accessing information and most have additional physical and medical conditions. Persons with deafblindness face neglect and discrimination owing to their inability to communicate and relate to the world. They are thus denied even the basic human rights like education, medical care, amongst other needs that are taken for granted by most of us.

There is very little awareness about deafbliness amongst the government, general public and other NGOs working in the area of disability. Due to this situation many children and adults with deafblindness are left without support and even considered severely intellectually impaired incorrectly. What most people do not know is that children and adults with deafblindness can become active members of society if provided with the right care and support.

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Sense International India (also known as Sense India) is the only national-level organisation supporting needs-based services which enables children and adults with deafblindness to overcome the challenges caused due to deafblindness.

Sense India's key objective is to provide information, guidance, support and training needed along with being committed to supporting persons with deafblindness and multiple disabilities and their families by raising awareness and campaigning for their rights, opportunities and services throughout the nation.

Sense India’s core team has required expertise in the domains of deafblind communication, mobility, accessible information, assistive devices and rehabilitation. With its unique technical know-how & experience since 1997 in the field of deafblindness and multiple disabilities, Sense India uses a multi-pronged approach which, includes technical/ financial assistance to its partner NGOs and direct capacity building of their staff to work with children and adults with deafblindness and multiple disabilities.

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BOARD OF TRUSTEES

AMITH DHOLAKIA

AMITH DHOLAKIA

Chairperson, Board of Sense International India

DIVYA BHALLA

DIVYA BHALLA

Member, Board of Sense International India

RAJIVE RATURI

RAJIVE RATURI

Member, Board of Sense International India

NANDINI RAWAL

NANDINI RAWAL

Member, Board of Sense International India

OUR TEAM

Akhil S Paul

Akhil S Paul

Executive Director

Uttam Kumar

Uttam Kumar

Deputy Director

Parag Namdeo

Parag Namdeo

Head-Network Support

Sachin Rizal

Sachin Rizal

Head - Capacity Building

Moushumi Banerjee

Moushumi Banerjee

Head-Public Engagement

Vardan Sengar

Vardan Sengar

Manager-Finance

A smiling face of a child with Deafblindness

History

Back in 1997, there was only one school in India providing education and other services to 23 children with deafblindness, in a country where there are an estimated 500,000 children and adults with this multi-sensory disability. To address this dire need, Sense India was established in 1997 as the first national NGO in India to support the development of comprehensive services and training for people with deafblindness. Currently Sense India is working in 23 States of India through a network of 59 partner NGOs. Our work is transforming the lives of more than 78,000+ people with deafblindness- from isolation and neglect to communication, interaction and self-esteem.

We provide education for children with deafblindness, vocational training and livelihood support to adults, training for families and professionals, and help in capacity building of other NGOs to work with children and adults with deafblindness. We also advocate for the rights of people with deafblindness in communities, NGO networks and government to ensure that deafblindness does not isolate them in the society and that people with deafblindness are able to earn a livelihood and lead a productive life.

Less than 16% of India's people with deafblindness receive any form of support. Most children with deafblindness in India have no access to any kind of education, while some are sent to schools that lack the necessary skills and tools to help them develop. Most children with deafblindness in India still remain in total isolation at home owing to this disability.

With expert support and training, people with deafblindness can learn to use any residual vision or hearing and other senses to understand their world and to lead full and active lives. At the same time, their families can receive the hope and support they need to make the best choices for their future and livelihood.

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