English | Dzongkha Wednesday, March 3, 2021

ABS reaches out to persons with disabilities during the pandemic


Jan 8, 2021

While the pandemic has distorted the normal functioning of every-day life, persons living with disabilities were hit the hardest. However, Ability Bhutan Society (ABS) is up to its best to provide the most needful. 

Before the pandemic, Chado Rinchen and his wife, residents of Thimphu, took their grand-daughter, Jigzelle Phuntsho to ABS for daily care. Not much later, the pandemic overshadowed the hopes of the couple – it was a nightmare to them. Since the closure of the centre due to the pandemic, they were forced to educate and care for their eight-year-old daughter.

However, ABS has been able to contribute to the care and education of the children in their own little ways by visiting the homes of the persons living with disabilities twice a week. Executive Director of the ABS, Ugyen Wangchuk, said this is to ensure that they get the right care and education while they are away from their professional caregivers.

”We developed a daily routine for the children to be followed at home and provided orientation to the caregivers,” he said.

The centre also developed individual communication plans and communication books according to the kind of disabilities. This according to Chado Rinchen helped them provide the right care.

Ugyen Wangchuk added that children with disabilities, especially with moderate to severe disabilities demand face-to-face interaction. However, it has become impossible due to the lockdown. Therefore, the society supports children and caregivers through virtual sessions.

Caregivers make videos of how they educate and care for their children and send them to the ABS. The caregivers of the society then go through the video and provide them with feedback to ensure that children receive the right care and education.

The centre also provided the children with educational toys which facilitated the daily learning of the children. Meanwhile, the ABS also provided similar virtual lessons to the children and caregivers during the first nationwide lockdown.

In Thimphu alone, bout 35 children have been enrolled with ABS. The society also caters services to five other districts such as Chhukha, Dagana, Punakha, Sarpang, and Tashigang.

Kinley Dem

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