Balakrishna Venkatesh

Disability is often a non – issue in communities. So the place to begin is to establish relationship with community members. One way to do this is to conduct a community study. Community study is a facet of community development, a subject of Social Work discipline.

Case study is also a subject of Social Work. While community study will result in a needs analysis of the community, case study will lead to better understanding of the situation of Persons with disabilities in the family and community. These two methods serve not only as planning tools , but also two establish relationship with community members, local authority/institutions (Anganwadi, Schools, Health centers, Panchayat)   other groups of vulnerable groups, CSO`s, Persons with disabilities and their families.

This process demands time and skills easy listening, facilitation, documenting, analyzing and writing. These need to be acquired through training.

Active participation of Persons with disabilities, their families and community members in these and in planning and implementation of action is fundamental to promote best practice for community support.   Forming self help groups of persons with different disabilities and their family members as a first step will ensure that self determination and self advocacy are at the core of any community support.  The other actions would include raising awareness on disability and other community issues identified in the analysis and establishing interface between need and resource.