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In 2013, 1,003,703 assistive devices were distributed including 795,835 spectacles; 28,918 low vision devices, 21,427 hearing aids, 115,691 orthopaedic appliances and 41,832 other devices.

Enhancing skills on assistive devices and tech

Group of men and women standing for group photograph
© CBM India
Participants at three-day workshop on Continuing Rehabilitation Education on Developmental Device and Services Provision for Children with Delayed Developmental Milestones organised by CBM and Mobility India

A three-day workshop sought to enable caregivers and rehabilitation professionals to support children with delayed developmental milestones.

The devices and technologies that enable people with disabilities to improve functioning, facilitate participation and enhance well-being are critical for the empowerment of a large section of the population.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), only 5-15 percent of people in need of assistive devices and technology have them. In other words, close to 95-85 percent do not have access to wheelchairs, prostheses, hearing aids, visual aids, and technology or hardware that can support mobility, hearing, vision and communication capacities.

There are, however, a number of barriers while accessing assistive technology and devices. These challenges range from availability to financing and localisation to awareness or skills among rehabilitation personnel. 
CBM and Mobility India recently held a three-day workshop from 28-30th July 2016 in Bengaluru on Continuing Rehabilitation Education on Developmental Device and Services Provision for Children with Delayed Developmental Milestones.

The workshop is part of the ongoing efforts by CBM and its partners to develop competencies, especially among the rehabilitation personnel involved in assessment, prescription and fabrication of developmental devices for children with delayed developmental milestones.
The training package included skill development on service delivery and hands-on-training of the participants from the fields of Prosthetics & Orthotics, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Special Education, Community Based Rehabilitation and rehabilitation from states in the southern part of India.   

The workshop was also a part of the Continuing Rehabilitation Education (CRE) that has the accreditation by the Rehabilitation Council of India, a nodal body created by the government through a special act. The 28 participants who took part in the workshop have received accreditation adding to the much needed specialized pool of experts to support children with delayed developmental milestones. 

In terms of the design, the workshop balanced theoretic and practical aspects to enable knowledge transfer to enable participants to deliver quality service and manage latest assistive products. For instance, the participants were organized into four groups, and each group had a child volunteer with Cerebral Palsy. The devices developed during the workshop were handed over to these young volunteers. 

Mobility India has developed stands and chairs that can be changed as per the specific or individual needs of children with Cerebral Palsy. These are being made with materials that are available locally thus reducing the cost and time needed to manufacture them. 

CBM released five publications at the workshop on supporting Children with Delayed Developmental Milestones, associated issues.

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