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Thursday, January 22, 2015

spreading sunshine.

I am Shazia Hasan. I am a computer teacher for the blind, provide
counselling to the visually impaired and their parents. have written
several articles
in Dawn, News, Spider etc. I am a member of lions club international.
my blog address is
with large local and international traffic.
today I am going to share the story of my journey so far and share
with you my vision to support the visually impaired persons lead
life with dignity.
I was born with chronic glaucoma. I lost the sight of the left eye
when I was two days old. I kept on having operations and treatment
here in Pakistan
and abroad to save the sight of my right eye. Time passed, nature
prevailed over the Doctors and around eight years of age I had lost my
sight. A trauma
at its height for me and my family.
With diminishing sight, it was becoming dark all around me. For eight
years I could see the faces of my parents, sister, brother, cousins
and friends.
Enjoy my
own colourful cloths, flowery shoes and ribbons in my hair. I enjoyed
the colors of rainbow, beautiful flowers. vast blue ocean, glittering
sky, flying
butterflies in my garden. All the colours and light were gone. As a
young girl of eight the thought that I will no more be able to see
these things again
was very depressing.

Kindness of Allah and support of family and friends that I could have
the courage to overcome this trauma. I had lost the physical ability
of seeing
but my vision was very much intact.
My best pastime became reading books in Braille mostly from Libraries
in Holland. They proved to be my best mentor. I realised that the
greatest things
that happened to this world was the result of the visionaries whether
it was poetry, literature, scientific inventions, architecture or any
other field.
Seeing has limitations vision has no limitations. A miracle had
happened for which I was praying. A new Shazia Hasan was in the
making. A more confident
courageous.self reliant having perseverance and passion to go ahead to
make her dreams a reality.
The pace of advancement of Medical science and technology is mind
boggling.every day new products and services are coming at the market
place. I used to
get many electronic aids and toys, which more than playing was a
source of wonderment. Reading about computer it its ability would
greatly fascinate me.
My father who is a computer professional would narrate me the powers
of computer which interested me more than Ali Baba stories.
I was highly motivated and inspired girl. I knew the first priority
for me is the education . I focused my attention to education.I
completed my education
from the ida Rieu. While i was having education I was enjoying life as
any body else. My abilities and senses increased in geometrical
proportion.I could
listen very well and visualize very easily what is happening. I would
enjoy walking barefoot on cool grass, sitting in my garden and feeling
the smell
flowers and flutter of birds.
When an RNIB trained Doctor who had become visually impaired started
computer classes in Karachi I was the first one to enroll as a
students. This was
a turning point in my life. My parents presented me a computer with
special software (called JAWS, which is abbreviation of, Job Access
with Speech)
which is a sophisticated screen reading software. This facility opened
flood gate of knowledge for me I could work on ms word, ms
Power Points. use internet, participate in social networks, use mails,
chats, facebook etc. All this was so involving and interesting that it
left me
no time to worry about my limitation.
Once visiting the Royal National Institute for the Blind, London I saw
boys and girls busy in their daily chore of life including washing
their clothes,
mending if necessary, cooking etc. They lived an independent life,
largely unaided, I used to wonder why in Pakistan we cannot live like
least dependence. There were lot of social and family hurdles in our
way. I pledged to myself to bring freedom to some of
them...........and let that
be the beginning of dawn before sunshine.
All my life I had the dream to help the people like me.To give hands
and feet to my dream and making it reality. I took the first step and
became a teacher
of computer in Ida Rieu.The step proved to be very exhilarating and satisfying.
For parents of such child, it was a trauma too and they did not know
how to cope with a disabled child.
At Ida Rieu, where I worked as Teacher I started counselling parents
of such students. With guidance these families became happier units
and children demonstrated
positive attitude.
So far over 200 boys and girls have learned computer from me.This has
revolutionized the life of these students. They are now an active
member of their
family. Many students are now doing their own business. Some major
employers of computer trained students are Standard Chartered Bank,
United Bank and
Karachi Electric Supply Company. I am sure these employers will
encourage other companies to absorb such students.
The smile and happiness on student faces which I can visualize and
feel was very rewarding. The gratitude they show makes me happy.This
motivate and inspires
me to do more about blind people in Pakistan.
My work was slowly getting noticed by the civil society and media.
Several TV channels aired special programs about my work which
increased awareness.
I am also thankful to following organisations whose recognition
strengthened me in my mission:
1.K.F.C. for Best Teacher Awards 2007
2.Rotary Club Karachi for Best Teacher Award 2008
3 Ida Rieu for best teacher award 2009
4 Aga Khan University for Business English Certificate 2010
My real award is my ability to bring change in the life of students
and bring back smiles on their faces.

I will repeat my appreciation and thanks to media for disseminating
knowledge about the new opportunities through giving coverage to my
interviews and
appearances in specially tailored programs. The task is gigantic and
needs collective efforts of the society.We have to work on the parents
of such children.We
have to change the basic paradigm that if you don't have seeing
ability life is doomed.The only knowledge they have is to get them
learn music,weaving
or things of the sort.This attitude is not true for illiterate or semi
literate population but even educated families. Entire civil society,
parents and elders of families with special child needs to be imparted
the education how to ensure and better and independent living for
their children.This
needs collective efforts of the society.The pioneers should come
forward with proposals to create awareness to parents how go about
training such children.In
my opinion parents attitude is key to success in educating the blinds
and making them equally useful member of the society.
Lastly i will touch upon the blindness of old age, accident, diabetes,
retina detachment etc. which often strikes at an advanced age and a
time when the
person is an active earning member of the family. I have handled
several such cases and they have been rehabilitated to continue with
their legal or medical
profession. There is a need to educate these people also. The leaders
of civil society should come forward and work to help the victims of
this group also..I

am of the opinion this is as important as opening eye hospitals. There
should be rehabilitation center to guide the parents and blind person
in a very
friendly environment. Major eye hospitals should have rehab centres to
guide such cases and provide alternate ways to pursue their

I am thankful to all institutions who recognized my work.This
recognition gives more vigor to do more.I am an optimist and I know
new technologies and
advancement of medical science will bring new opportunities for blind
people to live as normal life as far possible.This means I have to
keep my eyes and
ears open to learn more and pass on to others.I am thankful to
empowering the differetly abled persons Forum to gave me an
opportunity to share with all
of learned audience. Please help
propogate this message reach the needy.
shazia hasan
e-mail: shaziarizvi@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

my vision my dream is to empower the differently abled person of my lovely country. I started my journey of empowerment from 2001 by introducing jaws based computer training to the visually impaired person at idarieu school. Since then I have trained many visually impaired person. most of my students are now independently working in banks, companies, kesc and pizza hut etc. The modern day technology is a boon for reducing the limitations of differently abled persons. Unfortunately many in the less developed countries like Pakistan are not aware of these developments and where they are aware, these technolgies are not within their reach. I have gathered my thoughts regarding special children and how to make their life's easier in our country, and how to make use of these technologies with out given limitations. special children need special care. special education means to provide friendly environment, accessible setting and friendly approach. For differently abled children it is difficult to make a standard education plan and administer them uniformly. Each special child needs to be carefully assessed for his/her limitations and an individual educational plan documented. These individual plans have to be jointly developed by interacting with the child by the class teacher, parents, resource teacher school principal or any psychologist or therapist if required. the purpose of education is to produce healthy, gentle, knowledgeable, helpful, kind and enthusiastic citizen. Unfortunately our present system mostly produces pity and help seeking, complexed individuals full of frustration and lacking initiative and positive thinking. a teacher is like a candle which beam and lightens the small candles. a teacher not only transfer his / her knowledge to students also reflect his / her character / behaviour towards the students. there are many teachers in children's' life. parents, school teachers, siblings, friends, society and media. there are 2 main types of learning, deliberate learning and incidental learning. both happen in a class room as well. incidental learning starts when a child born. there are different kinds of incidental learning. observational learning. accidental learning. exploring learning. a child weather normal or challenged is a child first. have same curiosity level to learning and exploring the world. according to Dr. Montisorri a child is a scientist and the world is a place for him to explore. in the case of challenged child there are many limitations in our country Pakistan. most of the times these children are isolated in a restricted environment. there are some major problems. 1. there is no concept of parents support centre. when parents hear that their child is challenged they suffer from seven emotional phases e.g. 1. shock. feeling like the doctor is telling false. 2. denial like this is normal! I also have large eyes, or I often ignore the sounds around me. 3. depression. feeling unhappy, hiding the child from public, taking no care of family chores. 4. aggression, this is a most critical stage in which parents often blame the child, their selves and often become aggressive. 5. chronic depression. don't eat, can't sleep, unable to provide proper medical care to the child, unable to justify with all children. 6. bargaining. in this stage parents accept that the child is challenged but they believe that our child is challenged, now God will do anything for him. our responsibility is just to provide him / her food and dress. 7. acceptance. in this stage parents start thinking about the child and how to start his / her education. if the above problems are not treated they live longer, sometimes always. due to lack of emotional support challenged children and their families suffer. in our Country. 2. learning problems. although the learning process start from the birth. if the child is visually impaired then what could be his feelings. most of the children confront with emotional and psychological issues. the emotionally disturbed parents often discourage the children to explore the world and learn. that is why the sensorial learning and motor learning become slow. usually there is a big communicational gap between these children and their parents. that is why these children also confront with behavioural issues. the third problem in our Country is educational system for challenged children. these children not only need curriculum education. also they need emotional support, physical training, mobility training, rehabilitation training. their parents also need guidance. only a qualified and honest teacher can handle such issues. in many countries challenged children are receiving quality education with mainstream. although this is a better approach but not established in our country, the reason is lack of awareness. most of the people are totally unaware regarding challenged people, their needs, their feelings, although we all have read about Helen keler but sadly we have never thought about the noble society which produce such a role model. we have separate charity based schools for challenged children. that is why these children are isolated in a typical environment. where children from different backgrounds are gathered in a same platform. if we do some effort surely we can bring a solution. there should be kind hearted and committed teachers to deal with the challenged children with emotional / behaviour problems. the fourth problem is social / communicational gap between challenged person and mainstream. in our lovely society we rarely think about making public places accessible for challenged person. challenged children also wish to go parks and to play with their siblings equally. they are just bound in special schools and homes. they need acceptance not only from their parents also from society. let us brake these barriers. according to my view if we want we can easily make the life's of challenged children easier and independent in our country. * proper educational system for challenged children parents should provide them chance to do little chores like shopping, cooking. * all teachers should receive trainings before entering the class. * there should be a board of special education who monitor the progress of all special schools and should have right to cancel the license. * parents support centre. * all ophthalmologists and other doctors should be aware from parents support centres. if they meet with a challenged child they must refer them there to get proper emotional support, and to learn how to brought up challenged children. * teachers support centre. * to trained the kind hearted people to become a mentor of challenged children. * allow challenged children to often attend regular schools as a guest. so it could be benefit for challenged children and their regular friends. * media should play active role. * all special schools should also teach art of daily living to these children. all above is possible if all decision makers like school managements, media personnel, education ministers, board of education, and parents sit together and design a resolution. as technology has open the doors of success for everyone including challenged person. this is a right time to pay heat towards such issues. Although This is my dire dream to empower the challenged person of Pakistan. make their lifes easier and produce successful, independent future heros from Pakistan. I have started my journey of empowerment from 2001. I understand that this is a difficult task. but I am convinced that Like SIUT, LRBT, TCF and aman foundation if a person is dedcated to achief he can achieve anything. our Country is full of kind hearted people. the first step is to create awareness. project name: empowering the differently abled people. project description: raising awareness regarding visually impaired person and their needs, how to communicate with visually impaired person, how to improve their integration with mainstream, how to create a barriar free society for visually impaired person. our vision Rarely any human being is blessed with every ability. Some have deficiency in ability to paint or sing, or dance or swim. Some have behavioral issues, some can not see, some can not hear and some can not speak. We consider every person as equally important equal citizen deserving equal opportunities to survive benefit from natural and social facilities. our mission to spread awareness regarding visually impaired people in our society. to make people understand their needs and welcome them in mainstream. As a first step we will design some awareness raising programs which could be given in selected schools, hospitals, organisations and media. for further information visit www.facebook.com/empowering.tdp or email me at shaziarizvi@gmail.com

Monday, May 6, 2013

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

spread the word please!

sharing time with special children is more important then donating a large amount of cash! these children need your attention those who are willing to spent their time with visually impaired children kindly send an email at shaziarizvi@gmail.com