Sense International is working in Bangladesh with national partner Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) to implement the country’s first ever programme for children with deafblindness.
In Bangladesh, it is estimated that over 3.25 million people live with a mild form of deafblindness and 326,000 live with a severe form of deafblindness.*
Given the stigma associated with disability, families of children with deafblindness in Bangladesh are often rejected by their communities. With little or no support, young people with deafblindness grow up in extreme isolation and miss out on the chance to fulfil their potential.
We are ensuring that children with deafblindness receive an education. We provide Special Educators to support children with deafblindness to build the skills and competencies that will enable them to attend school. We also train teachers to make suitable adaptations in the classroom for students with deafblindness, and help schools to create an inclusive learning environment.
We are supporting young people with deafblindness to access lifelong learning opportunities. We provide training for young adults with deafblindness and help them to start up their own small businesses. Income generating activities may include working in a grocery shop, tailoring using a sewing machine, shoe repair, poultry-rearing and printing.
We are gathering evidence from our work to demonstrate how young people with deafblindness can be included in education and skills training. By sharing our learning, we hope to influence the government to make reforms within the education system so that it becomes more accessible to students with deafblindness and other disabilities.
We are raising awareness of deafblindness and helping people with deafblindness to realise their rights. Our initial work led to the recognition of deafblindness as a unique disability within the Disability Rights and Protection Act 2013. Since then, we have supported people with deafblindness to access the social security benefits to which they are entitled, and to advocate for their rights.
21 young adults
with deafblindness received support to set up income-generating activities last year
with deafblindness have been directly supported by our work in Bangladesh since it began in 2007
with deafblindness are currently being supported to attend school
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* Figures based on prevalence estimates produced as part of research by the World Federation of the Deafblind (WFDB). This data may differ from official government statistics.
World Federation of the Deafblind (WFDB), 2018 At risk of exclusion from CRPD and SDGs implementation: Inequality and persons with deafblindness.