R. Narasimham, born in Irala village , Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh and a post graduate in Social Work from Madras School of Social Work (1963 – 65) has been providing vocational counseling, vocational training and rehabilitation to persons with all categories of disabilities since January 1968. Retired as Joint Director from the Ministry of Labour, he supervised the Vocational Rehabilitation Centres for the Handicapped (VRCs) in India. Worked all over India (New Delhi, Kanpur, Chennai, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi). He is a pioneer in Vocational Rehabilitation in India and introduced several innovative rehabilitation programs for the benefit of pwd. As supervisor for the Vocational Rehabilitation Centres for Handicapped in the Country, he streamlined the functioning of the VRCs by designing a Manual of Procedures and developed “Signs for Tools” for use in training the deaf in vocational trades. Would have seen over 50,000 persons and helped over 15000-20000 in wage paid or self employment besides providing guidance to the rest.
He was in charge of service delivery in the beginning and was involved in developing schemes, policy, budgeting, inter-ministerial interaction and participation in all govt. and Non govt. institutes for developing and designing schemes. He has been teaching for trainees in several courses of RCI and Schools of Social Work. Guided future professionals from Certificate level to post graduate and doctorate level in the field through teaching and mentoring.
He is conversant with Telugu, (mother tongue) and English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi besides fluency in sign language used by the hearing Impaired.
He had his training in Rehabilitation of the Deaf at Hotsprings Rehabilitation Center, Hotsprings, Arkansas, USA (1969) and Computer Application in Management of Vocational Training Institutions at the Advanced Training Center, International Labour Organization at Turin, Italy and Paris, France.(1988)
He was decorated with the National Award by the President of India for his services to the disabled in 1983 and by the Lions Clubs and Rotary Clubs on several occasions.
Included in “Contemporary Who is Who” brought out by American Biographical Institute, USA in 2003 for outstanding contribution to the disabled, and
Received the Lifetime Achievement Award from International Biographical Institute, U.K. in 2004.
He was awarded for exemplary service as Rehabilitation Consultant by Tamilnadu Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai (2012)
A consultant on the Rehabilitation Council of India for manpower development is nominated as Chairman of the Committee constituted by RCI for developing courses on Vocational Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Social Work and other placement, counseling activities. He was involved in developing course for M.A. in Disability Studies, Diploma in Vocational Rehabilitation (Mentally Retarded) and designed Diploma course in Vocational Rehabilitation (Across Disabilities) for RCI.
He is also a Member of National Board of Examinations in Rehabilitation constituted by the Govt. of India and Senior Member of Professional Social Worker’s Association
His expertise is being used by several NGOs and government departments for streamlining, improving, evaluating and designing innovative ways of service delivery system and livelihood programs for the disadvantaged. He also teaches in several institutes conducting diploma, graduate and post graduate courses for future professionals in the field of disabilities.
At present he is consultant with RCI and guides institutions in setting up facilities for the pwd, starting courses in rehabilitation in addition to taking up relevant Research Projects.
This book on “Vocational Rehabilitation of Disabled in India, Principles & Practice” is an attempt to educate the present and future rehabilitation professionals in the area of vocational rehabilitation. Vocational Rehabilitation as a concept can be traced back to the First World War (1914 -1918), wherein the entire Europe and United States of America (USA) were involved. Several war veterans were injured but were skilled and available for bringing the country’s economy to keel. The Veterans’ Rehabilitation Act of 1920 of USA was the first in the modern times to utilize the services of the war disabled in reviving the country’s economy. This has been amended in due course to include other disabilities. The Department in the government of United States of America (USA) was named Veterans Rehabilitation Administration, later changed as Social & Rehabilitation Services (SRS) Administration and now known as Rehabilitation Services Administration. Internationally, it is a young profession. Such services are available in U.K., European countries, Japan, Singapore and other African and Asian countries. In India, the introduction of the field of vocational rehabilitation was in 1967, in the form of research projects in a few hospitals and also through two Vocational Rehabilitation Centres for the Physically Handicapped under Govt. of India (in 1968), assisted by the Dept. of Social & Rehabilitation Services of the United States Administration. On completion of the term, while the Hospitals converted them into regular units, the Govt. of India set up 19 more such Centres all over the Country in different States.The Author has been in the field of vocational training and vocational rehabilitation of persons with locomotor, hearing, visual and intellectual impairments since January, 1968 starting under a Hospital setup, and then entering Vocational Rehabilitation Centres of Govt. of India. He retired after supervising and providing professional and administrative guidance to VRCs
4 Vocational Rehabilitation of Disabled in India-Principles and Practice all over the Country and inter – ministerial interaction. Despite the Rehabilitation Council of India, a Statutory Body, having recognized this as a separate profession and including it in different syllabi for the different courses in rehabilitation, the Author has observed that there is no conceptual work based on Indian conditions in the field of vocational rehabilitation. The Author with his wide exposure to the different categories of disabled and having met and learnt from the pwd and seen in person, the issues and tribulations faced by the disabled, considered it a mission to give the experience back to the disabled, so that they can gain from the experience of others. What better way could there be, than training the professionals in the techniques so that millions of disabled could be helped?
The Author has been sharing his experiences with the professionals belonging to the fields of social work, education, management and therapy of different disabilities. Some of those included in this effort are those papers presented in some National and International Seminars and some are based on the lectures prepared for interacting with the professionals/intended professionals.
While medical intervention, education and therapy are based on disability with the family and society playing a secondary role, vocational rehabilitation is rooted in the society with disability being one of the variables along with several others such as poverty, gender, caste, literacy and backwardness. Disability compounds the effect of these variables in myriad ways towards wage earning capacities for the persons afflicted.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Worker (VRW) should understand this shift in focus, when dealing with vocational rehabilitation and equip to provide all vocational services judiciously and professionally. The subjects discussed are therefore envisaged with components from diverse fields of psychology, special education, social work and business management. Some of these are concepts developed by the Author and theorized from the practical experience with the pwd with different disabilities and varied cultures and introducing innovative programs. As Head of different Vocational Rehabilitation Centres for the Handicapped in different parts of the country, the Author had the opportunity to experiment and succeed through these economic rehabilitation measures.
Some of them such as Outreach programs (1974 – Delhi), Skill development (1976 – Kanpur), Training of Employment Officers in Disabilities (1978 – Chennai) Employer Oriented Training (1980 – Chennai), adjustment training (1981 – Chennai), Exhibition of Manufactured Products helped through Self Employment – 1981) Homebound Employment (1982 – Trivandrum), Community Based Vocational Training (1988 – Ahmedabad), Rojgar Mela, (Employer – Job Seeker Meet – 1990 – Mumbai), Teaching vocational subjects, to the deaf (who took the subjects in lieu of languages) (1994 – Mumbai), Development of lexicon for “Signs for Tools” (1995 – Mumbai), Worker Education for the Deaf (1995 – Mumbai), Group Employment and Self Help Groups (2003 – Bangalore) and even self employment (1976 – Kanpur) or supported employment (1976 – Kanpur), setting up cooperatives (1983 – Trivandrum) were all new concepts at the time. Now they have become part and parcel of the delivery system in vocational rehabilitation. The author organized at least two functions, including cultural and sports activities, every year to bring in variety of leaders as part of advocacy. Organizing and selecting a Team of locomotor disabled to represent VRCs at the All India Cricket for the Disabled (1992 – 96) was one way of bringing well known cricketers and exposing the abilities of locomotor disabled. Now it is an annual affair.
It may also be seen that no mention of any particular disability has been made in this Book – deliberately – as in vocational rehabilitation it is the persons’ ability that counts and not any impairment or the resultant disability, the individual may face.
Different variables in the job, work, work environment and environment restructuring to help the pwd acquire vocational and employment skills and techniques of delivery of vocational rehabilitation – constitute the core component of this book.
The Author is not an Academician but a Practitioner. The Book contains Articles on different aspects of vocational rehabilitation. Almost all the techniques described in this book, have been practiced by the Author at some point or the other in his career. Some of them have failed while others have been extremely gratifying. The professional has to explore all choices in vocational rehabilitation and may be more. This is not an academic exercise but sharing of experiences, tailored to the needs of a VRW. A conscious effort was made to avoid high sounding language without compromising on the professional terminology, as – for most of the courses recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India, School leaving certificate is the entry qualification (12 years of schooling).
Not all the measures and practices described may be required for the vocational rehabilitation of a pwd but all alternatives are explained to equip the VRW with different techniques to meet different needs of different persons for successful empowerment of pwd.
There is no literature available with focus on Vocational Rehabilitation in India. That is one of the reasons why not many specific references on bibliography are given and that is why the list of suggested Bibliography is limited and many are based in other countries. Acronyms, wherever used are designed to give quick and short cuts to commit to memory. Most of them are coined by the Author. Wherever it was by others, Bibliography gives credit to them. It is hoped more original material on Indian conditions are published for the benefit of the Vocational Rehabilitation Workers.
The Author hopes this small effort would help the professionals understand the concepts better and guide them to use with the different categories of disabled and help them serve the disabled through the future professionals.
As he enters his fiftieth year in the service of the disabled, this book is one more attempt to serve the disabled. The Book is dedicated to those thousands of persons with disabilities, who were the motivation for the Author to learn and practice proper vocational rehabilitation measures.
(Just as Fire knows the purity of the submitted gold, the discerning knows
the good and bad qualities of a book.)
The Author hopes the readers will critically examine the book and suggest
changes for future prints.
(Consultant – Vocational Rehabilitation & Livelihood Programs)
Concept through colours
Chapter 1: Introduction to disability & rehabilitation
1.1 Introduction to disability for Vocational Rehabilitation
1.2 Responsibilities of a Vocational Rehabilitation Worker
1.3 Basic Concepts: Habilitation, rehabilitation and
1.4 Vocational Rehabilitation – Concept
Chapter 2: Transition & Evaluation
2.1 Transition from School to Work
2.2 Vocational Evaluation
2.3 Tools for Vocational Evaluation
2.4 Work Behaviour
Chapter 3: Job & Job Relates
3.1 Job Analysis
3.2 Job Identification
3.3 Job Identification Format
3.4 Occupation & NCO
3.5 Job Development
Chapter 4: Economic Rehabilitation
4.1 Individualized Vocational Plan
4.2 Employable Skills
4.3 Access to Work Place
4.4 Open Employment
4.6 Self-Employment Inventory
4.7 Supported Employment
Chapter 5: Outreach & Advocacy
5.2 Community Based Vocational Training
5.3 Vocational Rehabilitation Centres for Handicapped (GOI)
5.4 Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 – A brief
A 1 Case Record of Evaluation & Rehabilitation
A 2 Suggested Readings
A Book on Vocational Rehabilitation in India – Principles & Concepts is coming out, giving several details and sharing of my experiences with professionals – present and future. Anybody interested may write to me for copies
Was Chief Guest on the occasion of 33rd Anniversary and release of Brochure of the VRC Cooperative Society that I started in 1983, when I was in Trivandrum. It takes up job orders in the modern technology producing components for Space Idustry and employs more than 200 pwd. It also provides training to pwd and has helped over 2000 in getting employment in different ITE based industries
Gave keynote Address on Access to Skills for WWD at National Seminar on “Constraints Faced by Women with Disabilities in their Access to Services and Education in India” by Dept of Social Work, Holy IMT, Calicut & National Council for Women, 10th June 2016
Attended a meeting convened by Rehabilitation Council of India & Min. Of Social Justice & Empowerment for designing programs for vocational empowerment of all categories of disabled 15th & 16th July 2014
Appointed to the National Board of Examinations in Rehabilitation to conduct & monitor examinations in the field of Rehabilitation w.e.f August 2014 for three years
Spoke to Vocational Trainers of Persons with Intellectual & Multiple disabilities on Job Analysis and Job Selection as part of Continuing Rehab Education Program on 24th October 2013.