Helen Keller Institute for Deaf & Deafblind.
Secondary School , South Wing,
Ground Floor, N. M. Joshi Marg,
Near 'S' Bridge, Byculla (West),
Mumbai - 400 011.
Tel: 2308 7052 / 2301 9215
Fax: 2301 8211
all began in 1977 when three experienced teachers of the Deaf
asked themselves a question: "Who is a deaf multiply
handicapped / Deafblind child?" This child was already
on our doorstep then. The Helen Keller Institute is a school
managed by an Executive Committee which is an administrative
body titled as, "The Helen Keller Institute for the Deaf
and Deafblind." The Institute is registered with the
Charity Commissioner under the Societies Registration Act
1860 and the Bombay Public Trust Act of 1950 and with the
Commissioner of Income Tax under Section 80-G of the Income
Tax Act 1961 under section 35 AC for 100 % exemption under
Income Tax Act. Thus we established, "The Helen Keller
Institute for Deaf and Deafblind" on July 11, 1977 with
2 Deafblind children, 1 deaf child, 3 teachers, a group of
Committee Members and Rs.150/-, in the home of one of the
teachers. It is now a pioneering institute in India , in fact in Asia
, to start a programme for Deafblind children. Its commitment
came from the belief that, "No
one is incapable of being taught and no one can do without
education. It is the fundamental birthright of every child
to be loved and to be educated. It is also the first institute
in India to follow
the philosophy of "TOTAL COMMUNICATION" in teaching the Deaf, Deaf Multiply Handicapped and Deafblind.
Its vision is to create,
build and develop services for the Deaf / Deaf Multiply Handicapped
/ Deafblind children and young adults through Day-Care/Residential
Facilities and other ancillary services.
thrust is towards the community's acceptance as a joint partnership
responsibility with the child's family and educators. This
is how we try to achieve it by preparing our own children.
As envisaged in the Memorandum of our Institute we offer the
following services to provide a Quality of Life to every deaf
and Deafblind child:
Free / subsidized education, transport, nutrition, hearing
aids, and medical facilities, uniform.
Counseling services for children, teachers and parents.
Pre-vocational training and every effort to rehabilitate him
/ her in the society.
Free / subsidized residential facilities for Deafblind children
residing outside Mumbai.
Institute has helped educate and train 32 Deafblind children
and 130 deaf children, since its inception in July 1977. At
present, the Institute has 25 Deafblind and 64 deaf children
on its roll. The institute is now recognized nationally and
internationally and is aided by the Ministry of Social Justice
& Empowerment, New Delhi
and Women, Child and Handicapped Development Office,
Maharashtra . It has two separate schools - one
for deaf, another for Deafblind children, and a special residential
unit for Deafblind children residing outside Mumbai.
& Trustee: Mr. Suryakant Dalal
Vice – President: Mr. Suresh Ahuja
Chairman, Fund Raising: Mr. Ram Gandhi
Hon. Treasurers & Trustees: Mr. Sudit Parekh, Mr. Purvez
Hon. Secretary & Trustee: Mr. Arun Mehra
Hon. Jt. Secretary: Mrs. Perviz M. Billimoria
Members: Mr. Eruch S. Hodiwalla, Mr. Ashok Pamani
Hon. Founder Director – Consultant: Ms. Beroz N. Vacha
General Manager: Mr. Nagaraj Nayak
Principal - Deafblind Section: Mrs. Reena Bhandari
Principal - Deaf section: Mrs. Shubhangi Bandekar
Training Center (Deafblind): Sanjay Mungi
Resource Manager: Ajay Shukla
interventions can be better understood as a stage where parents
of the deaf-blind child are trained to handle the child with
his disability and help them to learn to handle the child
better. The age group for this stage is 2 to 7 years. The
child also learns to understand his environment.
this stage the child is in the age group of 7 to 15 yrs. He
has to attend school regularly as a part of this learning
process. In this stage the child equips himself with varied
skills. Tactile, mobility, washing, toileting, and communication
skills. The stage is of using his abilities to the best.
vocational training the individual is taught various arts
and product making so that he can become a independent person.
At Helen Keller the child learn to jewellery making, candle
making, domestic science, nursery plantations and many other
arts are taught to enhance the earning power of the individual.
is a hostel facility, which has been provided to the children
of Helen Keller. This facility is for out stationed students.
counselor has been provided to handle parents to cope better
with the children and also children to handle the pressure
to daily life and enjoy what they have.
diagnostic center at Helen Keller is one of the premier institutes
. At the diagnostic center the functional skills of the students
are assessed and determined the level of understanding. As
per the assessment the individual is trained and then again
his learning abilities are tested for improvements and further
training requirements are ascertained.
the day program the individuals attend classes and learning
sessions with various teachers.
intervention is deaf student case is similar to deaf blind
student. At this stage the child is in the age group of 2
to 7. The parents are asked to be a part of the learning of
this stage the child is in the age group of 7 to 15 years.
The child is taught various kinds of communication skills.
Oral, Aural and Manual communication skills are imparted to
training is given to the child as per his ability to perform.
They are taught how to make pillow covers, stitching, stuff
toy making, wall hanging and decorative items.
counselor has been provided to handle parents to cope better
with the children and also children to handle the pressure
to daily life and enjoy what they have.
at Helen Keller institute are always looking for young and
bright people who would like to join us in our journey to
make the world a better and a more worth while place to live
in. We conduct a diploma course at Helen Keller for candidates
who are interested to become teachers at the deaf blind institute.
at Helen Keller institute have also established a computer
center in order to impart computer training to our students.
Click here to read a report.
& DEVELOPMENT SECTION
Helen Keller we also believe that constant research in communication
techniques will help to reach newer heights in the lives of
the deaf blind. Therefore we conduct research also to develop
and use various techniques to communicate with the children.
very important part of the education of the child is to come
comfortable with his environment and his body. To help there
are various exercises that are taught to the child at the
center. This keeps his body fits and also develops confidence
the institute a state of the art swimming center is made for
the children. This swimming pool is used for hydrotherapy
in which the students learns to become comfortable with his
body and confidence building is done by letting the child
learn how to mange himself in water.
& OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY:
are given to children with stiff body movements and helping
them assess their environment. Under occupational therapy
the children with dysfunctional body movements are improved.
modest living room in the home of one of our teachers. Under
the auspices of The Society for Special Education for the
Deaf the 'Institute for Deaf and the Deaf-Blind' is initiated
with just three children (1 deaf and 2 deaf-blind), two teachers
and limited funds.
The Institute shifts to new premises in Byculla (West). We
celebrate our third anniversary by re-christening our school
the 'Helen Keller Institute for the Deaf and Deaf-Blind,'
in memory of the renowned lady who overcame her triple handicaps
of being deaf, blind and mute.
This is to introduce you to our new complex - Helen Keller
Institute for Deaf & Deafblind,
. MIDC contributed 1 acre of land at a token
sum of Rs. 4,000/-. The building is named
Aditya Birla Center
because Shrimati Rajashreeji Birla donated Rs.
1 Crore for the construction of the building in memory of
her late husband Shri Aditya Birla. This magnificent donation
donation gave us the thrust to start building construction.
building was completed by December 1999 and in the year 2000
it started operating. We were able to operate because of the
several donors who saw our vision & donated big sums of
money towards different rooms.
Sinha a Deafblind-Assistant in the Braille Workshop received
the all India Cavin Kare Ability Award in
Madras in the
year March 2003 through the hands of Justice Anand (Ex-Chief
Justice of India). This award is for being the first outstanding
Deafblind person to master computer education.
Director Beroz Vacha is the recipient of the following National
& International awards for pioneerig services for the
Deafblind. She acknowledges here the immense involvement &
contribution of the staff & the full support & faith
which the Executive Committee has reposed in her and which
has today put Helen Keller Institute for Deaf & Deafblind
as one of the outstanding educational Institutions.
January 1990 - In recognition of the outstanding services
to the cause of the Deafblind. The NAB India awarded the prestigious
"Rustom Merwanji Alpaiwala Memorial Award"
December 3, 1997 - The National Presidential Award for the
welfare of people with disabilities in Public Recognition
for her outstanding performance in the field of Welfare of
people with Disabilities.
August 1991 - At a ceremony in
Sweden the International Award "The
Ann Sullivan Medal" was presented for achievements, contribution
and efforts in pioneering the work for the Deafblind in
we had established all the basic facilities at the grassroots
level for the Deafblind children residing out of Mumbai -
space was our biggest hurdle in implementing expansion of
our programme. Our big boost came when M.I.D.C came forward
and gave us one acre of land at Mahape, Vashi in 1993 to build
our school building which gave us a thrust in expanding our
activities. Smt. Rajashreeji Birla in memory of Shri Aditya
Birla donated a sum of almost 1 crore from the G. D. Birla
Medical and Educational Research Foundation to start the construction
of the building now known as Helen Keller Institute of Deaf
& deafblind - Aditya Birla Center Mahape, Navi Mumbai.
Blindenmission , Germany
gave funds to create classrooms and Audiometry cum Vision
Stimulation Room for deafblind. They also funded the development
of the Gymnasium cum Physiotherapy Room, Occupational Therapy
Room, facilities of Hydrotherapy by construction of 2 swimming
pools in collaboration with Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Charitable
Trust & Castricum Muthutara -
Clark, the then Chief Executive of Sense
UK , started fund raising and sent us
his first contribution from from Sense UK for the
construction of the Residential Facilities.
we have a full-fledged Vocational Training Unit, which
caters to Deafblind young adults offering training in making
of jewellery, candles, paper bags, liquid soap etc. A plant
nursery "Touch and Grow" has been started at the
Center where the plants will
grow with the tender loving care of the Deafblind trainees
in the vocational center. This is the first unit of its kind
in India . The
area space for this unit was donated by Rangoonwala Foundation
UK in 1999
through Sense International UK.
we have started
a Diagnostic Center
through funding from Hilton Perkins International in September
2001 which reaches out to Deafblind children from all parts
of India . It assess the vision, hearing,
communication and physical level of functioning of multi handicapped
children and offers remediation strategies for their education.
we have the Teacher Training Programme for the Deafblind
- the first of its kind which is sponsored by Sense International
( India ) through funding from
Rangoonwala Foundation ,
UK . This course is recognized
by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and the
Rehabilitation Council of India.
we are constructing an Auditorium and a Mini Conference
thanks to ICICI.
we have received donation of vehicles from Dorabji
Tata Trust , Bharat Petroleum and Christoffel Blindenmission.
India took a new turn with
the initiation of the first ever Teachers Training Course
for Deafblind which started in July 2000. This as the first
ever course in India and Asia
. This is a Diploma Course of 10 months duration and an internship
of 2 months after the course. The course comprises of intensive
theoretical input and practical orientation in terms of hands-on
experience with Deafblind children. This course is recognized
by the Rehabilitation Council of India and is affiliated to
the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehradun.
Teacher Training Programme is the single most important component
of the system of Deafblind children's education & rehabilitation.
Any flaw in this component is directly reflected into the
failure of the whole system as it is the teacher himself who
is in direct contact with the pupil.
faculty consists of a full time Coordinator cum Lecturer,
who has been trained in the Perkins school for the Blind,
USA in teaching children with vision impairments and additional
disabilities, Mr. Mishra and experts from other institutions
who regularly conduct lectures in their area of expertise
- to name a few - Dr. Barbara Mcletchie, Mrs. Charlotte Cushman
and Mr. Darrick Wright who conducted workshops for a week
for the trainees about different topics related to Deafblindness.
Teacher Learning Process - another key component of the system,
is a complex and broad concept. It encompasses all the factors
contributory to learning in the environment where learning
takes place, the material aids helpful in learning, the methods,
models and maims of teaching, the interactions taking place
between teacher - learner, learner - learner, & learner
- teacher. It is a well-organized process based on sound,
philosophical, psychological and sociological principles.
To develop a pool of trained professionals for providing appropriate
services to Deafblind children in different programmes.
To give the trainees many opportunities to learn about
skills, methods and theories of therapeutic work with the
give them opportunities for learning in groups alongside other
provide the trainees with the opportunity to work on personal
as well as professional development in a mutually supportive
give the trainees exposure to other units within Mumbai as
well as outside Maharashtra such as Delhi, Dehradun, Ahmedabad,
Chennai etc. in the form of two weeks educational tour.
chance to work under guidance on small projects with different
topics of importance to them.
provide practical experience in working with Deafblind children.
impart training in the areas of Assessment and Programme planning.
expose and train teacher trainees in the various communication
methods used by Deafblind such a sign
Language, Braille, Object Communication etc.
develop leadership qualities through various activities such
as presentations, discussions etc.
acquaint teacher trainees with the nature of the curriculum
and the method of teaching children with Deafblindness in
various settings like residential schools, day care centers,
resource centers and center based programmes.
is a facilitative process which enable a person with a handicap
to attain usefulness and satisfaction in life. It includes
not only training of a disabled person, but also family and
community involvement, adaptation of the environment and protection
of human rights. Active participation of the family leads
to complete rehabilitation.
process of selecting an appropriate Training programme for
a Deafblind young adult involves the following:
Vocational Guidance or Counseling
Transitional or Pre-Vocational training involves teaching
Basic self care : dressing, toileting and clean habits.
Social Skills: good manners, interpersonal relationships.
Work Skills & Organization: Concept of time, coming to
work on time, working for specified hours, sticking to a job
even if he / she is fed up, not getting distracted easily,
recognition of signs and letters, knowing the days of the
week, ability to ask for assistance, having road sense, concept
of money, traveling and so on.
Transitional or Pre-Vocational Training involves exposing
the Deafblind child to a variety of experiences that stimulate
work situations and determine his / her preferences for certain
jobs or skills. As Deafblind children grow they become ready
for more formal and work related vocational training.
Vocational Curriculum includes all areas of development:
Communication and Language
Orientation & Mobility
Concepts of Time & Money
Social & Emotional
Work related skills
Recreation & Leisure Skills
Employment options in both the urban and rural set up are:
Employment: The student must be self-reliant in all areas.
Employment: The student works in a non-segregated competitive
work setting and is provided with support. The supporter will
assist the student in finding a job and will provide on-site
training. As the student learns the required tasks he needs
less daily assistance, though the supporter will provide on
going support and advocacy.
Employment: Skill levels of the student are assessed and jobs
are assigned according to the students skill level.
student must be self-reliant, and have the skills to
complete a job fully. It is also desirable that the student
has money concept and good interpretation skills.
vision of starting the computerized Mini Braille Press as
a challenge thrown to us by two of our very high functioning
deafblind boys - Zamir and Pradip.
modifications of hardware and software, teachers of
children who are Deafblind and also older high functioning
Deafblind persons having knowledge of Braille can take advantage
of this exciting technology to enhance communication
development, educational activities and leisure time and much
more beyond that.
unit could be established because of the generous donation
from the British High Commission and
Christoffel Blindenmission , Germany who bought the basic equipment and the
UK who have taken up this
project since January 2002 for a period of three years.
main objectives of this unit apart from training personnel
and staff on the computers, Brailler printer and use of various
Development of communication at all levels which calls for
different modes of communication as ell as sound language
To bring out a journal "Deafblindness in
Asia ". The purpose of this newsletter is
to be "a breakthrough in communication for all of us."
To produce materials in Braille which at the moment are non-existent.
E.g. booklet containing pictures printed through the use of
Braille graphics, different materials in Braille to create
interest in reading by the Deafblind and also in large print
for others who might be losing their vision gradually etc.
These materials will be used not only by our children but
we also intend to distribute them in schools for the blind
who only have Braille syllabus text books as their full source
The journal also contain a section of brain tickling articles.
E.g. "Believe it or not", anecdotes, puzzles etc.
and other interesting materials from magazines like Health,
Bulletin, My Doctor, Reader's Digest etc.
To create a library of books not available in Braille.
The use of Mountbatten Brailler will allow the blind / Deafblind
an instant copy of print into Braille and vice versa.
Down the line in three years we hope to make this an independent
Income Generating Unit.
appeal for hearing conservation & hearing aid program