Social Work Intervention with the Disabled and Their Families

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OC 28: Social Work Intervention with the Disabled and their Families Case Study: Select a family of the disabled child/PWD (person with disability). Become acquainted with the PWD/ family through interviews.

Case: Jeevan Anand Chavan, 25 years

Jeevan Anand Chavan is a 25 year old, enthusiastic individual whose vivacity takes you by surprise and makes you want to know more of him. He is working as a Project Coordinator (Self-Employment Scheme) at The Muncherjee Nowrojee Banajee Industrial Home for the Blind. He finished his HSC from King George School, Dadar with a envious score of 82% and went on to do his SSC and Bachelors in Arts at S.I.E.S College, Sion. After that Jeevan went on to do an MA in Social Work from the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences and specialized in Urban and Rural Community Development. Currently, he is pursuing his LLB from the Government Law College, Mumbai. Jeevan has been visually impaired for the past 20 years of his life. When I went to The Muncherjee Nowrojee Banajee Industrial Home for the Blind and expressed that I want to speak to him in particular, Jeevan asked me why I wished to study his case in particular. Well, it was a deliberate choice I agree. Let me offer an explanation. When I met Jeevan for the first time I was totally intrigued by his personality. He nullified all previous conceptions and perceptions I had of visually impaired people in particular and of the disabled in general. He exuded such a sense of independence and confidence that I had not felt myself in a long time. Also, from what I noticed, Jeevan hardly spoke of the bleak side of the disability that we had, for all this while, studied in this course i.e. Social Work Intervention with the Disabled and their Families. This is what made me want to explore his case and see what is it that keeps people like Jeevan who have been shaken by odds, keep going, and going very smoothly, becoming an inspiration for most around them.

•Family and Socio-economic background
Jeevan has lived in a nuclear family all his life that constitutes of his father, mother and younger brother. The relationships between the family members can be explained in the following genogram more clearly:

Jeevan belongs to an upper-class family with a comfortable economic background. His father was in the army and took voluntary retirement early in his career. He now has a government job. Jeevan's grandfather was a Principal in the local village school. Hence, there exists a culture for education in the family. This he says, very objectively and practically, is the reason for his better than the others status despite his impairment. A high social status, earned him and his family a certain respect in society which was a strength in dealing with his impairment. Also, it gave his parents a mindset that made them believe that his impairment need not necessarily mean a handicap. They took it up as a challenge and dealt with it in the best way that they good. And this had a very positive impact on Jeevan despite his disability.

•Etiology of the disability
Jeevan's is an acquired impairment. That it, his disability is not congenital- he was not born with it. At the age of five, Jeevan was diagnosed with Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it. Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric cable with over a million wires. It is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain. There is no cure for glaucoma—yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma among other factors. Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease. Though glaucoma is an primarily an old age...
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