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Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

What is Counseling and Psychotherapy?

Counseling, or psychotherapy, is a professional relationship that focuses on personal problems. The counseling relationship differs from both social friendships and patient-physician contacts. Unlike friends, counselors are able to be objective; they are not involved in your daily lives. Unlike most physicians, counselors do not give specific advice or tell you what to do. Instead, they serve as skilled listeners who help you to clarify issues, discover your true wishes and feelings, and deal effectively with problems.

How can we define Disability?

The definition of "disability" varies depending on the purpose for which it is being used. The Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act), a person with a disability is generally defined as someone who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more "major life activities," (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. Disabled persons include the blind, the deaf, the orthopaedically handicapped, the negative lepers and the mild mentally retarded persons. Definition of disabilities of various categories:

(1) The Blind –

Suffering from either of the following:

A. Total absence of sight.

B. Visual acquity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (snellen) in the better eye with correcting lenses.

C. Limitation of the field of vision substanding an angle of 20 degree or worse.

(2) The Deaf-

The deaf are those in whom the sense of hearing is nonfunctional for ordinary purposes of life. They do not hear / understand sounds at all events with complified speech . The cases included in this category will be those having hearing loss more than 90 decibles in the better ear (profound impairment) or total loss of hearing in both the ears.


(3) The Orthopaedically Handicapped-

The OH are those who have a physical defect or deformity which causes interference with normal functioning of bones, muscles and joints.

(4) The Negative Lepers: Cured and non-infunctions leprosy patients.

(5) The Mild Mentally Retarded-

Those having an I.Q. varying from 51 to 70 can develop social and communication, Skills, can learn academic skills approximately upto 6th grade level, can achieve social and vocational skills adequate to minimum self support , needs assistance under usual social or economic stress.

What could a counselor do to help?; After all, a chronic illness/disability isn’t going away

Counselors can work with friends, family, and the person who’s going through it. Coping and healing involves refocusing their lives, understanding abilities and limitations, moving through stages of loss, and coming out the other side finding new ways to feel good about themselves and their life. There are many strategies counselors use to help people heal and move forward.

What are some common stages people go through when faced with a disability?

To some degree, it’s similar to any major loss. Grief, denial, anger, depression, trying to figure out how it can change and will affect them. If enough resolution develops, one can accept the circumstances and limitations; accepting what the universe will hold for them.

How does disability affect one's emotional and mental state?

Feeling angry/enraged, sad/depressed, afraid/terrified, frustrated, confused, helpless, inadequate, embarrassed, ashamed, odd, numb, are just some of the emotions someone with a disability or chronic illness can have. Long-term painful thoughts and emotions can lead to alienation, loss of friends, more symptoms, feeling alone, and so on. It’s important to have lots of support in many areas, and means of coping if you’ve just developed a disability, or are having a hard-time coping with a disability you’ve had for years.

Studies done show people who are born with disabilities tend to be more well adjusted than people who’s disabilities came later in life. A person who goes blind at 20 years old deals with issues around the loss of never seeing what’s around them again, and the fear of, "Will I be okay? Can I still live without seeing?"

A man who’s done physical work his whole life, may experience a tremendous struggle. Finding he can no longer work or be independent can be especially debilitating for him.

How does disability affect one's emotional and mental state?

Feeling angry/enraged, sad/depressed, afraid/terrified, frustrated, confused, helpless, inadequate, embarrassed, ashamed, odd, numb, are just some of the emotions someone with a disability or chronic illness can have. Long-term painful thoughts and emotions can lead to alienation, loss of friends, more symptoms, feeling alone, and so on. It’s important to have lots of support in many areas, and means of coping if you’ve just developed a disability, or are having a hard-time coping with a disability you’ve had for years.

Studies done show people who are born with disabilities tend to be more well adjusted than people who’s disabilities came later in life. A person who goes blind at 20 years old deals with issues around the loss of never seeing what’s around them again, and the fear of, "Will I be okay? Can I still live without seeing?"

A man who’s done physical work his whole life, may experience a tremendous struggle. Finding he can no longer work or be independent can be especially debilitating for him.

How does it affect family, friends, colleagues?

Many of us who suddenly become disabled, or develop an illness which creates a disability, will need to lean on family and friends both physically and emotionally. And just when a family member thinks everything is "under control", more needs or emotions may arise. People at work may become frustrated as well, since you’re either not at work, or can’t do the same things prior to the disability.

Because so many disabilities and illnesses take place later in life, many times these people are in life-committed relationships. This creates a special set of conditions affecting the mate. How does a mate deal with this chronic disability or illness? It’s extremely hard; a problem the mate has little control over. In recent years we’ve developed support groups for people who are husbands or wives of people suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses. So many issues are involved, not just in coping with the issues of the person who’s ill, but also coping with what one’s commitment is, finances, etc. It’s an ongoing, lifetime struggle. Someone who’s developing Multiple Sclerosis, sees their abilities disappear, and can see their mate trying to accommodate. They may feel things becoming more burdensome. Its a real struggle for both people. It’s very important to get support from friends, family, or a counselor while working through issues as they develop. Sometimes even just a little help can go a long long way.

There are so many different kinds of illnesses and disabilities, and of all ages. Are there any common threads?

People who are disabled are regularly discriminated against. Many people who have a disability or develop an illness will experience anger, frustration, and depression, from being part of a group being discriminated against. Things can be very hard, whether we’re talking about wheelchair entrances, promotions at work, strange looks, prejudice, or ridicule.

Things like wheelchair ramps into buildings, elevators, wider entrances, and so on, but these things still aren’t universal. There are just many barriers for disabled people. This is true whether you’re age 70, age 10, blind, or have AIDS.

What are the other benefits available to persons with disabilities for education?

a) Free education upon the age of 18 years b) Scholarships c) School Boards allow scribe to write examination to visual Impaired, physically Handicapped & Dyslexic students d) Free books, book grant, uniform and other learning aids e) Special schools for differently- abled children

How to avail the scholarship?

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment publishes advertisement in newspapers some time in the month of May. One should apply in response to the advertisement.