Hesperian Health Guides

Introductory Material

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Introductory Material

Blindness is a Community Issue

This book was written primarily for parents and other caregivers of young children who cannot see well. But it should not be their task alone to deal with the needs of their children. By making blindness a community issue, it is possible to lighten the extra burden carried by parents of blind children, begin to eliminate the causes of blindness, and help children who are blind grow up to be active community members.

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Making blindness a community issue will help you, your child, and your community.

The root cause of most blindness is poverty. This means the majority of blindness is preventable. To reduce and prevent blindness, the conditions of poverty that oppress most people in communities around the world must be changed. This is one important reason we say that blindness is a community issue. Another reason is that children who are blind are our children — they are the future of our communities.

Children who are blind need and deserve our love, care, and attention. When we make our communities places where blind children can thrive, at the same time we will be improving life for everyone.

Everyone benefits from better education and health care, safer streets and neighborhoods, and more community participation. When you reach out to your friends and neighbors, you are creating the solidarity needed to build a better community and a world of social justice and human dignity.

The Early Assistance Series

There are an estimated 150 million children with disabilities in the world. The attention these children receive during their first years of life has a powerful effect on their future development. The Early Assistance Series includes several books on how to assist children from birth to 5 years old who have disabilities. These books can help by giving the people closest to a child with a disability — parents, family members, friends, and health workers — an understanding of the disability and how to help a child learn and grow using simple and appropriate developmental activities. This material has been developed with the participation of communities all over the world so that it will be useful and applicable across many cultures. These books explain how to:

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  • assess the extent of a child’s disability.
  • stimulate a child’s development with learning activities.
  • understand what causes disability, and how to treat and prevent it.
  • cope with the challenges of raising a child with a disability.
  • work with other community members to improve care for children with disabilities, and help these children become an active part of the community.

Each book is written in simple language with many illustrations.

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Topics the series may address include: helping children who have emotional and behavioral problems, helping children affected by HIV/AIDS, and helping children affected by war and violence.

Books currently available in the series are: Helping Children
Who Are Blind
and Helping Children Who Are Deaf

For availability in English, Spanish, and other languages,
prices and ordering information, or more information
about our work, please contact us:

Hesperian Health Guides
1919 Addison St. #304
Berkeley, California, 94704 USA
tel: (1-510) 845-4507
fax: (1-510) 845-0539
email: [email protected]
website: www.hesperian.org
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