These Are Our
Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR)
Navajeevana’s ideology focuses on sustaining the disabled individual in his/her community, using Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) to implement many of its programmes. This entails having mobile multidisciplinary clinics, made up of specialists and field officers, visit rural areas and conduct home visits in order to provide rehabilitative services to inaccessible communities free of charge. In designing CBR programmes, as opposed to IBR programmes (Institution-Based Rehabilitation – rehabilitative services provided by an establishment at a charge), Navajeevana uses center staff and volunteers from the neighbourhood, selected by village committees and given training by Navajeevana. Currently, there are 12 field officers, including required specialists and officers with diplomas in social services, in the CBR programme. Field officers promote accessibility and income generation and encourage those with disabilities to join Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs). Collaborative relationships and connections with many local government and other organizations link beneficiaries with necessary services (social services, Samurdhi, etc.).
Institution-Based Rehabilitation (IBR)
Navajeevana offers IBR at their centre in Tangalle. Clients who are unable to travel to the center repeatedly for treatment can stay with family members in the Navajeevana hostel at very reasonable rates, for as long as needed to teach family to be able to continue the therapy program in their home village. Such a treatment program would receive follow up visits from the Community Based Rehabilitation team to ensure the patients progress.
Access to physiotherapy, speech therapy, audio and low vision care services, mobility programmes, and mental health and counselling services access in more rural areas in Sri Lanka. The Navajeevana Centre provides these necessary rehabilitative services to the southern and eastern areas of Sri Lanka through its multi-disciplinary model. • Prosthetics and Orthotics: with internationally trained staff, this department manufactures a number of aides for children and adults with different types of structural deformities or amputations.
• Physiotherapy: for children and adults with problems ranging from back pain, cerebral palsy, stroke.
• Supportive Seating: caters to clients, usually children, who need specifically designed seating support.
• Speech and Language Therapy
• Wheelchair Production (fitting) and Elbow Crutches
• The Audiological Unit: provides audio testing, quality rehabilitation of speech and language skills, and audiological aides such as ear moulds
• Low Vision supportive training
Special Needs Education
Navajeevana runs three special schools in the towns of Tangalle, Walasgala, and Angunukolapelessa for 82 children between ages of 5 -16 years with learning disabilities, and autism. The schools combine formal and informal curriculums and include free play, music, dancing, learning letters and words, sensory integration, drawing, creating handicrafts, and educational fieldtrips as part of a holistic education. Children are grouped according to their learning needs and their abilities relative to their learning needs. Teachers also work with parents to develop their child’s self-help skills, such as washing and dressing. The schools goal is to provide access to education and an opportunity for some to move on to mainstream education.Upon registration, medical notes are reviewed, parents are interviewed, and each child is assessed for cognitive ability, behavioural appropriateness, and areas needing improvement in daily living skills. Teachers create individualized weekly plans, keep a record of each student’s daily activities and learning achievements, and prepare progress reports every three months. The Head of the Special Education Department visits each school weekly, observing and meeting with teachers to discuss their performance and adjust action plans and execution, if necessary. During school holidays, teachers perform field visits and help parents teach children life skills and activities of daily living at home. The curriculum follows a series of modules developed during a USAID project run at Navajeevana. Modules include motor skills training, sensory recognition, listening, speaking, etc. Teachers are required to have a Special Needs Education teaching diploma and participate in a 5-day Navajeevana orientation and training course. New students may register at any time during the school year. A small monthly supplies fee applies.
Prosthetic and Orthotic Department
The department was established with the funding from Motivation UK in 2003 and since then prosthetic and orthotic service provision has been under Navajeevana’s roof. Thousands of Prosthetic and Orthotic devises have been produced to cater the demand in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka and the department has been in the service for the internally displaced persons in the North and East regions after the armed conflicts. Currently we have adapted ICRC technology to ensure low cost and durable product delivery.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy department also has been in the service parallel with physiotherapy services. Varying range of conditions and ages are served under a qualified therapist in the department. Most of the beneficiaries are the children who are under special education or referred from government hospitals, schools or from the field services.
The Audiology Unit
provides audio testing including play audiometry and middle ear test. The programme has played an important auxiliary role for the speech and language therapy when necessary. Along with technological enhancement the services are extended to the field with other services in multidisciplinary clinical practise.
Low vision cervices have been a long awaiting need for Navajeevana as there is no services available anywhere in the district. The low vision center was established with the funding from sight servers. The unit offers unique service to the persons with low vision and provide training, reading equipment and advise on home adaptations.
The Sensory Integration Room
A sensory room allows individuals with developmental difficulties and/or sensory impairments to engage with a range of senses by providing a variety of stimuli. These stimuli come in the form of colours, lights, sounds, sensory soft play objects, and aromas that are all provided in a safe space for the individual to explore and interact with without risk.
The Navajeevana craft shop provides local and international customers a variety of handicrafts, ranging from original artwork, embroidered handtowels and tablecloths, unique greeting cards, to the quintessential Sri Lankan coconut spoons and cutlery. Items for sale in the shop have been produced by disabled people who make their living from their crafts, or are donated by non-disabled local artisans. Profits support Navajeevana’s programs for people with disabilities.
Corporate Social Responsibility Programs
Navajeevana currently has four corporate hotel partners in the Tangalle area which support the programs and services of Navajeevana by either regularly donating specific items such as school supplies, sponsoring special school programs such as events for World Children’s Day, providing workers to assist with grounds and maintenance issues, or ordering items from the craft shop.
• Educational programmes on disability rights and inclusive development are held annually for a range of stakeholders – community members, corporates, local government officials, schoolchildren, educational authorities, community development practitioners, and national policy makers.
• Internships for both local and international students in physiotherapy, prosthetics, and orthotics.
Navajeevana is committed to support disabled people of all ages turning disability into ability.