Adugodi Traffic Cops Now Armed With Sign Language
BENGALURU: The Adugodi traffic police have just undergone training to communicate with the visually- and the hearing-impaired.
A workshop conducted by Giftabled, a city-based NGO, gave them tips on how to assist those with disability trying to negotiate city traffic.
During the workshop, some police officials were blindfolded and others taught to guide them.
The training defined and described disability, and examined many myths associated with it. It also explained the correct way to speak and interact with people with disability.
Policemen also got an introduction to Braille and sign language. Ramesh Kumar H B, inspector at the Adugodi traffic police station, said, “We have 54 traffic personnel deployed at various places. We do come across people with disability. Sometimes we fail to help them because we don’t know sign language. These classes will make a difference.”
He suggested similar sensitisation at all police stations.
Prarthana, founder and managing trustee of Giftabled, told City Express, “Policemen are change agents and work 24/7 to keep our cities safe. We took up this initiative because they help the visually impaired and the deaf stuck on roads.”
How to Help the Hearing-impaired
◆ Watch facial expressions, eye gaze. Be patient in communication.
◆ Look directly at the person, keeping your hands away from your face.
◆ Be friendly; they merit the same respect as anyone else.
How to Guide the Visually-impaired
◆ Allow the person you are guiding to hold your arm and follow as you walk.
◆ Move your guiding arm behind your back when approaching a narrow space so the person you are guiding can step behind you and follow single-file.
◆ Specify whether the steps are going up or down, and about the streets you are taking.
◆ Allow the person to find the handrail and locate the edge of the first step before proceeding.
◆ Don’t grab the person you are guiding by the hand, arm or shoulder and try to steer him.
◆ Don’t grab the person’s cane.