Northern School for the Blind (Thailand)

The Northern School for the Blind runs several programs for students who are blind or visually impaired with additional disabilities, and the services are designed to meet the needs of students in specific age groups.  All visually impaired with additional disabilities students at Northern School for the Blind come from villages in the countryside, so the local community is another way to develop many skills for students. The young students work on the development of the tactual and sensory skills in the environment. The older students focus on the development of  the skills of daily living, as well as local vocational and agricultural skills, which are very similar to their families' communities. So the community-based program is very suitable for all students who are visually impaired with additional disabilities and it is a part of the transition plan for older students who are visually impaired with additional disabilities when they finish school.

 

Community-Based Program

The community-based program is held at the home of one of the transition-age youth, Ms. Pantip, in her house and community in Palan village, 15 kilometers from the Northern School for the Blind. Pantip is visually impaired with additional disabilities and an ex-student who finished school 2 years ago.  There are 14 students who participate in this program.


Pantip was brought up by her grandparents since she was young. Her grandparents are farmers. They have a small house and around their house they grow many kinds of vegetables and herbs for cooking.
 

Photo of the kitchen at Patnip's house.

 


Animal Care

They have numerous pets, cows, dogs, cat, hens and ducks, and this gives everyone a chance to learn more about animal care.

Photo of youths at the edge of the barn where the animals live.

 

Photo of dog lying on ground outside of cattle pen.Photo of ducks in a pen

 

 

Photo of cow in a pen

 

Gardening

Many types of vegetables and herbs for cooking grow around the house.  The youth learn about local fruits and vegetables, while also practicing gardening skills.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo of group examining fruit on a tree.
Photo of two young women examining papayas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Photo of people working in a field

 

Growing Rice

Photo of transition-age youth walking through rice fieldWorking alongside other members of the community, they learn to cultivate rice.
 
 
 
 
Growing and Cooking Mushrooms
Youth reaches into straw to pull out mushroomsShowing the mushrooms that have been picked
 
 
After the mushrooms have been harvested, they are washed and sliced for cooking.The youth participate in all stages of the process, from growing and harvesting the mushrooms, to washing and cooking them.
 


Catfish Farm

There is also a small catfish and frog farm at the house.  As with the other vocational activities, the youth participate in all stages of the process.
The students examine the tanks outside the house.Removing straw from the water
 
 
Adding fresh water to the tanksOne student examines a catfish she has caught in her hand.
 
 

The students enjoy observing the catfish in the water tanks.

 


Cooking food in the traditional village style

Students help to prepare the vegetables.Students gather materials to prepare the fire.
 
 

This young man is cooking in the traditional style over a small fire.

 


Community Involvement

Their neighbors, many of whom are also their relatives, have similar lifestyles.  They are all very kind to our students and let them join in their activities.  For a year the villagers have passed on their knowledge and wisdom to the students to help them in their vocational development.  They have been shown how to cultivate and manage rice, grow vegetables and mushrooms from straw.  They have a catfish farm and have learned how to cook food in the traditional village style. The students are still enjoying this experience and are happy in this community-based program. They always tell us that they are adults and they would like to work as adults. The community villagers are very willing to help them. 

 

Overview of Transition Planning (Video)
 

This 8-minute video provides an overview of transition planning for young adults with visual impairments and additional disabilities at a program in northern Thailand.  It describes the daily living activities in the classroom, including washing clothes, ironing, going to market, sweeping, mopping, food preparation, cooking, and Orientation and Mobility.  In addition, it shows activities in the local community, such as visits to temples, parks, and participation in special cultural events and festivals.  Vocational training programs include Thai massage and recycling.  Recreational and social activities include games, exercise, and music.  Finally, the video presents a halfway house for 5 young adults, and describes the involvement of the families, as well as outlining their daily activities.

 
 

 
 
 
Working with Families& Communities for MDVI (Multiply Disabled Visually Impaired)
 
This 9-minute video presents four types of programs that the Northern School for the Blind offers for children who are blind or visually impaired with additional disabilities, including home-based, school-based, school & community-based, and community-based.  It discusses the importance of working closely as a team with teachers, families, and members of the community.
 

Work with Families & Communities for MDVI Eng from Perkins on Vimeo.

 

Experience Learning and Halfway House

 

 

For more information about this program, please contact:
       Northern School for the Blind
       41 Arruk Road, Amphur Muang
       Chiang Mai, THAILAND  50200
       Contact person: Siriporn Tantaopas (Noie)
       Email:  spnoie99@hotmail.com