How Berdo Aids the Disabled in Bangladesh

Disabled in BangladeshDue to the combination of widespread poverty and overpopulation, life can be especially difficult for the disabled in Bangladesh. The Blind Education and Rehabilitation Development Organization (Berdo) started its journey on July 17, 1991. The objective of Berdo is to rehabilitate people with disabilities through “income generation, education, training and treatment facilities.” Through this process, the organization enables the blind and disabled to succeed and live life with relative normality.

Job Placement

A common issue among the disabled is getting secure employment. The job-generating project aims to aid the disabled in finding suitable employment. An important aspect of this will be communicating with prospective employers in order to best accommodate the needs of the disabled. This program is funded by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC). The program has produced in excess of 115 jobs for people with disabilities, as of data from 2008.

Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR)

Community-based rehabilitation for the disabled is provided through the following methods:

  • Community-based counseling with other disabled people.

  • Training in mobility and skills needed for daily living.

  • Facilitating access to necessary loans.

  • Improving disability awareness.

  • Local self-help groups, parents groups and Disability Persons Organizations (DPOs).

  • Facilitating enrollment in schools for the disabled.

Braille Library

Access to braille literature is essential for the blind to obtain new information. A library with audiobooks, CDs and braille books is located in Bangladesh. Five hundred braille books and 300 audiobooks are currently available. The library also contains a recording studio for recording audiobooks.

The School of Information and Technology for the Visually Impairment (SITVI)

The School of Information and Technology for the Visually Impairment (SITVI) is a program to teach essential computer and internet skills to the visually impaired. Relief International Schools online provided the computers needed for this program. This program currently has four computers but will likely expand in the future.

Promotion of Human Rights

The Promotion of Human Rights of Persons with Disability in Bangladesh (PHRPBD) is a program that aims to expand and protect the rights of the disabled community. This program works alongside the Center for Disability in Development (CDD). These rights are addressed through several small meetings of female Persons with Disabilities (PWD):

  • Distribution of necessary assistive devices.

  • Helping people with disabilities obtain disability allowances.

  • Assisting children with disabilities with admission into schools.

  • Referral services and regular check-ups


Berdo has opened centers in Dhaka and Madaripur. Within these centers are schools and hostels for the blind to access. Services provided by these centers include:

  • Foodservice

  • Lodging

  • Medical check-ups

  • Counseling Support

  • Education

  • Sports

  • Cultural Activities

Japan provided Berdo with a grant of $87,350. With this fund, Berdo was able to obtain and utilize a braille press. A braille press is essential for the process of making texts that can be accessed by the blind. Specifically, the organization will this press to make texts for the Berdo Blind School, library members and other blind people within Bangladesh. This could enhance the self-reliance of the visually impaired as well as promote adequate education.

While the current scope of Berdo is somewhat small compared to the population, it is providing essential services for the disabled. These services should continue to be expanded upon in order to give equal opportunities and allow the disabled to achieve more stability and success.

– Max Cole
Photo: Flickr