Monday, August 22, 2011

Up, up and away . . .

Not everybody can read. And certainly not everybody can read English. I was standing outside the Doon EIC one morning when a woman came by holding a baby (with Down Syndrome) in her arm and a scrap of paper in her free hand. "Where is this?" she asked me, handing me the scrap of paper.

"Doon EIC," it said, clear as mud.

"Right here," I replied, leading her in to the centre. And right then I decided we needed a better system.

What if we could tell people who don't know English and who may not be able to read: "Just follow the balloons"? Friendly, easy, fun. Just what we want them to feel about what we do and who we are.

But of course, fun and easy for our users means work and effort for us.

On Saturday, a gang of us descended on the Doon Hospital with hammer and nails.

That was for the signs.

But for the balloons, it was paint and brushes and playing to the galleries.

Everyone was curious. Everyone was interested. Who are these people? What the heck are they up to?

Some stayed to find out:

. . . and in the process, they learned that there is a place where children with special needs wil be treated like the special people they are.


kiran bettadapur said...

I think that is a brilliant idea! Awesome actually!

I have seen something similar in the OPD section of NIMHANS, Bangalore. No balloons, but coloured bands running along the wall to indicate which department is housed in that floor.

Jo Chopra McGowan said...

Thanks, Kiran! We had a ball doing it.

Anonymous said...

Lovely! Came here through another post.

I volunteer for differently abled adults.

I must admit a lot of learning and a lot of love from them is something, unforgettable.

shampa said...

What a wonderful idea it is indeed ......effective communication is what we lack in every sphere many a time ....just need a little empathy ....I bet you must have enjoyed too....