Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

Vocational training and seed capital to support entrepreneurs with deafblindness

Sense International India is a national NGO supporting people with deafblindness. Sense India provides vocational training and seed capital to adults with deafblindness to launch micro-enterprises in their community. It also adapts vocational training curriculum and trains vocational instructors to better respond to the needs of persons with deafblindness. Since 2014, 600 adults have been trained and 130 have received seed capital to start their own ventures.

“I am delighted that my son has been employed, which has brought him excitement and satisfaction.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Income Generation Activities for Persons with Deafblindness
Organisation:Sense International India
of Implementation
Start Year2014
Sub-CategoryA project of Civil Society


  • 60 per cent of people provided with seed capital are running successful ventures
  • Sense India is working in 23 of India’s 28 states
  • 150 vocational instructors have been trained to support people with deafblindness


There are limited opportunities for persons with deafblindness to acquire vocational skills or to launch their own enterprises.


Sense International India trains participants in various trades, such as rearing cattle or retail, to help them find work or set up their own micro-enterprise. The organization works with government training agencies to adapt 12 vocational courses, and has trained 150 vocational instructors to teach adapted curricula. Adaptations include alternative communication formats, such as Braille, large print, or tactile drawings, and ensuring that assistants are available for industry visits. Trainers are informed about nonverbal communication methods, accessible learning environments, and teaching strategies.

From 2014 to 2020, Sense International India has provided 130 people with seed funding, 60 per cent of whom have turned their micro-enterprises into successful ventures. It also trains families and communities to support these new businesses. Entrepreneurs report they have gained confidence and strengthened their skills.

A man stands in a small shop. Behind him are shelves with snacks and household products. He is smiling at a woman standing in the shop doorway who is communicating with him in sign language.

Ashish Kumar from Bihar welcomes a member of the Sense International India project team in his shop.


The project is funded through grants from trusts, foundations, and corporations.

To date, Sense International India has implemented the practice in 23 of India’s 28 states. It has also been replicated in Bangladesh, and the feasibility of launching in Nepal is being explored.

Sense International India wants to increase the number of women with deafblindness accessing training and seed capital. It plans to offer financial management training to adults with deafblindness and their families and to train more vocational instructors. It will also conduct a market assessment to better understand what opportunities exist for persons with deafblindness to be competitive in the open labour market to ensure training remains demand driven.


Download factsheet as accessible word