Calling for your support in our “Live an Accessible Life” campaign

Translated by Joseph Tang 唐志翔

 

   In Taiwan, there are around one million and one hundred sixteen thousand people with physical or mental disabilities. They have to overcome the limitation from their own disabilities and discrimination from the outside world, and even race against time due to the pressure from early aging. All these restrictions have the negative impact on their progress in life and hinder numerous possibilities for further development. For them, it’s like riding on a stalled train toward a future without hope. However, Eden Foundation found that as long as the proper support is provided at right time, they can make the change in their lives. In addition to the involvement of their own families, social welfare organizations, and the first-line personnel, the participation from every individual within our society is also needed to create a friendly environment, as the most fundamental and crucial support for them.

 

Figure 1. Representatives with physical disabilities from Eden Foundation were shown in the picture with their teachers next to them, together holding their tickets in hands, representing the beginning of their new lives.

 

   Lately, followed by the promotion of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CPRD related right awareness gradually receives greater attention, but is still required for further improvement regarding to the topics like disability in the workplace and creating a social and interpersonal friendly environment. According to the researches, over forty percent of physical or mentally disabled people have faced unfair treatment, and on top of that, more than sixty-five percent of labors with physical or mental disabilities have received mocking or discrimination in the workplace. Regarding to the social and interpersonal relationship, because of the over-protective mindset and lack of learning opportunities, as much as sixty percent of people with disabilities have suffered frustration caused by misunderstanding.

 

Figure 2. Being away from outside world for thirty years, A-Zhong wrote a card on his own to show his appreciation for the support he received from the teachers and family

 

   On the fourth of July, Eden Foundation held a “Change from Now” press conference at Taipei City Physical and Mental Disorders Welfare Center, calling for the public response to the “Live an Accessible Life” campaign, to jointly create a friendly environment and to help people with physical and mental disabilities change their current situation. Yan-Yu Zhang, Director of Eden Resource Development Department said that, for those with physical or mental disabilities, aging without things to worry about seemed to be an unreachable dream and it required every one of us to make a change to the current situation.

 

Figure 3. Wu-Xiong, a physically disabled painter of Eden Wanfang Enlightenment Center attended the event, together with the social worker, Shi-Jia Zhang, calling for supporting the “Live an Accessible Life” campaign.

 

    There were three guests with physical and mental disabilities, including A-Zhong, who is thirty-nine years old this year with an intermediate level of mental disorder, invited to join the press conference and to share their personal story about “Changing”. Because of the discrimination from outside world, lack of understanding from others, and family holding much traditional point of view, A-Zhong hadn’t had much contact with people outside his family since his graduation from primary school. His life seemed to have nothing else other than staring at television at home. His ability of communicating and interacting with others were heavily affected due to thirty years of isolation. As a result, he was afraid of expressing his own thoughts and gradually lost the ability to live and think independently, not even being able to do the shopping at the convenience store on his own.

 

Figure 4. Eden Foundation invited people to participate in the “Live an Accessible Life” campaign and to support people with disabilities to live a brand new life.

 

 

    About two years ago, A-Zhone came to join the Eden Nanshin Workhouse and XiuFeng Homeland, participating in the daytime activities and homeland services provided by the community. Through life-reconstruction programs such as simple subcontracted activities and community involvement, he re-developed the ability of living on his own again and see an open-door to change his life. In April this year, A-Zhong started working in the Awanshi Cleaning Team under the sheltered employment internship program, taking another big step toward returning to the society. Today, A-Zhong prepared a card in order to express his appreciation for his family and teachers from Eden Foundation. Although he only graduated from the primary school and was not able to recognize many words, he was determined to make the card by himself, representing his start of new life.

 

   In addition, Xiao-Hui who had been working in an Eden Foundation related sheltered factory in Taoyuan over eight years, successfully completed her working program last June. Last September, with the support from an employment service office, she started working as a permanent employee to contribute what she had learned from the previous job. Wu-Xiong, a painter with physical disability who receives day-care service from Wanfang Enlightenment Center, has been working on his painting every day for the past twenty years. Due to his Cerebral Palsy disease, the muscles of his hands gradually atrophy to a level that he cannot even hold a brush firmly. Still acting positively, he once made a joke about his own uncontrollable hands. Even though it took him much more time to work on his painting than those without physical disability, he has never given up on depicting the scenery.

 

   Eden Foundation has served our friends with physical and mental disabilities over thirty-five years. Our “Live an Accessible Life” "無障礙生活計畫" campaign includes services related to employment, healthcare, skill-development, and life-reconstruction. Each year, we help over one hundred thousand people with physical or mental disabilities return to the society and live on their own. Eden Foundation invites you to make a donation and support our “Live and Accessible Live” campaign, to jointly create a friendly environment and to start making the change from now.