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Eden Social Welfare Foundation

Out of the Darkness, New Taipei City Visually Impaired Life Rehabilitation Service Brightens New Hope

The eyes are the windows of the soul, but according to the 2022 statistics from Ministry of Health and Welfare, there are nearly 55,000 persons with visual impairment in Taiwan, with nearly 90% of them losing their eyesight halfway through their lives and the median is on age 45 who are in their middle-aged years. Faced with the rising demand for persons with visual impairment, the Social Affairs Bureau of the New Taipei City Government has entrusted the Eden Social Welfare Foundation to provide rehabilitation services for persons with visual impairment in New Taipei City, accompanying persons with visual impairment out of the darkness of their lives to meet a brand-new life positively.


Diversified programs help Mr. Ta-Chou Kuan gradually get out of the darkness of his heart and toward a brand-new life.


Mr. Ta-Chou Kuan, 43-year-old man is a case of it. He had suffered from anosmia for many years, but after regular visits, his vision remained at 0.8. However, about five years ago, when he was playing badminton, he realized that he could not see the ball in front of his eyes, and noticed that he could not see clearly at night or in low-light areas, so he went to the hospital for a checkup.


After a doctor's diagnosis, Ta-Chou was diagnosed with "retinal dystrophy", with a vision of 0.03 and no cure. Because of his eyesight, he was forced to leave his job as an electronic hardware system inspector. Faced with the double impact on his health and work, his mood hit rock bottom and he was no longer interested in anything, nor was he willing to step out of his home, so his family was very worried.


After a referral, Mr. Ta-Chou Kuan came to Eden Foundation to receive life rehabilitation services.


With the encouragement of his family, he applied for employment services at the Labor Department the year before last and was referred to Eden Foundation for life rehabilitation services to enhance his skills. After a home visit by a social worker to understand his needs, he was arranged to receive psychological counseling and assessment, as well as courses on computer and mobile phone voice operation. Later, he was also provided with information on pre-employment training courses, encouraging him to try different types of jobs to confirm his future career direction, such as telephone customer service, convenience store, administration and massage, etc., to enhance his skills and vocational ability. In his daily life, he was actively invited to participate in the diversified leisure courses of the Center, so that he could have the opportunity to explore different interests and expand his social life, so that he could be accompanied by his peers and get out of the darkness.


"I am grateful for the companionship of the social worker on life rehabilitation services, which helped me to tide over the low peak period of my life," he said. Although he is not yet completely blind, he has learned orientation, how to use a white cane and how to use public transportation which has helped him gain confidence in facing future changes in his eyesight. Now, he has completed the massage vocational training course, and at the end of last month, he also started the workplace internship, step by step, towards the road of massage master.


Mr. Ta-Chou Kuan thanked the social worker of Eden for her companionship and opening a new path in his life.


Ms. Mei-Chih Liao, Director General, Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Eden Social Welfare Foundation, said, "Most persons with acquired visual impairment have a great impact on their psychology, work and life. Through the life Rehabilitation services, persons with visual impairment can be accompanied to rebuild their abilities according to their condition, so that they can come out of the closed door and participate in the society once again.


Ms. Mei-Chen Lee, Director, Social Affairs Bureau of New Taipei City Government, said that since the establishment of Ai-Ming Visually Impaired Service Development Center in 2006, it has been committed to creating a friendly and more accessible social environment. Through the cooperation with the departments of labor, the departments of welfare and health, to provide diversified support, including vocational training, employment opportunities and community integration services to enhance the quality of life of persons with visual impairment. In 2015, Eden Social Welfare Foundation was entrusted to operate the rehabilitation services for persons with visual impairment in New Taipei City, which provides orientation and mobility training, life skills training, psychological support, and family care services. People in need of such services are welcome to call the New Taipei City Ai-Ming Visually Impaired Service Development Center at +886-2-2963-6866.