|Visit to a wheelchair factory|
We visited a rehabilitation home for people with severe disabilities. At this home, they are taught to be as independent as they can possibly be with their disability. They also work with the family and the community of the people with a disability, so these can accept the concept of independent living better. At this rehabilitation home, they also have a job placement agency especially for people with a disability, which acts as an intermediate between the employee and the employer.
We visited the Pattaya City Hall were we had the opportunity to meet with the mayor of this city. He has established an inclusion culture, in the city hall and in the city of Pattayaopening up many spaces in the community. As a result, most public spaces have universal accessibility.
We also visited different institutions that have promoted economical independence for people with a disability through work (wheel chair fabric, arts and crafts artisans). With this kind of actions, the target group has gained self esteem, independent living opportunities and rehabilitation.
We also had the opportunity to participate in a Session of the UNESCAP (United Nations Economical Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), where we shared out thoughts with representatives from Asia Pacific region and Africa. We were able to explain the situation in the Latin American region regarding disabilities.
Learning about the actions that Thailand has taken in benefit of people with a disability was a very enriching experience. Equally interesting was sharing with people with different disabilities. I was able to learn a lot from them, from their challenges and successes, which has opened my mind to other disabled people and their needs. This type of exchanges is an incentive, a motivating tool to continue seeking a space for people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus in Guatemala.
By Victoria Sandoval