Assistance to Persons with Disabilities

Aiming to realize a society in which all persons with disabilities can fully participate, we support their economic, mental, and social independence while respecting their self-determination. We also advocate their equal rights through cooperation with local and international communities. Most importantly, for all our activities, we encourage the participation of persons with disabilities in project management with the aim to empower them. Special attention is given to those in particularly difficult conditions―such as females, the impoverished, and those with severe disabilities―to promote their rights and dignity.

Activities

Educational support

"inclusive education" means that all children, regardless of their disabilities, race, linguistic conditions, or any other differences, receive education according to their individual ablities and needs.

Improving Accessibility

We help schools become more accessible by installing ramps, remodeling bathrooms, and providing assistive devices such as glasses for children with poor eyesight and extra stools for children who write with their feet.

Training Teachers

Teachers are key to children’s development. We train teachers and give them tools to work with children with disabilities.

Fighting discrimination

Stigma and discrimination towards PWD are deeply rooted in some regions and cultures. Sometimes disabilities are seen as a result of evil deeds in their past lives; and some believe that PWDs cannot do anything. In these areas, PWDs themselves, as well as their families and school administrators, believe that nothing can be done about the education of PWDs. AAR Japan strongly calls on the community at local events, teacher training sessions, and home visits that by using creativity, PWDs can learn and work, and have the right to pursue education and employment.

Economic Inclusion

We all have the right to work. Work not only leads to income and independent life, but also to purpose and joy in life. Working means to participate in society. However, employment opportunities for persons with disabilities are extremely limited in reality. Inaccessible work places and special needs such as the need for frequent rest could all be potential barriers to employment for persons with disabilities, but these are problems that can be easily overcome if people around them offer enough consideration and support. In addition, illiteracy due to denied access to education and lack of social skills due to a secluded lifestyle pose difficulties for persons with disabilities when seeking employment. Through the following activities, we remove barriers at work places and provide training opportunities to help persons of disabilities gain necessary skills to earn employment.

Vocational Training: Using Creativity to Foster Vocational Skills

We are running a vocational training center for persons with disabilities in Myanmar, where students learn dressmaking, hairdressing, and computer skills. Training courses are particularly designed to accommodate different disabilities and in consideration of local customs. Many graduates have successfully gained employment or striving to begin their own businesses.

Income generation

In Laos PDR, we offer training to persons with disabilities on how to grow mushrooms so that they can form their own group and earn a living. Growing mushrooms is a great income generation activity for persons with disabilities, as it requires minimal space, initial investment, and labor.

Social Support

We all engage in various activities, ranging from basic actions such as eating, moving, dressing, toileting, and bathing to domestic chores like cooking, washing, and cleaning, as well as managing finances and medications. When someone needs assistance in conducting such activities, it is crucial that the assistance is provided with proper consideration of the ability and needs of the person assisted, her living environment, and availability of family or community support. For instance, simply providing a wheelchair to a person with mobility impairment does not help him if his house was too small to accommodate a wheelchair. Providing too much assistance may also undermine the independence of the beneficiary. We have to find out what’s best for each person.

Tailored Support

In Myanmar, many children are excluded from education or even community rehabilitation centers due to their severity of disabilities or economic situations. We visit such children to assess their individual needs and provide the best support for each child we visit. In case of Lin Lei Hay Mahn Ko (age 11), who had cerebral palsy and difficulty moving the right side of her body, we found out that a support chair would be effective in suppressing the deterioration of her condition and worked with a local carpenter to build such a chair that fitted her body.

Building Capacity of Local Specialists

Rehabilitation centers and specialists are scarce in developing countries. So we train local medical personnel to build their capacities while also training family members of those who need rehabilitation so that they can provide proper rehabilitation sessions to their loved ones at home.

Inclusion during Emergencies

When natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons strike, everyone becomes vulnerable and needs support. Persons with disabilities become particularly vulnerable in such situations. Those with hearing or visual difficulties often cannot access information about evacuation routes or relief item distribution. People with autism find it difficult to evacuate to unfamiliar locations with other unfamiliar evacuees. Evacuation itself is challenging for people who use wheelchairs or walking devices, and they are often left in hazardous conditions. It is vital to be well prepared for emergency situations so that persons with special needs receive the aid they need. Stocking relief items such as assistive devices and fluid diet and ensuring that evacuation facilities and temporary houses are accessible will save lives in emergencies.

Leaving No One Behind

In Myanmar, continual rainfall from July 2015 caused massive flooding. At least 117 people lost their lives, 380 thousand households were forced to evacuate, bring the total number of people affected to 1.63miliion (Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement). AAR Japan, in cooperation with MILI, a local organization, provided emergency aid essentials such as water, food, daily life commodities, and crutches to 1,200 households with PWDs in 10 areas such as Rahkine state and Yangon. MILI, an organization of PWDs promoting independent living, were able to accurately assess the needs of PWDs.

Supporting PWDs Escaping Conflict

"I don’t leave the house because I get embarrassed when people see me being carried" said Yusef (Age13). After receiving a wheelchair, he is excited to move by himself (March 2013 Hatay, Turkey)

As the 2011 civil war in Syria prolong, refugees continue to flee to neighboring countries. Among the reugees are PWDs, who were unable to bring assissting tools/braces/machines. AAR Japan assess their need and provides wheelchairs and crutches to ensure that their stay in a foreign land is a bit less difficult.

Participating in international and national conferences

AAR Japan Overseas staff Satomi Mukai presenting AAR Cambodia project at CBR Congress (October 9th, 2016)

AAR Japan participates in regional conferences on the rights of PWD and international conferences that promote self-sufficiency, to share project experiences and advocacy. In September 2016, at the 2nd Community-based Rehabilitation Congress (CBR) convened in Malaysia, AAR Japan presented on Cambodian project.

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AAR Japan
7F, Mizuho Building, 2-12-2 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, 141-0021 Japan
Tel: +81-3-5423-4511
Fax: +81-3-5423-4450
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