NAAC was the organisation, which I met in Hong Kong. NAAC is a non-profit agency that concentrates its resources on offering quality care to people with disabilities at all levels. The organization provides the disabled with a safe environment for them to live in that is comfortable. In addition to this, they provide disable patients with training on daily basis that polish their social skills. This assists them to become confident in their interaction with others in the society. NAAC also supports employment for the disabled (Estes, 2005). That is ensuring that there are equal opportunities for the disabled in the workplace. In accordance to this, the organization facilitates the inclusion of the disabled in activities such as packaging, baking cakes, and cashier work and waiters. This improves the skills of the disabled. The visit to NAAC made me understand the conditions of the disabled in Hong Kong and the various efforts in place to assist them overcome such challenges.
During the visit to NAAC in Hong Kong, I realized that there are many challenges that disabled individuals in Hong Kong face. The government of Hong Kong has been providing infrastructure facilities to the disabled, but they have not been on the large scale being successful. While they have enabled individuals with hearing problems to access the internet, the blind face the challenge of using the internet. Transport facilities in Hong Kong are also a problem for the disabled. Despite the efforts to have transport facilities that are friendly to the disabled, most of the transport infrastructure in Hong Kong does not support the movement of disabled. The other challenge that disabled persons from Hong Kong face is the challenge of acceptability by the society (Estes, 2005). The government of Hong Kong has a number of measures that aim at ensuring equal opportunities for the disabled, but there is evidence of marginalization of the disabled in Hong Kong.
The Challenges listed above are the reason that made me understand the importance of having an organization such as NAAC to provide the disabled with facilities that they have difficulty accessing in the public domain. The organization has a number of clubhouses. According to my understanding, the importance of the clubhouses was providing the disabled with a feeling of being at home rather than in an institution. The garden was available to members to plant their own flowers so that they gain positivity view of their life. In addition, the movement of the disabled with the institution is possible through various mechanisms in place to ensure that there are no obstructions. Such facilities include the stand for fine adjustments and anti-slippery mat.
Despite the efforts that the rehabilitation institution was making at trying to ensure a secure and comfortable environment for the disabled, there were problems within the organization. One of the problems that the disabled faced while in the institution according to my observation is the fact that they had to queue for about 3 to 10 years so that they can gain access into the facility. In accordance, parents of the disabled have to take care of their children before they can enter the rehabilitation center. Some parents are more than 60 years of age and have face difficulties in catering for the disabled. Despite this, they have to wait for many years before their children can gain access into the facility. This is discouraging in that the availability of the facility is an additional stress to the disabled while they are in waiting list.
Waiting for ten years to enter the rehabilitation center has various challenges for the disabled. However, my assessment established that disabled parents faced the biggest challenge. There are disabled parents that have to live with children that have a low IQ. Catering for themselves is challenging , and living with their mentally challenged children is a challenge to them. There is also the lack of government funding that challenges the ability of the organization to purchase state of the art facilities that will support their mission. The organizations that fund the institution are private corporations and donors that can provide the center with sufficient funding. Another observation was the lack of medical doctors in the rehabilitation center. This has the meaning that there is no one to deal with emergency cases or record the improvements of the patients.
Many persons of the world view the disabled differently from other individuals. They believe that such individuals have no feelings and cannot have the experiences of other individuals. My visit to NAAC proved to be useful in that it changed my perception of the disabled. During my visit, I had the privilege to listen to one of the members as he was sharing his experiences at the institution. He was muscle disorder patient and explained about his life at the rehabilitation center. He had challenges explaining himself, but his enthusiasm and positivity towards life articulated the things that he was communicating. According to him, he had a feeling that God had blessed him in various ways despite his physical state. This led to the realization that I should be grateful for all the things that I have regardless of the challenges that I might be facing in life.
The visit allowed me to experience the enthusiasm of the persons living with disabilities. It is true that the disability does limit their activities while making other difficult for them. However, the activities that they were able to participate they executed them with enthusiasm and a feeling that they can be the best. According the few that I did communicate to, their condition was a daily restriction on a number of issues, but they did not allow these limitations to guide their lives. Instead, they took charge of their lives and made decisions that would determine their future. Most engaged themselves in artwork that they executed in a professional manner. Their work was not different from those of other people. In fact, most of it was better that that persons that had no disabilities produced. This was a lesson to me that disability is not inability.
There is the need for the members of the society to realize that the disabled are in many ways similar to other members of the society. The disabled persons have their own dreams and they work hard to achieve them. The only difference is that they have limited resources to achieve these dreams. In accordance, it is the responsibility of the society to ensure that the disabled access such facilities. In addition, the society should indicate understanding towards them given that they have limited opportunities.
Estes, R. (2005). Social Development in Hong Kong. Oxford: Oxford University Press.