Monday, July 25, 2005

Disabilities Awareness Month

Somewhat delayed post, this, but still worthwhile mentioning.

Last Saturday, Danah invited me to Jufer's presentation for the Disabilities Awareness Month. They had the talk at Quezon Park, fronting the Dumaguete Cathedral. I came a little late, but still managed to catch the salient points.

The lesson which struck me most was the People First approach. Sometimes, we view the disability as the essence of the person, prompting us to limit our view of what the person can and cannot do. And we can be so unthinking about it. People First views them as such: people.

Another good point: sometimes we speak as if we have to redesign and rebuild our existing buildings to accommodate people with disabilities. Hassle? Yes. But what if we designed and built the buildings following universal standards of access, getting it right in the first place?

Ironically, the stage where we had the talk didn't have wheelchair access.

After the talk, the participants, mostly from the Great Physician Rehabilitation Foundation (GPRF), had a game of kickball. It was ebullient chaos. Players ran the bases on wheelchairs, crutches, and sneakers, and the basemen didn't really try too hard to tag. I think the final score must have ended at an even 200 for each side.

More details from the TVB blog.