DAA News Network

Haiti: Earthquake brings new services for disabled people

Posted 22/9-10 at 22.22

Although aid is supposed to be only for those injured, many Haitians who were disabled before the January quake are taking advantage of the services now on offer.

Kate Gerry, physical therapist with Handicap International says, ‘There are [funding constraints] and then there's also the ethics - that there are people who really need [help].Who cares how they lost their limbs?'

According to Gerard Oriol, founder of J'aime Haiti, the disaster worsened conditions for disabled people but at the same time brought international attention to the disabled community's situation. This in turn is a chance to highlighthow stigma attached to physical impairment has long hampered disabled people's development.

‘Generally one thinks of a handicap (sic) as a medical problem, but in fact it's more of a social problem', Oriel says. ‘If we could eliminate the social and cultural barriers, there's no reason a handicapped person couldn't integrate into society.'




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