peteg's blog - AYAD - Disability Projects

Dolls from Hà Nội, or more "what one reads in Việt Nam News".

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I bought a Sunday's Việt Nam News a month ago, and fortuitously found out about a lady making dolls in Hà Nội. I wanted to buy a couple for my mother, and so Loan organised for one of her mates to purchase them, and Chi Yen brought them back to Hồ Chí Minh City.

v-heart, a workshop for people with Down Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy in Gò Vấp.

/AYAD/Disability-Projects | Link
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Loan found out about this project from Yumiko-san of the spinal injury project at Cho Ray Hospital. In essence the participants are trained in the use of a loom that looks to my eye almost identical to this picture (that I nicked from Apple's already-excellent and now much-enhanced Dictionary.app). It's funded by a Japanese group.

Handicap International: HCMC Spinal Cord Injury Project

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In the afternoon, Loan took me to visit the Spinal Injury rehab centre in District 8, which is quite close to District 1. This place is very impressive, a large peaceful campus on a canal with a lot of facilities for physical and occupational therapy, developed quite recently by some Belgian people.

Artistic Hand Embroidery Workshop.

/AYAD/Disability-Projects | Link

In the morning Loan took me to visit Trinh's embroidery workshop out in the Phú Nhuận district. The art is quite large, the size of a piece of A4 and larger, and very beautiful. Trinh employs some people with disabilities in the workshop.

Sao Mai Computer Centre for the Blind

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Huy kindly took me out to Quận Tân Bình (Tân Bình District, a long way from Quận Một) to visit Mr Phúc, who is the vice-director of Sao Mai Computer Centre for the Blind. We chatted at length about their education projects and web accessibility for people who are (almost) completely blind. In brief, modern screen readers are quite good; the one Mr Phúc uses (JAWS) apparently uses the Internet Explorer engine to figure out what's going on, implying that anything Internet Explorer can render, JAWS can make sense of, including Flash. So apart from the usual web hygiene of standards compliance and good design, I got the impression that there is not much a website need do to be accessible to people who use such assistive technology.

He also had a braille reader, which he told me is lower-bandwidth but higher fidelity, and so is mostly useful for syntactically fiddly things like coding.

Vietnamese Traditional Massage Institute

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I have no clear idea what this place is called; the above is from the Lonely Planet. Apparently there is a tradition in many towns in Vietnam for visually-impaired people to be employed as masseurs, though the profession has a somewhat sullied reputation here more generally. This particular establishment is run by the local Association for the Blind.

I went there with Mike after lunch, before playing badminton, which may have been less than ideal. Like many other people I had a less than satisfying experience; it appears to depend a lot on who you get.

/AYAD/Disability-Projects | Link

Loan, with her cousin, took me to the Sakura Hoa Anh Dao café, where each of the waiting staff are mentally impaired in some way. Cutely they put a stuffed animal on each table to ease the burden of remembering where things need to go to.

/AYAD/Disability-Projects | Link
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Today I got to see the JICA project that aims to rehabilitate people who have suffered some loss of brain function. They (the medical staff, mostly physical therapists, and Loan and Bich from DRD) took a group of young adults to Dầm Sen Park, in much the same way as I used to help Barb do with the Up! Club. Note the mechanic doing on-the-spot repairs just off the edge of the dodgem car arena.