Disabled facilities wow Nauru group

CARE LEVEL::Members of the group from one of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies said the resources they saw had inspired them to lobby their own government for improvements

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - Page 3

A group of children and young adults with disabilities from Nauru — who have just concluded a visit to Taiwan — said they were impressed by the treatment and care given to the disabled in this country.

At the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the group of 10 visually impaired, hearing impaired and physically challenged people and their teacher visited several facilities designed to care for the disabled.

Nauru is one of Taiwan’s 23 diplomatic allies.

The group consisted of students from a school for the disabled, aged 13 to 33, and their teacher, Carol Lynn Manier. The trip lasted from July 27 to Saturday, according to the Taipei-based Eden Social Welfare Foundation.

The foundation was asked by the ministry to organize the group’s itinerary because it is experienced in providing care for the disabled and the elderly.

The group visited an Eden care center in New Taipei City (新北市) that looks after dementia patients and the severely disabled, as well as a center that provides help to children with disabilities as well as counseling services in the city.

The group also went to an Eden-run factory in Greater Taichung, which trains people with disabilities to bake pastries so that they can earn a living, the foundation said.

Mainer said it was impressive to see the equipment and resources provided to people with disabilities. The trip helped her to realize the importance of offering treatment to each person with disabilities according to their individual needs, she said.

For example, Eden usually places people with the same disabilities in the same group when providing care for them.

Noting the limited resources available to people with disabilities in Nauru, Manier said her class is a mixture of people with hearing, visual and physical disabilities.

“We really need more [resources],” the 44-year-old Manier said.

Manier, who teaches a class of 13 adults at the school, said she will share her experiences of Taiwan after she returns home and will urge the Nauruan government and the school to make greater efforts to provide treatment for people with disabilities.

Anna Namaduk, a member of the group, said she would join Manier in calling for more resources from their government.

“That is also the reason I continue to go to school,” said the 21-year-old, who is visually impaired.

That way, she can continue to play a part in calling for more attention to the disabled, she said.