How rehab has helped persons with disabilities

This week, we visited the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre, where we asked staff members and residents about how rehabilitation has changed their lives, the goals they have for persons living with disabilities and the kind of improvements they would like to see in their centre. Their views follow:

Shoshena Edwards

Shoshena Edwards – receptionist: ‘We have all the facilities needed for persons living with disabilities at the centre but this is not the case when these individuals go out. The public usually come and donate stuff or make a booking to feed the children and some children even come and volunteer after they have finished school and have not yet been employed. My goal for these children would be for them to become someone in society and for them to be accepted. Also, persons should have consideration for persons with disabilities in cases for instance, when they are travelling. Overall, I am satisfied with the centre.’

Stacy Johnson

Stacy Johnson – receptionist: ‘I would like to see our special education school develop further so that children with disability could achieve higher levels of education. Also, what would be helpful is if more persons are trained as orthopedic and prosthetic technicians so that they can then be hired at the centre. We only have two at the moment who carry a tremendous workload. If they hire more, we will be able to provide faster, more efficient service to the public and that is the main area I want to see improved. Even with the constraints we have, we are doing a very good job. This institute, I would say, offers great benefits. I am an example. Technically, I grew up here and therapy has greatly helped me. Coming here has created a lot of opportunities for me and I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish many of the things I have accomplished if it wasn’t for this centre.’

Ernesto Campo

Ernesto Campo – therapist: ‘Our goal is to enhance the disabled and make them independent. It takes a long time but we continue working with the children as they grow. It is a continuous process. When they get older, they can do something and make a living. Where improvements are concerned, we would like to have a swimming pool installed for exercising purposes for the children.’


Damon Sandy — rehabilitation assistant:
‘It gives me a great deal of satisfaction because we here are helping to improve the standard of living for these children. We deal with children who have disabilities so overall, it can be very challenging because recovery tends to be very slow but when we go back and check the assessment, we can feel proud. My main goal is for people to understand that persons with disabilities should not be

Damon Sandy

neglected nor treated differently. They should be accepted and treated with respect. With regard to improvements, we don’t need any at the moment. Once the finance is available, we getwhatever it is we need and a lot of support is given from the administration.’

Devika Chetram – parent: ‘Rehab has helped us a lot. My baby was not moving at all and now she is. I just want her to be a normal child and be treated like a normal child. That is my main goal. I think the Disability Act will be great and it is very much needed.’

Rawle Ifill – parent: ‘Rehab has helped a lot. From the time my child has started in January, we have seen a lot of improvements. I want to see him normal. This can happen but it will take time. For me, the Disability Act will be good for people and it should have been put in place earlier. Everyone should be treated equally so it

Devika Chetram

should have been done a long time ago.’

Mukesh Persaud – client: ‘Rehab is good. It makes everything easy for persons with disabilities. I’d like to see more people coming into the centre and getting help, for those who are unaware. Areas that can improve are definitely jobs. I would like to see employment being provided for persons living with disabilities. With the Disability Act in place, persons will benefit especially with transportation and with respect also. Persons with disabilities are too often discriminated against.’

Sachi Kumar Harricharan – client: ‘Rehab helped me in many ways. I feel good being here, in this environment. I enjoy being around people like myself. I want to become a graphic designer and I really want people with disabilities to get a better

Rawle Ifill

education and to be someone in society with good positions. With the act in place, I think transportation for disabled persons will be better and also the education sector. It is needed. This will help to prevent discrimination.’

Seatta Reid — social worker: ‘I am benefiting because I am able to better understand the children in different stages of their lives. I learn from them and so I am able to help them. The satisfaction is wonderful because the more they develop, the more they learn. I’d like to see more persons, where public assistance is concerned, being more considerate to these individuals. Parents complain of a long run around and processes and these persons are constantly rejected and that shouldn’t be. We need to better the education sector also and I think the

Mukesh Persaud

Disability Act will be of much benefit.’

Anand Mangru — headmaster of the Special Education Unit: ‘I have a sense of well-being and achieving when I am working among these children because I know that I am making a difference in their upbringing. We see progress and I feel so good when you can move them on to mainstream schools. I would like to see that each one of them can take care of themselves and to see them being able to do things beyond taking care of their personal hygiene. I want to see them move on to mainstream schools, develop a life skill to earn a living and to contribute to society. The Disability Act will be of benefit. That is the purpose of the act, to see these persons have a better, fuller life. This school is very comfortable because of support from public-spirited citizens and I would like to see this support

Sachi Kumar Harricharan

continue.’

Anand Mangru
Seatta Reid

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