Peer Counseling Seminar and Workshop 2006
Every time I attend training on Independent Living or Peer Counseling, I am awed by the tenacity of the resource persons and participants. Many with less have achieved more especially the resource persons from the Human Care Association in Japan. They constantly visit countries in the Asia-Pacific region to spread the message of Independent Living. Despite battling great odds, they willingly and unconditionally share their knowledge. Their only reward is being able to rejoice in seeing the Independent Living Movement flourish in this region.
It is a humbling experience to be able to learn so much from them considering the fact that I have less physical impairment than most of them. This goes on to prove that the human mind is still the greatest asset we can ever possess. Nevertheless, many disabled persons are still being judged on their physical attributes rather than their capabilities. All things being equal, I am absolute that a disabled person can do a job as good as a non-disabled, if not better. Why the discrimination?
L-R: Ms. Emiko Nakahara, me and Ms. Hiroko Akiyama.
The Peer Counseling Workshop conducted by Ms. Emiko Nakahara and Ms. Hiroko Akiyama was still an eye-opener even though I have attended the Training on Peer Counselors for People with Disabilities in Bangkok recently. It was interesting to see the gradual development of the participants from the first day to the last – from a disoriented look initially to one that showed enlightenment and empowerment at the conclusion.
On my part, I was glad to have been given the opportunity to play a minor role as a resource person. This has helped a lot in my preparation to conduct a seminar on Independent Living in Penang soon. This seminar is going to be organised and funded by a major Chinese daily. The targeted audience are severely disabled persons, their family and carers, and the public who are keen to learn about Independent Living for People with Disabilities.
Peer Counseling Seminar And Workshop 2006