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Recreation Therapy & Rehab Services to Individuals with Disability in Hong Kong

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From The 1997 Asian Exchange Tour on Rehabilitation and Recreation by Professor John A. Nesbitt, President/CEO--SRD/International and Dr. Dolores G. Nesbitt, Board Member/Secretary--SRD/International.

RSSP Services. In Asian Nations such as Hong Kong and Singapore RSSP services are advanced. Hong Kong provides a model system of rehabilitation services. Singapore's services are well developed.

Income and Services. Higher income per capita in a nation means more and better rehabilitation services. Economic vitality yields nutrition, health, housing, employment, education, transportation, security, and recreation.

Access. Over the last 25 years there has been massive building of commercial buildings and multiple-dwelling housing in the Asian Region. However, vast numbers of buildings have been constructed without providing accessibility for disABLED. Barriers have been installed in buildings with life spans of 25 to 50 years. American insight, experience and advocacy for barriers removal could have made a difference in thousands of buildings.

Attitudes. Among the Asian nations there is variance in attitudes, values, and metaphysical and religious responses to disability and to people with disabilities -- just as there is in Western Nations. But, there are parallels between East and West in the basic primal psyche and feeling reaction to the phenomenon of disability.

American's super-richness and political correctness create a facade of acceptance of disabled. In reality, the deeper feelings of fear, prejudice, and rejection in Asia and America are more similar than Americans want to admit. Multi-cultural, East and West, shared study and exchange will enhance confrontation with the fear, prejudice, and rejection that exists in America, in Asia, and universally. All nations can learn from one another.

Employment. In cities and nations striving to create manufacturing and commerce, unemployment problems are massive. Employment of people with disabilities is often regarded as counter-productive or solely charitable. Since World War II national vocational systems have debated the options of quotas versus no quota systems. One practical argument against quota systems was that the employers could beat the system. For example, employers could simply go through a factory and count every disability identified -- and make quota.

Some Conclusions

*--The USA rehabilitation movement has been remote from Asia and Asian people with disabilities.

*--The USA's professional and volunteer technical knowledge about Access, Attitudes, Employment, and Special Aquatics and Special Recreation has been withheld, could assist Asian disABLED, and would be welcomed.

*--The USA's non-governmental private, professional, and voluntary rehabilitation personnel and organizations are needed in the Asian Nations -- person to person, community to community, and state to state.

John Nesbitt, Editor; Published in the PUBLIC DOMAIN by: Special Recreation for disABLED, Inc./International Center


Contact in Hong Kong:

Asia Alliance of YMCAs, Mr. Bartholomew Shaha, General Secretary; and, Mr. TAN Chi-Kiong, former General Secretary; 23, Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong; TEL (852-2780-8347;2770-3168; 2771-9111-ext-3058; RES (852)2385-3886; FAX (852)2385-4692; E-MAIL <asiay@hk.Super.net>.

Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, Mr. Lawrence K. L. Yick, Deputy General Secretary; 4/F., Administration Building, 23 Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong; TEL (852)2771-9111; FAX (852)2771-4096; PAGER 7962-7100. ALSO: Recreation and Sports Department, Assistant Principle, Mr. Cham Kwok Wing, Samson [ymcacham@netvigat.com]; and, Program Secretary, Ms. Anita Lee.

The Council of YMCAs OF Hong Kong, PO BOX 95096, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. TEL-011-852-2771-9111 OR 2369-2211; FAX-011-852-2311-5809. PRES-William Fu, Hon. Sec's-Charles Allison and Patrick Chung The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, Ms. Mabel Chau, 6/7, 7 Sha Wan Drive, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, TEL (852)2817-6277; Direct Line (852) 2817-1312; FAX (852)2855-1947; E-MAIL <mchau@renet.org>.

HKSR Founder: Prof. Sir Harry S. Y. Fang, Medical Supt., St. Paul's Hospital, 2, Eastern Hospital Road, H.K.; TEL 289-06008; or, 283-03711.

Hong Kong Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (S.A.P.), Mr. Hou Chi Fai Edwin, Executive Secretary, Unit141-148, G/F, Block B, Mei Fung House, Mei Lam Estate, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong; TEL (852)2602-8232; FAX (852)22603-0106; EMAIL<hksap@chevalier.net>; <fpctang@netvigator.com>. <WWW:http:/cmsweb.com/hksap/>.

Asia and Pacific Regional Conference of Rehabilitation International [for disabled], Elite Business Services Ltd., GPO Box 847, Hong Kong; TEL (852)2819-5529; FAX (852)2816-6760; INTERNET: http://www. renet.org; EMAIL<hk1998@renet.org>

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