Meeting with CDD

Originally uploaded by Justin Brockie.

Again, clicking on the photo will take you to Flickr where you will see a larger version along with other photos.

Today I met with two very different but fascinating providers. The first was SWID (The Society for the Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled) – name used with permission. They came into being and now operate in a very similar manner to many of the Arcs in the US. They were formed by a group of six parents of children with disabilities who could find no resources in the 1970s. Since then they have grown across the country and work to teach skills and promote inclusion.

I visited their school in Dhaka where I met with members of their leadership team and parents who now sit on the volunteer advisory board.

Saturday is a recreational day for them and I was treated to a wonderful performance of “We shall overcome” and some traditional Bangladeshi songs and dances by the students.

Not only was their formation and structure familiar, but so were some of their record keeping and communication issues. I am very excited about the possibility of using Therap to help improve the supports here just as we do in the US.

This afternoon I met with the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) – name used with permission.

They have a goal of providing the appropriate resources and skills to people with disabilities as close to home as is possible.

They do this in a number of ways, the primary one being to work with development agencies who are already going out into the more remote villages, but may not know much about disabilities. CDD provides a range of training programs so that families and communities can be educated about the rights of people with disabilities and also learn appropriate intervention skills.

They also collect statistical data on all these services to allow funding agencies and the government to know better what is needed and what is being done.

This is obviously right up our alley and again I am very excited about the possibilities. Particularly given their excellent use of technology that is already in place.

Another significant note about CDD is the number of people with disabilities that they employ. Not for charity, but because they are good at what they do – great role modeling!

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

— Justin