Providing Access to Services for People with Disabilities

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NGO Initiative Helps Cambodians with Speech Problems

Many Cambodians with disabilities lack access to health care services. Ouk Lin, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is among them. Up until 2013, there were few NGOs that served this population. But now, Lin can overcome his problem with the appropriate care thanks to one organization’s help.

OIC: The Cambodia Project, whose name refers to the moment of understanding, “Oh! I see,” is advocating that policy makers should put disability issues on the national agenda while working to provide treatments for people like Lin. A project under a Cambodian NGO called Capacity Building for Disability Cooperation, OIC is the first local initiative that aims to establish speech therapy as a profession in Cambodia. OIC reports 600,000 Cambodians have a communication or swallowing disorder that limits their ability to communicate. OIC founder Weh Yeoh said “We’re talking about a large proportion of society – 4% of Cambodians who need basic health care in the form of speech therapy.”

In 2014 OIC launched a pilot program to provide speech therapy training. OIC child rehabilitation officer Chea Phearom participated in the training and said her new skills have already helped her assist parents and children suffering with these conditions. Over 100 children including Lin have already benefited from speech therapy training.

USAID and internet service provider Ezecom are supporting civil society organizations like OIC by providing free access to a co-working space and technology resource center called the 5D Lab at Development Innovations. OIC, one of the civil society organizations working out of the Lab, has grown its staff and volunteer network to achieve their project activities over the past year.

“The Lab has also helped us form connections with media and video professionals, who have helped us to translate speech therapy – a very difficult topic to communicate – into something meaningful that people can understand and connect with,” said Yeoh.

Download this success story in PDF

OIC-Before
BEFORE Children with speech challenges need assistance from qualified therapists. Chea Phearom provides speech therapy to 4 year-old Disinh, while his mother observes.
AFTER After receiving treatments, 13 year-old Ouk Lin who suffers from cerebral palsy can now ride his bike to school, make friends, cook with his mother and help out with household chores.
AFTER After receiving treatments, 13 year-old Ouk Lin, who suffers from cerebral palsy, can now ride his bike to school, make friends, cook with his mother and help out with household chores

For more information on their work, check out
www.oiccambodia.org.

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