Tag Archives: disabilities

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Support from the Queen for disabilities in Bhutan

Queen consort of Bhutan in 2011

Queen consort of Bhutan in 2011

Support from the Queen for disablities in Bhutan

Here is a picture taken in Paro, Bhutan (not far from the little airport).
On December 2nd Lisa arrived in the capital city of Bhutan, which is much more populated, about 80,000 people, but the landscape is still pretty spectacular. On Saturday, Dec 2nd there was an all day marathon with Ability Bhutan Society’s community events honoring people with special needs. There was something like the Special Olympics with disabled kids participating in races and such, and the Queen of Bhutan actually attended and gave out trophies to the kids. Very sweet. She then stopped by our tent and shook our hands which was quite a moment.

The afternoon ended with a forum/discussion of issues facing kids with special needs, with about ten community leaders presenting on various obstacles. They have a lot to tackle as just their infrastructure is so challenging for people with physical disabilities. There was also a lot of discussion about their special education system, practical issues of inclusion vs. special schools, how to get the government ministries more involved, etc. Dr. Berman presented on how the US has tried to tackle issues with various laws, e.g. American with Disabilities Act, IDEA and Free and Appropriate Public Education, IEPs/504s, importance of early intervention, etc.
On Dec 3rd, Lisa visited the hospital with Kie Johnson while Dr. Berman toured an early intervention center in another town.
Today, Dec 4th the team starts their presentations! We wish them the best of luck!

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SPG:CSI Lands in Bhutan!

Well I made it to Bhutan this morning.  It was smart to spend a few days in Bangkok to adjust to the 15 hour time difference and I feel pretty good.  The flight from Bangkok to Bhutan stopped in Dhaka, India near Bangladesh and it looked pretty bleak out there (a lot of impoverished houses and dry, arid land).  Fortunately we just remained on the plane for about 30 minutes and then flew on to Paro, Bhutan. As we descended we could see Mt. Everest and the Himalayan mountains to our left, pretty spectacular.  The plane had to zigzag in a steep descent into a narrow valley which was a bit scary.  We met our guide, Tshering, who drove us to a nearby hotel where we will stay for two nights.  We will then move on to Thimphu, the capital city, once Brad Berman and Kie Johnson arrive on Sunday.  The weather here is clear and chilly, and is supposed to get down to freezing at night.  As I am writing this there are a few people engaging in an archery contest outside my window, their national sport, with a lot of good cheer and hooting and hollering.  A herd of 11 wild horses and a few yak also just went by!

Once I get to Thimphu on Monday, we will take part in a Resource Fair for People with Disabilities and tour the hospital.  Tuesday we will meet with various people from Ability Bhutan Society and finish preparations for our three-day training. 

I will send you guys some more updates as events unfold.  Hope all is well back at home!   Lisa