Removing Barriers for the Disabled in Libya

“Evidence and experience shows that when barriers to their inclusion are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life, their entire community benefits. Barriers faced by persons with disabilities are, therefore, a detriment to society as a whole, and accessibility is necessary to achieve progress and development for all.”      – The U.N.

Our team in Jadu, Libya recently met 25-year-old Eman at a community event held in partnership with The Blue Eye organization.  When she was only a year old, Eman lost her hearing after suffering an acute ear infection.  Due to a lack of medical and sensory rehabilitation services, she never learned how to speak. Unable to communicate, or understand others, she was forced to drop out of school at an early age.  Despite her disability, the team discovered that Eman is very talented in drawing, designing, and making clothes – at the event, she was painting children’s faces.

The only person who is able to understand or communicate with Eman is her sister Mona.  “She likes to change things, draw, and design clothes,” said Mona. “She is very happy when she’s involved in her hobbies.”

As many suffered injuries during the war in Libya, International Medical Corps has prioritized rehabilitation services and support for the disabled. Through support from ExxonMobil, we provide equipment and critical services for disabled Libyans through rehabilitation centers across the country and work to train local health workers including physiotherapists. In addition to the war-wounded, we also work to reach other disabled Libyans like Eman.

International Medical Corps, in partnership with Jadu Rehabilitation Center, established vocational computer training units to provide disabled people in Jadu with opportunities to learn computer skills.  Eman was one of the first people to register for the course.

“She wants to learn how to use the computer to design clothes, to be able to use technology to express her imagination,” said Mona.

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