In Haiti, people with disabilities are marginalized in all sectors: public, private and even in the non-profit world. They are under-accommodated, under-educated, and under-accepted, plagued by the myth of being "second-class" citizens. The blind population alone in Haiti is a staggering 71,000 people, 50% of all cases in the Caribbean Region! Stereotypes, lack of qualified special education teachers and class materials for any handicapped adult constrains access to education and training.
Empowering people with disabilities through education opens doors to literacy, autonomy, equal opportunities and independence for the most vulnerable members of Haitian society, people with visual impairments and blindness. This project is part of a locally-led initiative that awards scholarships in accredited learning programs to the visual, hearing or physically impaired. Upon graduation, adults will be equipped to enter the local labor market, gain autonomy, all with increased self-esteem.
This project enables graduates to counter negative stereotypes by becoming viable wage-earners with credentialed knowledge and skills. They will serve as positive role models/leaders/change agents for other blind/deaf/disabled community members. By witnessing these individuals thriving and contributing to their own communities, the greater Haitian population will, in time, acknowledge their value and worth. Negative stereotypes will decrease, opening up opportunities for all challenged citizens.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).