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I am not Going to Build Walls Around Me


I am not Going to Build Walls Around Me

Although persons with disabilities are different from the general public, they can pursue targets and dreams as long as they keep on going.

Cecilia, who lost her sight at the age of three, grew up in the Mainland. She came to Hong Kong to reunite with her family at 14 years old, and started to receive formal education. She spent six months studying hard to catch up with primary school curriculum, and eventually gain admission to Primary 4. After that, she kept on studying until her graduation from the university. Then she started working at the “Dialogue in the Dark Exhibition”. Her colleagues have never doubted her ability to work and take care of herself. Cecilia was deeply impressed by the people and things she came across when she arrived in Hong Kong, especially the social workers and teachers who cared about her. Not only did they help her soothe her emotions and get to know the world, but also prompted her to study a Master programme in counselling after graduating from the university, such that she could help the others as an experienced hand. Although Cecilia encountered many difficulties because of her identity as a visually impaired person, she did not negate herself for being different, as she knew that she has the right to pursue her dream.

Bobby started to work with Blackie KO, the famous stuntman, in the film industry when he was 10-odd years old, and he witnessed the most prosperous period of Hong Kong film industry. After Blackie passed away, Bobby earned his living by driving cross boundary coach. However, a traffic accident took away his two legs. After the accident, he spent a few years to get used to his body afresh and learned to perceive limit as limitless. By a happy coincidence, he got an electric wheelchair as present and was able to get around freely from then on. He obtained the driving license again and started to drive modified taxi. Driving helps him retrieve the feeling of being equal to other people just like before the accident. Since then, he has been determined to help other people. He helped people repair their electric wheelchairs with his mechanical knowledge gained when he worked in the film industry. Presently, Bobby mainly focuses on managing his Hong Kong-style café, while sometimes he drives taxi as a part time job, repairs wheelchairs for free and does other voluntary work. The business of his café gets on track gradually with the help of his friends with disabilities. Apart from pursuing his business, Bobby also utilises his mechanical knowledge to help other wheelchair users as an experienced hand. He always says, “After losing my legs, I own more than before.”

Work Together, Walk Together

Work is not only a way to earn a living, but also a means to recognise one’s own abilities, and to realise one’s goals and dreams, so as to make one’s life complete - in today’s civilised society, the right to work is the basic right of each and every person, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) should never be treated differently.

The community has the obligation to provide PWDs with appropriate support in the work environment. “Support” sometimes refers to changing the physical work environment (the provision of barrier-free facilities or tools). However, what is more important is to change people’s ways of thinking, or even the workplace culture (to put aside prejudice and get to know that PWDs are also talented; respect differences and treat others equally with sincerity). Meanwhile, PWDs should improve themselves through continuous self-enhancement, so that they can cope with the market needs.

On that account, persons with disabilities must work together with their accompanying persons in order to improve their employment situation effectively.
The six episodes of the television documentary “Talent-wise Employment 2020” records six stories about the employment of persons with disabilities. Through various features and perspectives, and the real-life experience sharing of the case protagonists and their accompanying persons, we hope to trigger the community’s awareness and discussion on the employment issues of persons with disabilities. During this particular time when the society is facing an economic downturn and increase of unemployment rate, all trades and industries should explore how to walk together with persons with disabilities.

The contents of the six episodes are as follows:

• New operational mindset of social enterprise
• Visually impaired student participates in career planning to prepare for employment
• Employer provides vocational training and job vacancies for the deaf and people with hearing impairment
• Employment and development of highly educated persons with disabilities
• Autistic person overcomes limitations to achieve diversified development
• Employee with disability pursues his / her dream
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