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Disability Development Services Program (DDSP)

(www.ddspcambodia.org/)

DDSP is a Cambodian organization that focuses on the most vulnerable people with disabilities, including women, children, and those with severe or multiple disabilities. Since its launch, DDSP has developed a reputation both in Pursat and in Cambodia as an innovative community-based organization responding effectively to the needs of people with disabilities.

All of DDSP’s projects have the following goals:

  • Help people with disabilities to access services to enable them to improve their lives;
  • Raise awareness about disability issues and create a more inclusive environment for people with disabilities;
  • Help both governmental and non-governmental organizations to include people with disabilities in their activities, through collaboration and training.

One of DDSP’s major projects, Mith Komar Pikar, has been in operation in Pursat province and focuses on access to education for children with disabilities and fully supports the principles of Inclusive education. The project aims to:

  • Improve access to and quality of education for children with disabilities in Pursat;
  • Reduce poverty and improve the health of vulnerable children with disabilities and their families, especially their mothers;
  • Empower children and their parents to be involved in and make decisions about program design.

GEcsn started funding this project in 2008 and expanded its support to the following other programs led by DDSP starting 2009:

  • Inclusive education for children with mild physical, hearing and seeing disabilities (24 participating schools, 546 children). This program aims to integrate and increase these children’s attendance in schools, build the abilities of the teachers to teach children with disabilities, and reduce poverty and social discrimination of children with disabilities;
  • Classes for deaf children (3 participating schools, 24 children). These classes for deaf children are integrated in the public schools with the aim of teaching sign language to the children and to reduce poverty in their families;
  • Special class for cognitively impaired children (16 children). This class is the only class of this type in Pursat and one of the few in Cambodia. It aims to provide basic education to children with intellectual disabilities (such as Down Syndrome) and to reduce the stigmatization and discrimination against them. The children are supported with food, uniforms, school materials, and health and hygiene materials to encourage them to attend school;
  • Special program for children with severe disabilities (65 children with multi-disabilities). This program is conducted at the Mlob Mith Komar rehabilitation center located in the Pursat hospital. It focuses on children with severe disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, epilepsies, or cognitive impairment who have difficulties with simple motor tasks such as sitting, standing, walking, drinking, eating, and getting dressed. The center is open two days a week and offers physical therapy in the morning and counseling sessions in the afternoon. In addition, the families benefit from home visits to learn how to better take care of their children.