[Special Lecture] Sustainable Development & Support System (Faculty of Social Administration, Thammasat University – Tha Prachan Campus – International Program)

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This year marks the 5th year we’ve had the opportunity to give a special talk to the 17 international students of Thammasat University, Tha Prachan Campus, and this year I had more guest joining us.

As always, we and activities where students experienced being less-able body, even just for a short time, to raise the awareness and empathy for those whose bodies have changed…

Before starting the lecture, I told them “We have a very special guest”…

A few days ago, Coke’s mother contacted me on our Facebook page, and we had a bit chat.
I decided to invite Coke and his mother as special guests to share their valuable information to the students.

We had a conversation with Coke and his mother:
Coke 19 years old, what I could see, he has symptoms of Cerebral Palsy. He has muscle stiffness in his arms and legs, limited communication skills, and limited self-help abilities. He cannot go to school but manages daily activities at home. His mother has to leave work to take care of him. His father is a governments employee – an only man who earn for family.

“How can we support Coke to get a sustainable development?”
Students asked questions and engaged in a meaningful discussion, the most heartfelt message from Coke’s mother was: “I want him to be able to rely on himself”. Well, ultimately, every family desires the same – isn’t it?

I presented information for the population, educational and employment data to paint a comprehensive picture of the development of infrastructure and people with disabilities in Thailand…

To impart knowledge to the students, this year, I aimed to draw a comparison between Coke and his family (A), myself (B), and students in the midst of education, studying as physically-able persons (C).
I wanted the students to understand that, in the end, “regardless of physical condition, the goal of sustainable development remains the same.” It’s just that when the body changes one day, the need for assistance will differ, starting with basic care to gaining knowledge, working, and participating in society. Support at every stage is crucial.

Accessibility Is Freedom work has always been about advocating for environmental changes to ensure equal access for everyone. Everyone should be able to leave home > go to school > work place > and go to the hospital when they get sick. A supportive environment allows individuals to develop and live independently. These are the systems that enable sustainable development for everyone.

This year I wrote a bit more detail because I wanted to summarize the content for the students more comprehensively.
Thanks Coke and his mother and their family for sharing their insights, Dr. Mahesh and Faculty of Social Administration, Thammasat University – Tha Prachan Campus.

19 September 2023
Accessibility Is Freedom

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ภาพ ปก presentation มีรูป wheelchair พร้อมลูกศรชี้ลงและชี้ขึ้น ตัวหนังสือเขียนว่า Sustainable Development & Supporting System

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