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Since 1990, Viet-Nam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH), a U.S based not-for-profit organization, has worked with donors and partners to support Vietnamese with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups to regain mobility and improve socio-economic status; to build capacity of local service providers of social, health and education services, and to assist Vietnamese
government in developing and implementation of national policies that affect people with disabilities.

71,600 persons with disabilities benefited from direct assistance:

With supports in rehabilitation and therapy services, assistive devices, inclusive and special education, job and livelihood, building and renovation of house, toilet and clean water, and capacity building training. Around 130,000 orthopedic, prosthetic and other assistive devices have been fit/provided free of charge to more than 32,000 from the above beneficiaries, with priority
given to war victims.

Figure 5: USAID Vietnam Mission Director Mike Green visited a new rehab unit that USAID supported with renovation, equipment, and training for practitioners
Figure 6: VNAH Physical therapist provided therapy to children with disabilities at the Center of the Tay NInh Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin

5,800 persons with disabilities and disadvantage youth have gained vocational skills and jobs:

Through projects that provided vocational skills training, job placement services, vocational rehabilitation, business start up and self-employment as well as supports to employment service centers and networks that promoted inclusive employment.

19,200 service providers have been trained:

VNAH supported career and capacity building training for hundreds of rehabilitation doctors and therapists, inclusive education teachers, social work case managers, care-givers, communal health providers, construction and transportation regulators as well as social social services providers and administrators so that they can better support people with disabilities. VNAH also supported the establishment, provision of equipment and empowerment of new services, including 25 rehabilitation departments/units in public hospitals, 5 Vocational Training Centers/Schools, 10 Employment Service Centers and co-founding the Blue Ribbon Employer’s Council (BREC) that had over 250 business members who have offered thousands of jobs to people with disabilities.

Figure 7: Rehab therapists trained by the HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy and VNAH

Millions of persons with disabilities have benefited from new policies made with VNAH supports:

VNAH’s technical assistance and other supports to Vietnamese Government partners attributed to the development and enactment of important disability-related policies and programs, such as:

  • Vietnam national Disability Law.
  • National plan of action for implementation of CRPD
  • Action plans for disability and rehabilitation services at national and provincial levels.
  • Policy and technical procedures for health insurance coverage for rehabilitation services
  • National accessibility codes and standards for public construction, transport and ICT.
  • Policy on case management support for persons with disabilities
  • Rehabilitation provisions in the revised Law on examination and treatment, Vocational Training Law and Labor Code
  • Disability Information System (DIS), which is implemented in the national health system.
  • Establishment of inter-agency National Coordinating Council on Disability (NCCD, a predecessor of NCD), national Vietnam Federation for Disabilities (VFD) and over 10 disabled people organizations.

Training Curriculum and training of trainers:

VNAH and partners have developed training materials, curriculum and training of trainers in areas including barrier-free access designs, social work with people with disabilities, occupational therapy and vocational rehabilitation. These training materials/programs are being taught to graduate and undergraduate students as well as provincial and community services providers.

Support education and community development in rural, mountainous areas:

Figure 8: Community health workers and caregivers participated in training provided by Rehabilitation Specialists from BBF, Netherland

VNAH built more than 140 elementary schools and boarding houses in rural and ethnic minority communities in Central Highland, Central Coast and Northern Mountainous areas of Vietnam. We also supported training of teachers, mid-wife and installation of
drinking water systems in remote villages.

Major International donors and partners:

VNAH receives support from, and work with major organizations, including:

  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • The Leahy War Victims Fund
  • U.S. Department of Labor, U.S State Department
  • American Schools and Hospitals Abroad
  • The Freeman Foundation
  • The Ford Foundation
  • The Nippon Foundation (Japan), the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Japan)
  • Asian Education Friendship Association (Japan)
  • JICA, Irish AID
  • The Aspen Institute, Development Alternatives Inc.
  • Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion
  • Canada Executive Service Organization (CESO)
  • Australian Volunteer International (AVI)
  • Butterfly Basket Foundation (BBF)
  • Chino Cienega Foundation, Grapes for Humanity Global Foundation
  • Curtin University, John Hopkins University Hospital, Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • IBM, Pragmatics Corp, NIKE, and many other organizations and individuals
Figure 8: Community health workers and caregivers participated in training provided by Rehabilitation Specialists from BBF, Netherland