Helen Keller and the Handicapped
[Mayor Park Won Soon’s Hope Journal 145]
You have heard about Helen Keller, haven’t you? She fell ill, becoming blind, deaf, and mute. Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, helped her make tremendous progress with her ability to communicate, and Keller went on to college and achieved many great things that even non-handicapped people could hardly do. She carried out diverse activities for the handicapped, women, and workers, giving them hope.
Helen Keller said, “Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”
Seoul Metropolitan Government is holding the Seoul Nuri Festival on the occasion of the 33rd Day of the Disabled on April 20 (from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM in Seoul Plaza). We have made preparations in consultation with experts and organizations for the handicapped. The following are the results of such efforts: hall for hands-on experience of the disabled; cinema for the hearing/seeing-impaired; booth for psychological counseling; booth for the provision of information on sexual violence against the handicapped; booth for consultation on national pension, and; booth for selling goods made by the severely handicapped.
Features of the event: chorus by Korean Air Stewardesses conducted by Park Kalin; congratulatory song sung by vocalist Lee Nam-hyeon; Holt School students’ pungmulpae performance; B-boy (Gambler Crew) performance; recording of a program of INET TV featuring pop singers such as Hyeon Suk, Nam Jin, and Jeong Su-ra; handicapped singing contest, and; dental care service by dentists at the Seoul Dental Hospital for the Disabled.
Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Human Rights Forum of Persons with Disabilities in Korea will hold an exhibit of artworks selected as prizewinners at the Universal Design Competition on the 1st floor of the new Seoul City Hall with a view to fostering a design environment that is convenient and easy to use for all. Two films (Gift of 7th Room and Touch of Light) are showing at the barrier-free cinema on the 8th floor at 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM. At the multi-purpose hall on the 8th floor, the Forum concerning people with developmental disabilities will be held at half past noon.
At 11:00 AM, the ceremony commemorating the Day of the Disabled will be held. I will present the Seoul Metropolitan Government Welfare Award 2013 in the sector of the disabled and deliver a commemorative speech. Seoul Metropolitan Government will hold many events such as festival for mingling with the disabled and movies with human rights themes throughout the city during the Week for the Disabled (April 20~26). Seoul Metropolitan Government will continue to strive to formulate policies of the disabled, for the disabled, and by the disabled.
We should not be content with a one-day event for the disabled, though. We should always take care of them. We should make Seoul a special city for the welfare of the disabled so that we can produce many Helen Kellers by playing the same role played by Anne Sullivan.