Saturday, May 30, 2009

Asian-Americans with disabilities face additional challenges

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Culture and language are major barriers to access to care and support for Asian-Americans with developmental disabilities, according to research by the Doraville-based Center for Pan Asian Community Services Inc.

About 6.5 percent of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in Georgia have a disability, said Sharon Chung, one of the researchers on the project.

The report, funded by the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, focused on caregivers and service providers.

Focus groups were held with members of the four largest Asian communities —- Chinese, Indian, Korean and Vietnamese. Caregivers complained about a lack of support from school officials and problems accessing a maze of government programs.

Nancy Duncan, of the Disability Research Group, said some of the problems in ethnic communities are in the larger community, and she urged joining forces. “We have a strong voice if we join together for support and advocacy,” she said.