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close this bookPeace Corps in Special Education and Rehabilitation (Peace Corps)
View the documentForeword
View the documentThe authors
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentMethodology
View the documentClassifying Peace Corps programs addressing the needs of disabled persons
Open this folder and view contentsSelected country reviews
Open this folder and view contentsCritical factors influencing the effectiveness of Peace Corps' efforts in special education and rehabilitation
View the documentAlternative programming considerations
View the documentReferences
View the documentAppendix I - Country overviews
View the documentAppendix II - Volunteers with disabilities: experiences, issues, and recommendations
View the documentAppendix III - Peace Corps country survey
View the documentAppendix IV - Returned volunteer survey

Appendix I - Country overviews

BELIZE History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps has had a limited number of volunteers in special education/rehabilitation in Belize. In 1976 there were two volunteers working in rehabilitation projects and one volunteer working in a special education project. Recently, attention has turned toward the problems of youth. Belizians under twenty years of age comprise 65% of the entire population of Belize. The social development department (a division of the Ministry of Social Services, Labour and Local Government) is responsible for the care, supervision, rehabilitation and guidance of delinquent or disturbed youth in Belize.

Recent History

* (1978) Volunteers working on projects benefiting youth with behavior problems in a residential youth hostel in Belize City, and in a vocational rehabilitation center at Listowel in Western Belize

* (1978) 1 physiotherapist volunteer

* (1980) 1 volunteer working at the Lynn School for the mentally retarded with a second volunteer to come in early 1981. This position evolved as a result of requests from the Ministry of Education. The volunteers do not have experience with disabled persons, but have a keen interest in the field and experience in education.


Peace Corps/Belize is interested in exploring possibilities for future programming in the area of special education/rehabilitation. Belize staff persons believe there is potential for Peace Corps/ Belize to work in this area, but state "we must move carefully and build on the hopefully positive contribution that these two PCVs will be able to make over the next 1 ½ years." (Denise Harris, APCD)

Specifically, as a potential new project for FY 1982, PC/Belize proposes to involve PCVs in the design and implementation of a countrywide survey to assess the special problems of the mentally and physically disabled. In addition, volunteer teachers of special education will be used to design and implement teacher training workshops and a community awareness campaign. PC/Belize also hopes to involve volunteers with experience in the development of special education materials and testing tools.

In pursuit of these goals, PC/Belize hopes to rely on locally available transportation, available reference materials and to establish contacts with professional organizations outside of Belize.

Sources: TAC Sheets 1976 Program Grid Peace Corps Director Questionnaire Country Desk Unit



There is currently one Peace Corps Volunteer in a special education assignment working with deaf persons. Peace Corps/Botswana has requested a vocational rehabilitation instructor and a mobility trainer for the blind for 1981.

Source: Peace Corps Director Questionnaire

BRAZIL History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps history of work affecting the lives of handicapped persons in Brazil is extensive. In the early years, social work projects were successful in assessing health needs in rural areas and determining how a lack of health facilities impacts on disability, illness and the creation of certain social attitudes. In 1965 an occupational therapist worked in a physical education assignment along with a physical therapist and three social workers. In 1967 three psychologists worked in assignments relating to disability.

Special education projects began in 1972 and experienced a boom between 1974 1978 when approximately 30 volunteers/year were involved in a variety of special education/rehabilitation projects. In 1972 a disabled volunteer began a 5½ year assignment teaching the Doman-Dellacotto method of physical therapy. During this same period, there was an occupational therapist working with lepers. By 1976 there were 19 volunteers in special education/rehabilitation projects and two in social work. The major vehicle for special education has been the APAE (Association of Relatives and Friends of the Exceptional) system, which has 202 centers scattered throughout Brazil. APAEs are non-profit institutions assisting low-income mentally and physically disabled children in both urban and rural settings. Peace Corps Volunteers have worked as administrators, supervisors, trainers and teachers in APAEs for the past six years. There are 180 APAEs associated with the Institute for Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia.

Recent History

* (1977) At least 3 volunteers working in the education of mentally retarded persons

* (1977) At least 1 working in deaf education

* (1977) At least 2 in speech therapy

* (1977) At least 3 in adaptive physical education

* (1978) Special Olympics was held in Natal with participation from 10 volunteers in special education.

* (1979) Northeast Region: at least 6 volunteers working in special education including teachers, administrators, technicians, public health coordinators and others
Central Region: 4 physical education instructors (3 in special education schools and one in a secondary school)
Western Region: at least 7 working in special education, including one physical therapist, one TEFL/TESL teacher in a vocational setting and others providing direct services.


Peace Corps was phased out of Brazil in December, 1980. An in-depth overview of Peace Corps' work in Brazil is provided in this report.

Included among numerous accomplishments by volunteers: a volunteer working in education for the deaf introduced the total communication approach and sign language to an APAE in the northeast. One volunteer directed an APAE, trained his entire staff, programmed courses and wrote a proposal for the APAE which was generously funded.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly Country Desk Unit 1979 Country Brief 3 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps' work benefiting handicapped persons in Chile has been extensive and continues to make great strides. The dominant area of activity from 1963-1966 was in social work, with projects carried out in urban and rural areas. In 1967 a speech therapist began work in Chile. In 1976 there were two volunteers working in special education projects. By 1979 two major projects had emerged: the Youth Opportunity Development and Special Education Centers projects. Prior to Peace Corps' efforts, no programs existed for the 2,200 minors detained by the Department of Justice in Chile. Peace Corps' goal is to rehabilitate 500 minors by 1983. Volunteers are assisting detention center personnel in two regions through social and vocational rehabilitation. The project has had an impact on many of Chile's 125 special schools in the provinces. Peace Corps/Chile receives approximately 75 requests for special education volunteers/year. Chile's major need for assistance in special education is in diagnostic and vocational training.

In honor of the International Year of Disabled Persons, a special job conference in Special Education is being held, as well as Special Olympics games and national seminars.

Recent History

* (1978) 7 volunteers advised special education staff in 6 regions

* (1978) 4 trained co-workers in regional diagnostic centers in testing measurement techniques and methods

* (1978) 3 trained 9 teachers in vocational workshops

* (1978) 1 initiated a work/study program in a community for 30 retarded children who became paid employees

* (1978) 7 trained 198 teachers with no previous background in special education

* (1978) 6 advised 6 regional coordinators in curriculum planning

* (1978) 2 conducted an intensive 3-week course on "Conduct Management of Exceptional Children"

* (1978) 1 organized curriculum in a kindergarten where the High Scope Education Research Foundation plan is utilized

* (1978) 2 supervised the practice of more than 50 teachers in training

* (1978) 7 organized parent groups of handicapped children

* (1978) 2 obtained funds from Peace Corps/Washington to improve vocational training workshops

* (1978) 1 helped a counterpart design physical education courses for 150 handicapped children

* (1979) 5 volunteers active in special education center projects teaching self- sufficiency skills, teacher training, developing in-service courses, etc. Volunteers include 3 special education teachers, 1 educational psychologist and one occupational therapist. In 1981 requests will be made for 6 additional special education teachers, 4 additional educational psychologists and 6 additional occupational therapists. The same will be requested in 1982.

* (1979) 13 volunteers working in the Youth Opportunity Development project, including sociologists, social assistants, vocational therapists, vocational orientation directors, rehabilitation psychologists, maintenance specialists, and two volunteers in agriculture.


The above projects are scheduled to phase out at the end of FY 1984.

Sources: Project Plans. TAC Sheets. Country Desk Unit. PCD Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

In the early Peace Corps years, social work volunteers contributed to efforts in Colombia to deal with issues of disability. In 1963 there were 35 social worker aide volunteers working in Colombia. By 1965 the project had phased down to eight. At that time, a physical therapist and a speech therapist were beginning their work. In 1975 a volunteer who was himself a victim of polio worked with disabled children in Colombia. By 1976 there were nine special education volunteers in Colombia and three volunteers doing social work. Two major projects emerged by 1979: the Special Education/Rehabilitation Project with between 25-36 volunteers and Special Olympics with six volunteers.

Special education/rehabilitation projects attempt to train staff to provide large numbers of handicapped Colombians with educational and rehabilitative services. Only 20,000 of six million Colombians requiring rehabilitation services actually receive them due to insufficiently trained personnel, insufficient funds, a lack of education in the general public and a lack of employment opportunities for the handicapped. The goal of the project is to increase ten fold the numbers of self-reliant handicapped persons and administer training to host country counterparts. The project also involves volunteers in training families in the care of the handicapped and assisting the coordination of Partnership projects. Volunteer assignments include curriculum and materials development, recreation program development, music therapy and rehabilitation program development.

The Special Olympics Project, hosted by FIDES (Foundation for the Investigation and Growth of Special Education), endeavors to train counterparts at a rate of one per volunteer, develop sets of materials, train families of the handicapped in educational processes and construct physical education facilities for the handicapped at a rate of one per volunteer (i.e. 20 facilities by 1981). Of one million school- aged mentally retarded Colombians, only 10% receive any physical education.

Recent History

* (1977)

4 volunteers in education of the blind

* (1977)

5 volunteers in education of the mentally retarded

* (1978)

36 volunteers in special education/rehabilitation project

* (1978)

7 volunteers in the Special Olympics project

* (1979)

At least 25 volunteers in special education/rehabilitation projects (teaching, providing physical education, vocational education, basic skills, library development, etc.)

* (1979)

At least 6 volunteers in the Special Olympics project (physical education, child care guidance in a welfare agency and teaching at a youth center).


Peace Corps/Colombia is scheduled to close out its operation by the end of FY 1981.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly, 1979 Country Brief, TAC Sheets, Project Plans, Country Desk Unit, Country Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Until 1973 the Peace Corps provided Costa Rica with only limited expertise in special education. One occupational therapist worked in Costa Rica in 1966 and one physical therapist in 1967. A special education project officially began in 1973 when three volunteers were assigned to the Department of Special Education. Since that time, activities have included curriculum revision in one school for special education, translation of materials into Spanish, the initiation of a physical education program in special education, workshops given to special education teachers and diagnosis of learning disabilities by a specialist in learning problems in four schools. Major goals of the special education project include strengthening instructional programs already existing in special education schools, opening four additional schools, and conducting orientation sessions for parents to train in home learning opportunities. By 1979 Special Education and Youth Development became two important projects in Costa Rica. Volunteer assignments include special education resource teachers, resource teacher advisors and learning problems specialists.

Projects in the special education/rehabilitation program are: Rehabilitation 1, Special Education, and the Audio-Visual Handicap Prevention Program.

Recent History

* (1977) Rehabilitation I Project: involves dieticians, prothesis design technicians, occupational and physical therapists, rehabilitation nurses and physicians at a National Rehabilitation Hospital in the capital city of San Jose'

* (1978) Special education resource advisors

* (1978) Physical therapists

* (1979) At least 14 volunteers working in special education projects focusing on special education, physical education, art, music, skills and trades, physical and occupational therapy

* (1979) 1 physical therapist teaching at a secondary sports center in a youth development project.


Peace Corps is projecting a total of 30 volunteers working in special education in a five-year time frame (including possible transfers from other countries, this number might reach 40).

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly 1979 Country Brief Project Review Sheet Project Descriptions Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps has had a limited number of volunteers in the Dominican Republic working with handicapped populations. From 1963-1965 a teacher of braille worked with blind persons. In 1965 a volunteer taught physical education to blind persons. At least two social workers were involved in assignments benefiting handicapped persons in the mid-1960s.

Recent History

* (1978) One volunteer specialist in rehabilitation therapy has been working at the Padre Bellini Psychiatric Hospital in the Dominican Republic. The hospital's capacity is 500+ patients. The volunteer has given courses in psychiatric nursing to nurses and through another course has prepared 8-10 assistants for occupational and physical therapy activities. The volunteer is also responsible for the completion of a psychiatric nurse's manual. More volunteers are requested for this assignment.


The Peace Corps would like to expand assignments relating to disability in the areas of psychiatric nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and staff training.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly Project Summary Sheet Peace Corps Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Beginning in 1967 with the placement of a mental health worker and two speech therapists, projects for the handicapped in the Eastern Caribbean have become focused primarily on providing services and teacher training for mentally retarded persons. In 1972 volunteers were handling three classrooms of multiply-handicapped children. By 1976 there were nine volunteers working in special education, including a psychologist who collected data related to handicapped persons. There was also one volunteer working in a rehabilitation-related assignment.

Recent History

* (1977) 5 volunteers teaching the mentally retarded, 2 working in deaf education

* (1979) 1 volunteer working in Antigua/Barbuda providing education and training for 50 mentally retarded and 30 deaf children. Through this project, a school for the deaf was established with appropriate curricula developed and staff trained. The project is scheduled to be phased out in 1981.

* (1979) 2 volunteers working on St. Vincent designing a curriculum for mentally retarded persons, forming parent groups and establishing the St. Vincent Association for the Mentally Retarded. The volunteers also initiated resource centers and trained 2 Vincentians to work with mentally retarded persons.

* (1979) 1 volunteer organized and coordinated family services in Barbados

* (1979) 1 volunteer worked with 40 mentally retarded children in St. Kitts, establishing a school for the mentally retarded and conducting staff training.

* (1980) Antigua: 1 teacher/deaf
Barbados: 1 speech therapist, 1 teacher/mentally retarded, 1 learning disabilities specialist, 1 teacher/multiply-handicapped, 1 physical therapist
St. Vincent: 1 teacher/mentally retarded
St. Lucia: 1 teacher/mentally retarded
Dominica: 2 teachers/mentally retarded, 1 psychiatric social worker
St. Kitts: 1 psychiatric social worker

* (1981) St. Vincent: 2 teachers/deaf, 1 teacher/mentally retarded, 1 early childhood education teacher
Dominica: 1 teacher/mentally retarded, 1 psychiatric social worker
Barbados: 1 teacher/multiply handicapped, 1 physical therapist, 1 speech therapist, 1 teacher/physically handicapped, 1 teacher/mentally retarded
Antigua: 1 assistant teacher/deaf.


A few of the many accomplishments in special education assignments over the years include: diagnostic testing; development of sheltered workshops and provision of employment opportunities for 25 students; the development of visual aid materials; the initiation of Special Olympics; the preparation of a physical education manual for the handicapped; the training of 3 Barbadians to teach the mentally retarded; and the introduction of physical education, typing and reading into special education curricula.

Peace Corps/Eastern Caribbean has expanded its activities through its Special Education Development project. Currently, there are 13 volunteers working with various private voluntary organizations. The emphasis is on teaching the mentally retarded, deaf and other handicapped persons. In addition, the program has been able to provide information to the general public about the handicapped population.

New requests for volunteers, to begin working in FY 1982, include:

• Teachers of the Deaf

• Remedial Reading Specialists

• Teacher of the Mentally Retarded

• Teacher of the Blind

• Vocational Rehabilitation Instructors

• Speech Therapist

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly Country Desk Officer 1976 Program Grid 1979 Country Brief TAC Sheets


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

The Peace Corps has contributed much in Ecuador to benefit the lives of handicapped persons. Projects have covered a wide range of approaches and disability groups. In 1964, six social workers were active in urban and rural areas of Ecuador. In 1965 a teacher of the blind began an assignment in secondary education. With 5% of the Ecuadorian population mentally retarded, that group soon became the focus of special education efforts. By 1976 there were 26 special education volunteers in Ecuador. Project assignments included speech therapy, music therapy, physical therapy, a pottery workshop for handicapped children, blind education and education for mentally retarded children. Assignments have generally been centered in urban areas where special education institutions are located (e.g. Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca and Riobamba).

Recent History

* (1977) At least 28 volunteers working in special education projects, including one who developed Special Olympics

* (1978) 20 volunteers working in special education, including speech therapists, occupational therapists, special education instructors, slow-learner instructors, pre-school specialists and a music therapist
* (1979) 8 special education teachers

* (1979) 2 basic skills teachers (1 pre-school, l community-based)

* (1979) 1 art and 1 music teacher in a secondary school

* (1979) 1 health specialist working in a general hospital

* (1979) 1 utilities technician

* (1980) There are presently between 30-40 special education volunteers in Ecuador, the majority working in assignments to benefit mentally retarded persons. A blind volunteer originally assigned to teach in a school for the blind became interested and involved in Special Olympics for mentally retarded children.

Peace Corps/Ecuador also has a rural special education project involving Portage, an approach to early childhood education.


Peace Corps/Ecuador has had difficulty filling its requests for volunteers in special education (approximately 15/year).

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly 1979 Country Brief Country Desk Unit Country Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps/Fiji has concentrated its work with the handicapped in the areas of physical therapy and social work. There is concern for reducing social problems which contribute to illness, disability, drug abuse and crime.

Between 1972-1974, a husband and wife team began work that contributed significantly to the lives of countless handicapped persons. The husband, a prothetist, and the wife, a physical therapist, established a physical locale where individuals from all over the South Pacific could be examined and fitted for prothetics. The volunteers provided the process, the institution and the training necessary to transfer the entire administration of the center over to Fijians by the end of their service.

Another special education/rehabilitation volunteer worked in a rural/provincial area between 1972-1974 with a conglomerate group of disabled and multiply-handicapped individuals.

Volunteers have worked on a continual basis at the Suva Crippled Children's Home, primarily providing direct services in physical therapy.

Recent History

* (1978) The Red Cross Field Worker program began.

* (1978) Seven social workers involved in a variety of income-producing projects for low-income Fijians provided assistance to a non-profit organization which built and equipped a development center for the training of juvenile delinquents. An estimated 500 young people will be affected by this urban-based program by 1983 when the project is scheduled to be phased out.

* (1979) One physical therapist working in a special education school

* (1979) A mental health services consultant working in a secondary school

* The Peace Corps is requesting an additional 20 volunteers through 1984 for the Social Work Project.


The need for social workers is demonstrated by the massive urban influx which is creating squatter settlements, high unemployment, high crime rates and increased health problems.

Sources: 1980 Country Management Plan
Trainee Request Projection
1979 Country Brief
Project Summary Sheet
Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Special education is considered a high need area in Ghana by ministry officials. The Peace Corps has responded by providing special education expertise over the past decade. By 1976 there were 30 volunteers working in special education projects in Ghana, the majority providing direct services. By 1979 this number had decreased to five volunteers who worked in the two urban schools for mentally retarded persons in Accra (two in special education, two speech therapists and one occupational therapist).

Recent History

* A special education project has been ongoing in a Crippled Children's Home.

* The first chapter of Special Olympics was initiated in 1977 in Accra by Peace

Corps Volunteers.

* An art teacher extended her service to teach tie-dye to handicapped persons.

* Special education is expanding to include more work in curriculum development.

* A special education volunteer specializing in education of the deaf will be placed in the Ashanti region in the winter of 1981.


The Peace Corps/Ghana Country Desk Officer reports a desire on the part of the host country to maintain an active special education program.

Sources: PC Program Grid 1979 Country Brief Country Desk Officer James Burress, Director, People-to-People Committee for the Handicapped Country Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

The Pedagogical Center of Guatemala's Neurological Institute (HCA) meets some of the needs of handicapped persons but lacks the funding necessary to effectively upgrade training and services. The goal of Peace Corps' projects in special education is the development of self-help skills for mentally retarded students of the HCA. Peace Corps Volunteers also work to train the staff in physiotherapy techniques, vocational therapy and the use of didactic materials. Until 1977, when the Rehabilitation of Retarded Children Project began, there was only sporadic involvement of Peace Corps in special education projects. From 1963-1965, two volunteers worked in rural social welfare. In 1976 a resocialization therapist worked in the capital city to develop the capabilities and self- sufficiency skills of mentally retarded youth. Volunteers work primarily in the health and education sectors.

Recent History

* (1978) 3 volunteers working in the Rehabilitation of Retarded Children Project

* (1979) 5 volunteers working in the Rehabilitation of Retarded Children Project (one consultant, one curriculum/materials consultant and others providing direct services).


The Rehabilitation Project is scheduled to be phased out in April, 1983.

Peace Corps/Guatemala is collecting, publishing and distributing a resource pamphlet listing services available in Guatemala for disabled persons. As part of the International Year of Disabled Persons' activities, a slide/tape show will be developed indicating available services. The Peace Corps will also give a party for disabled persons.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly 1979 Country Brief Project Summary Sheet Single Placement Request TAC Sheet Country Desk Unit Peace Corps Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Social work projects began in 1963 in Honduras, concentrating on the rural areas (eight social workers assigned to rural regions). In 1964 one occupational therapist and two social workers were working in Honduras. In 1965, 14 social work aides were assigned to urban posts. In 1966 a teacher of the blind worked in a rural town while five social workers and 13 social work aides had urban assignments and two psychologists worked in university education programs. Another teacher of the blind was assigned to Honduras in 1972. By 1976 there were four special education volunteers. Over the next few years, three projects became dominant in dealing with issues of disability: In-Service Teacher Training, Physical Rehabilitation, and Special Olympies.

There are an estimated 150,000 severely physically and mentally disabled persons in Honduras and only 800 receive services or attend special centers. Institutions where volunteers have worked include Juana LeCler (for mentally retarded and learning disabled children) and CIRE (Center for Diagnosis, Investigation, and Rehabilitation).

Recent History

* (1978) 1 special education volunteer executed a nationwide study of special

education needs in cooperation with the Regional Center for Special

Education and the National Commission for Special Education.

* (1978) 3 volunteers working in physical rehabilitation to train others in the

techniques of physical and occupational therapy

* (1978) 7 volunteers working in special education/rehabilitation diagnosing the needs for services at a national level, providing in-service training and focusing on learning methods for the mentally retarded

* (1979) At least 1 volunteer working in a specialized hospital and conducting in-service teacher training

* (1979) 2 volunteers teaching in special education schools

* (1979) 2 volunteers working in a physical rehabilitation project, one a physical therapist and the other providing direct services in a general hospital

* (1980) At least one volunteer working in Special Olympics in cooperation with CIRE.


Recent accomplishments in special education/rehabilitation projects include: the organization of a speech therapy department in a unit servicing 300 handicapped persons; a proposal for a training program for physical therapy aides in the same unit; establishment of a diagnosis system adapting 12 educational tests; on-the-job training for at least 10 teachers in evaluation methods; a modular course on writing and using instructional objectives for teachers of mentally retarded children at CIRE; a 35-page partnership proposal for establishing an educational testing center at a learning disabilities school; one-week workshop on educational materials prepared for two demonstration schools; a course in total communication; a course on behavior consultation; and, a course in evaluation.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly 1976 Program Grid TAC Sheets Statement of Accomplishments, 1978 Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

In 1977 the Peace Corps began a five-year project in immunization aimed at reducing an infant mortality rate which had reached 17% in urban areas and was considerably higher in rural areas. Debilitating and disabling diseases common to the Ivory Coast targeted in the immunization project include polio, measles, diptheria, lock jaw, whooping cough, and tuberculosis.

Recent History

* In 1978, four volunteers were active in the immunization project.

* Four additional volunteers were requested in 1979 and 1980.


While addressing a basic health need, this project will have a direct impact on disability prevention. The project has developed contacts and gained cooperation from the following organizations: the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, and the Centre International de l'Enfance.

Sources: 1979 Country Brief 1979 Project Summary


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps' early work relating to the handicapped involved social workers, active between 1964-1968. Interest in providing services to mentally retarded persons grew and volunteers were placed in the Hope Center for the Mentally Retarded in the early 1970s. By 1976 there were nine volunteers working in special education, four in rehabilitation and two in social work. Projects have focused primarily on vocational rehabilitation, special education teacher training and early infant stimulation.

Two major projects comprise Peace Corps' efforts to assist disabled persons in Jamaica: Vocational Rehabilitation and Special Education Teacher Training.

Recent History

* (1977) 5 volunteers working with mentally retarded persons

* (1978) 4 volunteers working in vocational rehabilitation using screening techniques, administering evaluations and teaching new skills to handicapped clients

* (1979) 4 volunteers training special education teachers

* (1979) 1 volunteer conducting research in special education for a U.S. government agency

* (1979) 4 volunteers working in vocational rehabilitation, developing vocational skills with disabled adults to bring them into the labor market

* (1980) Occupational therapists began work at the Mona Rehabilitation
Center. A recent outbreak of poliomyelitis created disabilities which a team is servicing. The objective of the project is to assess the vocational abilities of the patients.


Vocational rehabilitation is considered a crucial need in Jamaica. Most agencies servicing the handicapped are private and voluntary, and funding for vocational rehabilitation is not available. Volunteers work as part of a team in this project area. It is reported that 80% of the sixty children and families followed in a study have progressed steadily in new skill areas.

Plans for FY 1982 include a renewed emphasis on education programs for the handicapped. Peace Corps/Jamaica proposes to share techniques with the various agencies involved and to provide outreach services to more parents. By placing volunteers where they can work closely with handicapped students, it is felt that Peace Corps/Jamaica can have an impact on an area of great need, where currently resources and skills are lacking on the part of government agencies. Volunteers who are themselves handicapped are encouraged to apply for these programs to serve both as teachers and as role models.

New requests for volunteers, to begin working in FY 1982, include:

• Community Development Workers for the Handicapped

• Learning Disability Teacher/Trainer

• Teacher/Trainer in Therapy for the Deaf

• Speech Therapist for Mentally Retarded

• Special Education Teacher

• Guidance Counselors

• Audiologist

• Occupational Therapist

• Vocational Teacher of the Deaf

It should also be noted that every guidance counselor in Jamaica has received in-service training from Peace Corps Volunteers in the Guidance Counselor Project.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly Country Desk Officer TAC Sheets Project Summary Sheet


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Special education/rehabilitation projects have been ongoing in Kenya since 1976. At that time there were four special education volunteers working in the education sector, as well as one working in rehabilitation and one social worker. By 1979 the program had expanded to include physical education instruction. Work has focused primarily on self-help and self-sufficiency skills for mentally retarded youth.

Recent History

* (1977) At least 8 volunteers were working with mentally retarded persons.

* (1978) Volunteers began working in speech therapy assignments at a government-assisted private school for mentally retarded and learning disabled children. Emphasis was placed on basic language development, assessment of speech problems and selection of children for specialized programs in speech therapy. This is an urban-based project with an in-service teacher training component.

* (1979) At least 16 volunteers were active in the special education program, including two teaching physical education and two involved in sports activities at a secondary school and a sports center.


Volunteers whose primary activity is special education also benefit handicapped persons through involvement in secondary activities with local associations for the handicapped and by participating in projects relating to the handicapped in their communities.

Peace Corps/Kenya plans to phase out its efforts in special education due to budget constraints and other priorities set by the government.

Sources: 1976 Program Grid 1979 Country Brief 1978 TAC Sheets Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Increased support and recognition by the government of Korea of their 1.8 million handicapped citizens has enhanced the efforts of Peace Corps Volunteers working in special education projects. The project began officially in 1977, although as early as 1972 there were two occupational therapists assigned to Korea. In 1978 there were three volunteers working in special education projects in Korea. The work of volunteers affects a wide range of disabled persons including speech- and hearing-impaired, deaf, blind and mentally retarded. Volunteers work in rehabilitation, job placement, administration, teaching and training in such locales as orphanages, schools, institutions and universities.

Recent History

* (1977) A volunteer originally placed as an English teacher working at a privately-funded school for educable mentally retarded students, St. Peters, where he initiated a physical education program

* (1978) Volunteers working at the National Center of Rehabilitation in Seoul, the Pursan School for the Deaf, and a Speech and Hearing Clinic of a hospital where they developed standardized testing, developed appropriate curriculum and introduced total communication methods for the deaf

* (1979) 1 volunteer working in physical therapy in a health clinic

* (1979) 6 volunteers teaching in a rehabilitation setting

* (1979) 1 volunteer in an administrative/management and supervision function

* (1979) 1 volunteer developing special education materials and curriculum

* (1979) 1 volunteer teaching TEFF/TESL in a rehabilitation setting

* (1979) 1 teacher training specialist working in a rehabilitation institution

* (1979) 1 communications/media specialist working as an international organizer/coordinator

* (1979) 1 physical therapist working in a specialized hospital

* (1979) Peace Corps Volunteers organized the first Special Olympics

* (1979) Korea hosted the World Rehabilitation Conference in Seoul. Two volunteers worked to help set up exhibits. The Peace Corps Country
Director was a recipient of an award at the Conference.

* (1980) (February) First in-service training workshop held, to be repeated bi -annually .


It is difficult for Peace Corps/Korea to fill its requests in special education. In 1980, 22 volunteers were requested and only eight requests were filled. There are currently 17 volunteers working in special education projects.

Peace Corps is to be phased out of Korea by the end of FY 1981. Volunteers in special education are suggesting that Peace Corps extend their program several years beyond that date since the program had a late start and the need for trained special education teachers is still great. Volunteers also feel that they are in the beginning stages of creating effective ties with the Ministry of Education. The Ministry first recognized the Peace Corps/Special Education program in the summer of 1979.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly, 1979 Country Brief, Country Desk Officer, Volunteer Request for Continuation of Program, TAC Sheets


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

With an infant mortality rate of 106/1000, health services are in critical need throughout Lesotho. The government of Lesotho spends only about 2.8% of its national budget on health services and, consequently, funding is not available for the treatment of and attention to a large disabled population. Peace Corps health projects in Lesotho have been increasingly concerned with reaching into the rural areas of Lesotho where physical and mental illness is believed to have reached serious proportions. Special education volunteers work in health and educational settings.

Recent History

* (1979) A consultant sent to Lesotho developed a model program emphasizing the development of resource rooms to be used by learning disabled children. Resource rooms can be utilized to determine children's special needs and problems. The overall objective of the program is to prevent learning disabled children from dropping out of school.

* (1980) A volunteer specialized in teaching braille to the blind began work in Lesotho.

* (1980) Mental health workers began training to initiate therapy for alcoholic and mentally ill patients. They will also make family visits and provide courses for health personnel in therapeutic techniques.


Health projects in Lesotho have had an indirect yet profound effect on disabled populations in Lesotho. Volunteers who have trained laboratory technicians and worked directly with the Ministry of Health have successfully transferred knowledge and skills which will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of disabled persons and the prevention of disability.

Sources: Project Summary

Trainee Request Projection


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps' work with the handicapped in Liberia dates back to 1968 when a physical therapist was assigned to provide direct services to handicapped persons. Specific involvement in special education has been sporadic-. In 1976 two volunteers were working in assignments benefiting handicapped persons: one in rehabilitation providing direct services in the education sector and one providing direct services as a social worker.

Liberia has had active assistance from the Peace Corps in preventive medical services. Inservice training has been a major priority. The preventive medical services projects is organized by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare with a grant from the Pathfinder Fund. Currently, volunteers work in the health and social service sector.

Recent History

* (1980) 7 volunteers are being requested to assist in maternal child health/preventive medical service projects to carry out the following: upgrade maternal child health services through immunization, growth and development monitoring projects and child-spacing counseling.
Volunteers will also collect data through household health surveys, assist in the development of a clinic record system, and conduct home visits for patient follow-up.

* (1980) 15 volunteers are being requested for preventive medical services/nutrition projects to conduct health education sessions in clinics and local schools.


With less than 25% health coverage in the rural areas of Liberia, much disease and disability is thought to be preventable. Peace Corps/Liberia's education program is very successful but there is currently no staff expertise in special education.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly 1976 Program Grid 1980 TAC Sheets


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Malawi experiences an infant mortality rate of 142/1000, with only 65% of all live births reaching the age of five. Health projects in Malawi have focused on the necessity of upgrading medical services, particularly in rural areas where 90% of the population resides. In the health sector, two volunteers were placed in Malawi from 1964-1966, one working in physical education and the other in a hospital setting. In 1967 a physical therapist joined their efforts to improve services to the handicapped. By 1979 seven volunteers were working in preventive medical services projects. An additional 20 volunteers will be requested each year through 1984.

Special education volunteers work through the Malawi Council for the Handicapped. The Council was established in 1972 and is responsible for coordinating services for the handicapped as well as raising and disbursing funds and donations. The Council has developed training schemes to teach skills to the handicapped while producing items for sale. The profits are then used for program operations. This project is aimed at blind, deaf and physically disabled females who learn home management skills while they sew and knit items for sale. The project also has a program for teaching farming techniques and selling vegetables, and teaching weaving in a factory employing over 100 blind persons.

Recent History

* The Council for the Handicapped is requesting one rehabilitation counselor for 1981 to implement a system of client counseling and to work with the Council's resettlement officers at the Ministry of Social Welfare.


Peace Corps has been in and out of Malawi, re-entering most recently in 1978. As a result, project continuity has suffered.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly Project Summary Sheet TAC Sheets Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

As early as 1963, a Peace Corps Volunteer was working in blind education in

Malaysia. At that time, a 55 Braille copying machine was shipped to the Malayan Federation for the Blind for the volunteer's use. The Peace Corps has endeavored to service the rural poor through its special education projects. Social work assignments began in 1966 and eventually led to the development of a drug rehabilitation project which is quite active. Volunteers in this project work out of drug rehabilitation centers establishing individual and group therapy courses, training staff in counseling techniques and providing seminars (both formally and informally) related to drug abuse. Requests for volunteers come from the Ministry of Social Welfare. The MSW sets the academic requirements and skill levels for volunteers. Volunteers work in four institutions through the MSW, in classroom and extra-curricular activities.

Recent History

* (1977) 3 volunteers working in deaf education

* (1979) 2 volunteers providing direct services in mental health

* (1979) 1 volunteer working in an asylum providing mental health services

* (1979) 2 volunteers working in a hospital providing mental health services

* (1979) 1 volunteer working in a specialized hospital providing mental health services

* (1979) 2 volunteers working as consultants at the Ministry of Social Welfare

* (1979) 1 physical therapist working in a rehabilitation center

* (1979) 1 small business assistant working in an economic development assignment in a rehabilitation setting

* (1980) 3 volunteers serving through the Ministry of Health as psychiatric social workers (10 in training as of 8/15/80)

* (1980) 4 volunteers serving in drug rehabilitation centers through the Ministry of Social Welfare in rural towns (3 in training as of 8/15/80)

* (1980) 2 volunteers working in centers for the retarded: an occupational therapist and a teacher of special education (3 teacher trainers in training to work in an institute and one teacher training to teach remedial education to 20 teachers)

* (1980) Requests for 1981 include: 2 child psychologists for pilot project in a a general hospital; one speech therapist for a Spastic Center in Johor Baru; and one physical therapist for the Cheras Institute for the Physically Handicapped.

* (1981) 5 working in the education sector and 12 in the social service sector.


Special Education Peace Corps Volunteers are involved with agencies and participate individually in Malaysia's activities for the International Year of Disabled


Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly 1979 Country Brief Memo from Program Manager Project Summary Sheet Country Desk Officer TAC Sheets Peace Corps Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Special education/rehabilitation has only recently been considered as a project area for Peace Corps/Mali. Blindness is a serious problem in rural Mali, where volunteers are working in a blindness prevention project to train rural Malians the techniques of early diagnosis, the detection of incipient blindness and to assist the blind person's integration into Malian society.

Recent History

* (1979) Volunteers working in blindness prevention and rehabilitation assisted in a pilot program to teach handicrafts to blind persons, as well as vegetable gardening, poultry production and tie-dying.

* (1979) Volunteer nurses assisted field workers in the diagnosis and treatment of eye problems. They also gathered statistics on blindness, assessing the need for an expanded program in the Selingue area.

Sources: TAC Sheet

Project Summary


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

High infant mortality rates and an average life expectancy of between 38-44 years points to the high priority status of health programs in Mauritania. Peace Corps is concerned with providing skilled health professionals who can use the Maternal and Child Health Service as a vehicle for expanding the health care vital to reducing infant mortality and in the prevention of illness and disability.

Social workers have been assigned to health posts in the five Maternal and Child Care Centers in the interior of Mauritania. Their responsibilities include the provision of outreach services to rural populations and the education of mothers and children in nutrition and basic hygiene.

Recent History

* (1978) 8 volunteers working in maternal child health care projects

* (1979) 6 social workers working at maternal child care centers and in well-baby clinics. They each work closely with a volunteer nurse.


Peace Corps/Mauritania is still a very small operation. Maternal child health care services are in an expansive stage.

Sources: Project Summary Sheet 1978 TAC Sheet


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

A lack of trained teachers in Micronesia and the consequent poor skills training of the handicapped is a serious problem. By 1991 the Peace Corps hopes, through their special education efforts, to see the handicapped of Micronesia economically self-sufficient and able to participate in the mainstream of their community life. Peace Corps' involvement with the handicapped began with one social worker in 1967. By 1976 there were five rehabilitation volunteers assigned to Micronesia.

Recent History

* (1979) 6 volunteers working in special education in a variety of tasks: teaching total communication, training special education teachers, developing special education curricula and teaching employable skills to the handicapped

* (1980) 1 rehabilitation therapist

* (1980) 1 physical therapist

* (1980) 2 special education trainers

* (1980) 1 speech therapist.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly Project Summary Sheet 1980 TAC Sheets 1976 Program Grid Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Rehabilitation projects are in the beginning stages in Morocco. Agencies cooperating with the Peace Corps in their work have been the Alaouite Organization for the Protection of Moroccan Blind, Save the Children, Health Education and Welfare Department, the Cheshire Foundation, Terre des Hommes, Hanan, and Helen Keller International. Assignments to benefit disabled persons are carried out under the Handicapped Rehabilitation Project.

Recent History

* (1978) 1 volunteer teaching strengthening exercises to 75 handicapped children. Also instructed parents in exercises.

* (1978) 2 volunteers performing administrative functions, reporting the progress of 60 physically handicapped girls receiving care and learning crafts at a cardiac rehabilitation center

* (1978) 2 volunteers set up and opened a school to teach 20 blind adult males.
They designed the curriculum, trained counterparts and taught basic skills.

* (1978) 2 volunteers working in a home for physically disabled persons providing health education services to 27. One volunteer, the director of the Home, raised large sums of money in voluntary contributions for the Home.

* (1978) 1 volunteer functioning as a sponsorship secretary at a children's welfare organization

* (1978) 2 working at the Kenitra School for the Blind

* (1979) 1 special education teacher

* (1979) 1 physical therapist providing direct services

* (1979) 1 child care specialist

* (1979) 1 providing social services

* (1980) Physiotherapists working on a project for physically handicapped children in a center created for polio victims. Volunteers arranged for surgery, taught the use of prothetics and planned rehabilitation activities.

* (1980) Volunteer who himself suffered from polio was originally placed as an English teacher, but extended a third year to work at the Cheshire Home for Physically Disabled Boys.

Sources: TAC Sheets 1976 Program Grid 1979 Country Brief Project Summary Sheet Peace Corps Director Questionnaire Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

In 1964 the Peace Corps provided a blind volunteer to Nepal to work with the blind. The volunteer spent four years in Nepal, setting up a program of education and training for all blind children of Nepal. This was a pilot education project through the College of Education in Kathmandu.

The volunteer developed a Nepali braille system based on Hindi braille and taught the system to 20 Peace Corps trainees. He searched for blind students by word of mouth, and found ten students who began braille instruction under him. By 1965 ten blind children were placed in a school with sighted children for the first time in Nepal. A publicity booklet was prepared by the volunteer and he investigated opportunities for sending Nepalese to the United States for advanced training in education of the blind. The program was expanded with the introduction of textbooks in braille. A trained counterpart took over the program when the volunteer terminated his service in 1968.

Another Peace Corps Volunteer worked with the blind between 1977-1979.


Nepal's resources and educational priorities limit the expansion of special education.

There has been some indication recently of interest on the part of the government of Nepal to have Peace Corps Volunteers continue to work with the blind.

Sources: ACTION Library Country Director Questionnaire Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps has been providing support to the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Asunción a since 1972. Volunteers have done much to improve recreational opportunities and are recently seeking community support to improve the hospital's facilities. Three dominant projects are Occupational/Recreational Therapy, Social Work, and Special Education.

Recent History

* (1978) 3 social workers programming prevention, treatment and rehabilitation activities in rural areas

* (1978) 2 volunteers in an occupational therapy project

* (1978) 5 volunteers working in special education, primarily with mentally retarded children

* (1979) 3 volunteers working in special education: one in a primary school, one in a special education school and one in library science at the Ministry of Social Welfare

* (1979) 2 occupational/recreational therapists: one a mental health worker in an asylum/sanitarium and the other working with the Foundation "Solidarida". The mental health worker initiated group therapy and art therapy with women in a chronic and a recovery ward.


Plans for the International Year of Disabled Persons include the organization of Special Olympics, a parent's group for parents of disabled children, and a community fund/supplies drive for consciousness-raising.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly 1979 Country Brief Project Summary Peace Corps Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

The Philippines has had a great deal of support from the Peace Corps in the area of special education/rehabilitation. As early as 1963, two speech therapists were working in the Philippines, one in secondary education and the other in university education. In 1967, two occupational therapists were assigned to the Philippines and in 1972 three special education teachers began work specializing in elementary education. By 1976 there were 16 volunteers in special education.

Volunteers have been placed in a variety of projects including work at the Elks Cerebral Palsy Project in a total rehabilitation program. Peace Corps/Philippines has also done outstanding work in deaf and blind education.

Deaf Education: Only an estimated 800 of the 20,000 deaf or hearing-impaired in Manila are actually receiving services or are enrolled in special schools. The goal of the deaf education project is to assist the South East Asian Institute for the Deaf (S.A.I.D.) in establishing a model secondary school for the deaf using a total communication approach. Deaf education began in 1974 with one pre-school class of three pupils taught by volunteers. By 1979 classes had expanded to include education through Grade IV. At this time, Filipino teachers of the deaf have been trained and orientation to parents of the deaf given. Volunteers have co-authored, with S.A.I.D.) personnel, the first signed English dictionary in the Philippines.

Blind Education: Education of the blind is another important priority in the Philippines which has a 2.1396 rate of blindness, fifty percent of which is preventable and 40 percent remedial. The Peace Corps has agreed to assist the Council of Blindness through 1981 in a mass education campaign to prevent blindness. When the project is phased out, it is to be replaced by a "multi-media sight conservation project" designed by a volunteer.

Recent History

* (1977) 3 in education of the blind, one in administration

* (1978) Speech therapists working at the Elks Cerebral Palsy Project

* (1978) Occupational therapists working at the Elks Cerebral Palsy Project

* (1978) 1 special education teacher specializing in cerebral palsy

* (1979) 5 volunteers in deaf education

* (1979) 5 volunteers in blind education

* (1979) 2 volunteers in rehabilitation (physical education and sports)

* (1980) Volunteers working as program advisors in VIDERE Institute for Blind

* (1980) Volunteers working as program advisors at Mt. Province Paraplegic Association

* (1980) 16 volunteers working in deaf education. Most volunteers are deaf or hearing-impaired themselves and were specially trained for this project through Gallaudet College.

Sources: Country Desk Officer Statistical Summary Quarterly 1979 Project Review Peace Corps Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

The goal of special education projects in the Seychelles is to provide and maximize services for its handicapped adults and children through a comprehensive rehabilitation program in the School of the Exceptional Child and Craft Training Center, with extension programs on a district level.

Through the efforts of a volunteer working in 1979 for the International Year of the Child Commission, all known handicapped persons in the Seychelles were surveyed and categorized by handicap.

Two special education volunteers, one a teacher for the hearing-impaired and the other an occupational therapist, initiated the program in special education in 1975.

They organized and taught handicapped children and adults, and supervised local and overseas fund-raising activities which led to the construction and equipping of the

School for the Exceptional Child which opened in 1977. When the program began in 1975, there were 30 children being serviced, plus monthly recreational programs for 120 individuals. Classes were given in an old house and a trailer. Enrollment over the next few years grew to 60 and specialized equipment was purchased by the Children's Society. A new three-room classroom with an audiology center was built in 1977.

Recent History

* (1976) 2 volunteers in special education assignments and 1 volunteer in a rehabilitation assignment

* (1977) A director for the School for the Exceptional Child was requested to administer the already-established program and create new areas of focus. The director also served as a teacher and teacher supervisor, coordinating programs for physically and mentally impaired students attending regular school.

* (1978) One trainee on board to be the final volunteer working in special education in the Seychelles

* (1979) A volunteer collected data on handicapped children in the Seychelles for an International Year of the Child survey. She prepared problem analysis and strategy papers as well as designed and tested pilot projects addressing health, social and special education problems of children.

* (1981) Two volunteers working in the Seychelles, one an occupational therapist and the second a physical education instructor.

Sources: Program Grid, 1976 Bi-Weekly Report (July 12, 1979) Project Summary Sheet TAC Sheet Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Survey Peace Corns Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps projects in special education began in 1972. It is estimated that by FY 1990 there will be enough trained personnel in Sierra Leone to adequately take over the work initiated by volunteers. Volunteers have worked primarily in assignments for the physically handicapped in the education sector.

Recent History

* 4 special education volunteers were working in the Freetown capital area in a school for the physically handicapped in 1976.

* Efforts to recruit volunteers in 1978 and 1979 for special education assignments were unsuccessful.

* 5 volunteers working in special education were completing their service in 1979.
An additional six volunteers/year are requested through 1984, after which time the project will be phased out.


Volunteers are utilized to train teachers in preparing the blind, deaf and physically disabled to lead productive and better lives. They also assist the Ministry of Education in developing long-range educational plans based on needs specific to Sierra Leone and in providing college-level studies in special education topics.

Sources: Country Director Questionnaire TAC Sheet



One special education Peace Corps Volunteer is currently in Swaziland working for the National Society for the Handicapped.

Source: Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Physical therapy, education of the deaf, and education of the blind have been the primary thrusts of special education/rehabilitation assignments in Thailand. Early involvement was sporadic, with two physical therapists working from 1967-1969. In 1972, the Peace Corps began work with the blind, but by 1976 only one volunteer was reported to be working in a special education assignment.

Recent History

* (1978) 3 volunteers in medical rehabilitation project (an occupational therapist, a physical therapist and a workshop technician)

* (1978) 4 volunteers in mental health project

* (1978) 1 teacher of the deaf

* (1978) 1 blind volunteer, teaching blind students

* (1979) 2 special education teachers in special schools, one with a focus on TEFL

* (1979) 4 volunteers active in a community health/medical project including three physical therapists (two in a general hospital setting and one in a specialized hospital)

* (1979) 1 consultant in mental health working in a specialized hospital

* (1981) Volunteers in health sector.


Thailand's projects are growing rapidly and requests are being made for volunteers in all special education fields through 1984. There is a problem, however, with filling the many requests.

Sources: Statistical Summary Quarterly 1979 Country Brief Trainee Request Projections Country Desk Unit


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Until recently, work in special education/rehabilitation has been sporadic in Tunisia. In 1965, physical education for the blind was introduced by a volunteer. Thirteen social workers were indirectly affecting the lives of handicapped persons in 1967. In 1976 only one rehabilitation volunteer was reported to be working in Tunisia.

Of the 17 centers for mentally handicapped children in Tunisia, five centers are located outside of the capital city. These, in particular, require much support in the form of teacher training to provide qualified special educators for these schools.

Recent History

* (1978) A program began to train special education teachers in five rural centers for mentally handicapped children. The program requires right volunteers, two center directors, two pre-school teachers, two manual skills development teachers, one agricultural teacher (greenhouse farming) and one vocational education teacher.


The project is to be phased out by 1982.

Sources: Trainee Request Projection TAC Sheets


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Volunteers have worked in assignments at a Polio Rehabilitation Center in Upper Volta. From 1973-1975 a physical therapist worked in Tenkodogo providing direct services to disabled patients. Although the project was phased out, the volunteer was replaced by a British nurse.

Upper Volta has a limited infrastructure for special education or rehabilitation projects. However, there is an interest in developing programs, especially in the area of deaf education. The Peace Corps Director in Upper Volta has made inquiries through Gallaudet College, a liberal arts college for deaf students located in Washington, D.C., concerning their assistance in beginning a deaf education project. Gallaudet College has been extensively involved in providing technical assistance, training, and other assistance to Peace Corps' work with deaf persons throughout the world.

Sources: Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Interview Peace Corps Director Questionnaire


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

Peace Corps' involvement in education of the blind projects in Western Samoa dates back to 1975 when a volunteer couple began work at a school for the blind. The female volunteer was blind. Other special education/rehabilitation assignments have included a rehabilitation program for lepers in 1976 through Samoa's main hospital, and the introduction of sheltered workshops for the blind. The blind education project collaborates with Helen Keller International in Samoa.


Since 1977 there has been no Peace Corps involvement in special education in Western Samoa. Special recruitment efforts are being made to locate a teacher of the blind for 1981. The volunteer will work at the Alafamua School for the Blind as the head teacher, as well as assist in the development of a program to achieve basic literacy skills. The school is four miles east of the capital in Letogo.

Sources: 1980 TAC Sheet Country Desk


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

By 1977 the Peace Corps had trained twenty Yemeni vaccinators. There is still, however, a shortage of trained vaccinators throughout Yemen. Prevalent illnesses requiring vaccination include smallpox, cholera, tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and measles - all diseases that, if not prevented, can cause disability and death. A volunteer has served as the project director for the immunization project and 11 volunteers were working in the project as of 1930/78. The Peace Corps plans to recruit at least 16 more volunteers for this project in 1981, after which time the project will be phased out.

Source: Project Summary Sheet


History of Work Relating to the Handicapped

A lack of primary health care accounts for the presence of many preventable and easily treatable diseases and disabilities in Zaire. Health advocates and technical advisors are being recruited by the Peace Corps to work in an expanded program of immunization. The vaccination team will aim its work at high risk populations in rural areas. Volunteers will be responsible for the organization and management of the team as well as the monitoring of vaccine cold chains and supervision of vaccine techniques. Peace Corps Volunteers will also be responsible for establishing and monitoring a disease reporting system.

Recent History

* (1980) Request for 12 health advocates

* (1980) Request for 7 technical advisors.


To date, there is no activity specifically related to special education but there is interest in and support for initiating such a program provided that resources and effective channels can be identified. At this time, a shortage of staff resources as well as the scarcity of existing Zairian efforts prohibits this type of programming.

Sources: 1980 TAC Sheet Country Director Questionnaire

The Peace Corps no longer maintains volunteers in the following countries, but each has received some degree of support from the Peace Corps in dealing with the needs and issues arising from disability.



-one social worker



-one social worker



-three volunteers in rehabilitation (planning, education, and providing direct services)



-5 social work assistants



-1 social worker



-1 social worker



-1 social worker



-5 social workers

El Salvador


-5 special educators



-3 special educators



-4 special educators, including 2 consultants



-1 social worker



-1 social worker



-4 social worker



-1 teacher of the blind



-3 psychologists, university education



-2 social workers; 1 speech therapist



-2 mental health volunteers



-5 mental health volunteers (including one occupational therapist); 6 special educators



-4 social workers in rural community action



-6 social workers in rural community action



-6 social workers in rural community action Panama



-1 teacher of the blind, agricultural extension; 1 psychologist in university education



-2 social workers in rural community action; 15 social workers in urban community action; 28 social worker aides in urban community action



-2 social workers in rural community action; 11 social workers in urban community action; 23 social worker aides in urban community action; 5 social workers in a health setting



-1 psychologist in rural community action; 2 social workers in rural community action; 6 social workers in urban community action; 14 social work aides in urban community action; 5 social workers in physical education



-1 psychologist in rural community action; 1 social worker in urban community action



-2 social workers



-1 volunteer working with mentally retarded persons



-1 social worker in urban community action



-1 social worker in agricultural extension



-3 social workers



-4 social workers in health setting



-2 social workers in community action; 4 social workers in physical education



-2 social workers in urban community action; 4 physical therapists



-15 social workers



-1 physical therapist; 1 speech therapist



-1 physical therapist; 1 speech therapist



-1 physical therapist in urban community action



-17 social workers in urban community action



-16 social workers in urban community action



-3 occupational therapists; 2 physical therapists



-3 occupational therapists



-3 occupational therapists; 3 social workers



-1 special education volunteer

The following countries in which Peace Corps presently works have had no assignments in special education and rehabilitation: Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, The Gambia, Niger, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Togo and Tonga.

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