Functional variations – no obstacles!
In Vietnam, a functional variation, such as hearing impairment, means a stigmatization. Many with hearing impairments have never had a chance to learn sign language or go to school. This usually means exclusion in society and lack of opportunities for work and living.
In the city of Hue City, Vietnam, the shop Healing the Wounded Heart Shop is run by 19 people with different hearing impairments. The employees in the store all recieve trainging in handcrafts for example learning how to braid baskets of plastic waste, make bags and interior details of recycled materials. Shop employees manufacture all the products sold in the store themselves. An employment at the Healing the Wounded Heart Shop gives people with hearing impairment a context, an income and, most importantly, the opportunity to feel included in society.
The surplus from the store’s sales goes to the OGCDC (Office of Genetic Counseling and Disabled Children). Since 1994, the organization offers children and adults with different functional variations both medical care and support in everyday life. The purpose is simply to create a society where function variations are not seen as an obstacle!