National Special Education Center Students Meet American Diplomat, Learn About Helen Keller and the Rights of the Disabled

Islamabad, November 22, 2016Pakistan’s National Special Education Center for Hearing Impaired Children hosted U.S. Embassy Press Officer Nolen Johnson, who spoke with students about the inspiring life of Helen Keller, the deaf-blind American educator, writer and social activist, who helped found the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920, and was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her life’s work.  The students also learned about Ms. Saima Saleem, the first blind member of the Pakistan Foreign Service.

During his remarks, Mr. Johnson told the students, “Always remember that your limitations shrink in comparison your tremendous potential.”

Speaking at the event, Ms. Ishrat Masood, Director General Special Education remarked, “Helen Keller’s life inspires us to pursue our dreams with courage and passion despite apparent hurdles.”

The U.S. Embassy supports the promotion and protection of the rights of the disabled in a variety of ways, such as support for the Helen Keller Center, and a recently concluded a one-year $375,000 program, managed by the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP), to support Pakistani women with disabilities.  Through this program, STEP organized more than 90 training sessions, TV talk show discussions, and provincial workshops to increase public and Pakistani government awareness about the rights of women with disabilities and to provide livelihood training for women with disabilities.  Now, the American Embassy and Mobility International are beginning collaboration on a new program to empower Pakistanis with disabilities and their allies.

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