Stories from the Field – Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre
Stepanakert, Nagorno Karabakh
As the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre increases its knowledge and array of services for its clients, so expands its list of persons with disabilities seeking their services. The Centre treats children, adults, elderly, and infants with inpatient and outpatient care. The Centre is licensed to treat infants with ailments that can lead to disabilities and does its best to keep up with the large volume of clients that travel hundreds of miles to their doorstep in search of help.
Our partner at the center, Director Vardan Tadevosyan, describes a phenomenon called discharge syndrome, where many of the Centre’s clients are reluctant to leave. This situation is a direct result of the cultural attitude towards persons with disabilities in the region; those with disabilities are treated as inferior, not only by society, but in many circumstances, their families. Vardan and his staff teach their clients independent living skills, skills that are met with barriers once the clients return to their homes.
In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other safeguards give people with disabilities access to the community, enabling them to live a life of independence and dignity. These safeguards and community support systems are not available in areas to which the Centre’s patients are returning.
The Lady Cox Centre employs 50 staff members, 17 of those members are medical staff. The Centre offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, nursing care, speech therapy, and psychological therapy.
The Centre is also a model of inclusion, with a daily kindergarten class comprised of 10 children with disabilities and 10 children of employees who learn together in an integrated environment. Before this program, many children with disabilities were unable to enroll in public schools with their peers, they were either segregated or confined to homeschool options. Since 2007, many of the children enrolled in the kindergarten program are graduating and attending public school. This class is demonstrating a vital role in the development of children with disabilities. With more resources, the Centre can expand the program and include more children with disabilities.
The Centre’s Director Vardan Tadevosyan shared some of the therapeutic activities that the Centre provides:
“We offer art training classes such ceramic, macramé, wood carving (right now we are seeking a specialist who would like to work with disable people), painting, singing. These classes are very good especially for the young patients; they are happy to learn new hobbies and use these skills at home.
Every year we organize an art exhibition in the city hall. 2012 was a special year for the ceramic studio. With support of HART-US we obtained a ceramic kiln. It was dream of ours for many years. Now we improve the quality of the work that our patients are creating.”
Vardan also shared a special message from the Centre to all of our HART-US supporters:
“I would like to say from all my patients and staff thank you to all of the supporters of HART-US and your staff. Words are not enough to explain how much we appreciate your generous donations.”
The Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre receives nominal funding from the government to offer their services and rely upon the donations from HART-US and HART-UK supporters. You, our supporters, are making a difference in the lives of many of the forgotten ones, our brothers and sisters with disabilities in Stepanakert and the surrounding region. You have helped and continue to support their essential medical treatments and the therapy that accompanies the treatment, giving each patient hope for a better tomorrow.