“Handicaped People Are Able To Do Their Work,“ Says the Embassy Nurse
May 10, 2011
Three years ago, soon after starting work for the U.S. Embassy in Prague, Marie Bartova fell off of a horse and injured her spinal cord. Six months afterwards she returned to the Embassy and started work again as a Registered Nurse.
"I had become a wheelchair user and the Embassy asked me to return to work. They adjusted the access points and my workplace for me so I’ve been able to work just like before the accident,“ says Marie who’s been pictured by the photographer Lukáš Pelech along with the other working wheelchair users. These photos were displayed at the photo exhibition entitled “We can stand up on our own feet” at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague from April 20 till May 9th, 2011.
Marie decided to share her positive experience with working as a wheelchair user at the Embassy in a video. "I would like to let the public know that physically handicaped people are able to work just as people who can walk. Just open up to us and help us a little bit.“
Embassy’s Management Counselor Ben Dille explains why the Embassy didn’t hesite and helped Marie to return to work. “In the U.S. we have a long tradition of looking after handicaped people but I also felt at the time it was the right thing to do. As the employer we expect our employees to be loyal to us and when something like this happen we should be loyal to them.”
The exhibition organized by The Paraplegic Union is followed up with the eponymous nationwide campaign with the same theme — every wheelchair user has the right to live an active and quality life just like before their paralysis, and like anyone of us. The Paraplegic Union defends the interests of the wheelchair users, influences the community approach to them, and persuades the public that virtually everyone can help. Just a bit of solidarity and respect suffices.