We feel that, universally, people with disabilities are the most vulnerable and least represented people on earth. EASE Foundation works to change that.

EASE fulfills a dire need in Sri Lanka for services for individuals with disabilities, especially autism, as well as their families, which are informed by modern thinking on disability. We do not believe in regarding those with disabilities as victims or ‘suffering’ from autism. Instead, we help them stand tall and strong. We promote this aim by enabling them to create productive, stimulating lives.

Our core program is an educational program as people with disabilities are often not given the opportunity for a real education.

The twin pillars of EASE Foundation are:

– Presuming competence

– The belief that everyone needs an age-appropriate means of communication

We strongly advocate that people with disabilities belong in mainstream life, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities enjoyed by society at large. Inclusion begins with the family and the immediate community and should expand to the larger world.

“People with disabilities are in our midst, and they are in your life. According to WHO figures one in six has a disability. If you do not know anyone with a disability yet you will soon. Postponing this discussion till you yourself are disabled through illness, accident or old age is pointless. Think of it, if we do not include people with disabilities in our schools you are limiting a large group of people to useless lives. They will not only be burdens to themselves and their families, but to society as well. We must be included everywhere to hold us back is to imprison us. You can do this only if you not only accept us but recognize and celebrate the contributions we make to society. Most of us are lessons in fortitude, courage, and grace under fire. Look at the wall of fame in our exhibition and be inspired by the contributions made by people with disabilities.

Mellowing our attitude towards people with disabilities will make this a better world for everyone. My friend, autistic advocate Mark Utter says, “The task at hand is for everyone to surrender their wishes for perfection and embrace our different ways of being human.” Imagine such a world. Parents will not be devastated by fear for their disabled child’s present and future. No one will be locked away in their homes or in institutions. No one will have hurtful remarks flung at them. Let us make such a world a reality – Celebrate Diversity.”

Chandima Rajapatirana