• Updated 2023.9.26 16:21
  • All Articles
  • member icon
  • facebook cursor
  • twitter cursor
NewsLocal news
'Passing from freedom to happiness'The 20th Asian Conference on Intellectual Disabilities
폰트키우기 폰트줄이기 프린트하기 메일보내기 신고하기
승인 2011.09.01  14:29:57
페이스북 트위터

▲ Photo courtesy Asia Federation on Intellectual Disabilities

The Asian Federation on Intellectual Disabilities (AFID) held its 20th biennial conference from Aug. 21 to 26 on Jeju Island. This is the second time that the conference has taken place in Korea, having been held in Seoul in 1993.

The conference theme, “Passing from Freedom to Happiness,” signified a shift in focus among AFID's 20 member nations from simply meeting the needs of the intellectually challenged to contributing to their life satisfaction as full members of society.

This year's conference was attended by more than 1,700 people from 23 countries and is one of the largest of its kind in Asia.

One of the more remarkable aspects of the conference was the inclusion of intellectually challenged people in the program itself. Rather than merely recipients of the benefits bestowed according to their governments' policies, more than 400 stakeholders – those afflicted with an intellectual disability – attended the conference and participated in structured, supported discussions regarding their needs.

Parents also attended and participated; policy-makers and specialists in the field provided over 170 presentations in the five-day period.

The conference also included many study tours to related Jeju facilities. Among them were Jeju Youngsong, Jeju Young gi, and Seogwipo Onseong schools; Jeju Changam and Hallawon residential institutions; and, Jeju and Seogwipo Rehabilitation Centers.

In the 2000 conference, it was determined that Asian nations need a specifically Asian model for meeting the needs of the intellectually challenged, rather than adopting policy and care models for same from the US and UK. Subsequent conferences have focused on this concept while allowing member nations to compare their educational and welfare programs as well as related policies.

One of the primary ongoing problems is the stigma that a majority of societies still hold regarding intellectual disability. Increasing public awareness through education, and full integration of the intellectually challenged into society through policy that ensures individual rights, are AFID's primary goals.

According to Kim Young Wook, chairman of the 2011 conference's organizing committee, there are an estimated 100,000+ people in Korea with intellectual disability. According to a benefits-related system, however, only an approximately 3,600 or 30 percent are officially registered because of the societal stigma. On survey, 80 percent of those registered reported dissatisfaction with the benefits they receive.

AFID was founded in 1973 by Father Arthur Martin, a Catholic priest, and held its first conference in Manila that year. It is recognized by UNESCO and has 420 delegates from 20 countries. The 2013 conference will take place in India.

Dr. Hilty is a cultural health psychologist.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (
All materials on this site are protected under the Korean Copyright Law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published without the prior consent of Jeju Weekly.
폰트키우기 폰트줄이기 프린트하기 메일보내기 신고하기
페이스북 트위터
60 Second Travel
Jeju-Asia's No.1 for Cruise

Jeju Weekly

Title:The jeju Weekly(제주위클리)  |  Mail to  |  Phone: +82-64-724-7776 Fax: +82-64-724-7796
#503, 36-1, Seogwang-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea, 63148
Registration Number: Jeju, Ah01158(제주,아01158)  |  Date of Registration: November 10,2022  |  Publisher&Editor : Hee Tak Ko  | Youth policy: Hee Tak Ko
Copyright 2009 All materials on this site are protected under the Korean Copyright Law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published
without the prior consent of jeju