Do you know or have you interacted with a special needs person? If you answered yes, then you must be aware of their daily struggles. Despite having the same hopes and aspirations like anyone else, they face a higher risk of being bullied, yelled at, misunderstood, discriminated against, and marginalised.
Therefore, in order to raise awareness and inspire a more inclusive world, we’ve partnered with Hong Kong Mom – Mary Schaus & her charity Talos Foundation, in their mission to spread the message of kindness & compassion towards people with special needs.
For Mary, the idea began with that one incident, when she and her husband had taken their eight-year-old autistic son for a class in Central Hong Kong. Her son urgently wanted to use a toilet. Mary took him to the nearest one only to be refused by the attendant. No amount of arguments and cajoling could make him budge; the attendant even ignored Alexander’s disability card. This resulted in him wetting himself.
Angry & frustrated after this bitter exchange, Mary felt so wronged.
Much like Mary, most of us would be enraged, infuriated but eventually, in a few weeks, we would’ve moved on.
But not Mary Schaus. In an interview to the South China Morning Post in July, she said “you can either make the best of the situation or you can be angry & bitter.” She was determined to tackle the ignorance and apathy surrounding this group head on. Channeling that rage into action, she started a charity – Talos Foundation – named after her son Alexander Talos Schaus.
Through the charity, this Hong Kong mom wants to shine a light on special-needs people and their concerns. To educate and increase awareness on this issue, her campaign centers around evoking empathy in the community through the distribution of specially designed lanyards and stickers — an illustration of head with a heart inside, along with a bi-lingual message (in Chinese and English), saying: “Special Needs: Kindness and Compassion”.
Her efforts have already resonated with some corporates and individuals. The charity’s lanyards and stickers have been sent to about 20 distribution points, including offices, bookstores, and playgroups, for people to pick up free of charge. And these are just the first steps. For this campaign to truly make a difference, it needs more champions.
We, therefore, urge Lantau residents to dismantle biases and rally around “human needs of special needs.”
Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, claim your lanyard and stickers to show solidarity & help build an all-embracing society. Together, we can do it.