Fellow Since 2003
This profile was prepared when Jeanette Perry was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Jeanette has succeeded in establishing CIREC as the national reference on disabilities with respect to rehabilitation and social integration. It was one of the first organizations in Colombia to integrate various aspects of work with people with disabilities -- including physical, occupational and psychological therapies, work with families and socialization programs, job training, promotion of employment opportunities, and high quality prostheses -- with the goal of fully reintegrating physically disabled individuals into society. Jeannette’s leadership has led CIREC to become the largest local producer of prosthesis in Latin America, as well as a key advocate for laws that look at the needs of people with disabilities in an integrated way. For Jeanette, it is not enough that the person regain mobility; she is concerned with integrating the individual into the job market and ensuring equality before the law. Over the years, CIREC has directly helped tens of thousands of Colombians from all over the country, as well as many other Latin Americans, to function at high levels in society and in the workplace.