Community members came together for international day of people with disabilities

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today, December the 3rd, is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which was put in motion in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3.  In their words “it aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.”

The theme for #IDPD2018 is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”

In anticipation of the day, Rob, Katie, Rich and Annie – a group of trainers, came together to discuss what the day and its theme means to them. 

“Empowerment, for me, means not feeling like I have to conform. It means being free to challenge the status quo, and being listened to while we do so. It is about being in control, being able to know my rights – being well-equipped and informed about what we’re entitled to.”

Community members having a conversation during international day of people with disabilities

“It is about standing by something, an issue, that I believe in. It is about getting things sorted, getting things done ourselves without having to wait for someone else to do it for us.

To me, empowerment means being in ultimate control of your own life and your own destiny. It’s about showing what we can do and how much richer the local community, particularly would be, with our influence and our participation.”

A person with disability telling his story during the community event

“Equality is about having the same choice and control as anybody else. If I want to have a lie in on a Saturday morning, I should be able to do that, without my choices being dictated by my care plan. Having to go to bed at 9:30pm every night, because that’s what is written, is not equality.”

“When thinking about inclusion I like to imagine what an inclusive society might look like.

People may think that an inclusive society is mainly about having physical access to everywhere we want to go. It is partly that, but a really inclusive society is about having flexibility and choice. It means being supported in other aspects of our lives and being able to go to concerts, to actually get to the job centre to talk about potential work, and not being constrained by society’s schedules. It’s about playing an active part in society.

Ideally, I’d like to see the local community becoming like a second family where everybody looks out for one another. ”

You can view the video here: