The NSGEU joins with thousands of people around the world to observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The goals of this date (December 3rd) is to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, and to help increase awareness of the benefits of fully integrating persons with disabilities into every aspect of our political, social, economic and cultural life.
The theme of this year’s event is “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.”
“The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation. The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.
Persons with disabilities must be able to fulfil their role in society and participate on an equal basis with others. It is important to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual. Often, the societal image of persons with disabilities is impacted by attitudes based on stigma and discrimination, as well as archaic ideas about disability and persons with disabilities that are often the greatest barrier to their full and equal participation in society and development on an equal basis with others. It is important to note that disability is part of the human condition, and that all of us either are or will become disabled to one degree or another during the course of our lives.
By promoting empowerment, real opportunities for people are created. This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities. Empowerment involves investing in people – in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. When people are empowered they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change and can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities” (Click here for more from the UN’s website).