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International Day of People with Disability

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International Day of People with Disability

Today marks International Day of People with a Disability; a United Nations sactioned day that is celebrated globally. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability. 

 

This year's theme is Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.

 

There are also three sub-themes this year:

  • Making cities inclusive and accessible for all
  • Improving disability data and statistics
  • Including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development. 

 

These themes provides a frame for considering how people with disability are excluded from society by promoting the removal of all types of barriers; including those relating to the physical environment, information and communications technology (ICT), or attitudinal barriers. 

 

It is great to see that invisible disabilities are receiving specific attention this year. We know that often people won't believe someone has a Brain Injury because they look "normal".  

 

It is common for family, employers and friends to not understand there are problems when they can't see physical evidence. Typical examples include:

"The insurance company says I'm fine and don't need rehabilitation"
"My girlfriend says I'm self-centred and don't care about her anymore"
"Mum and dad think it's all in my head, that I'm making all this up"
"The boss thinks I'm being lazy and avoiding working too hard."

 

Hopefully by focusing on invisible diabilities this year, International Day of People with Disability will start conversations across the world about how we can break down barriers for all people living with a disability.  

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