International Day of Persons with Disabilities – by Mary Agbesanwa
When you ask someone how disability inclusive they are they would probably say, ‘I’m inclusive, I know a disabled person and they taught me…’
But in reality, how often do we actually practise being disability inclusive? Do you think about accessibility for someone with a wheelchair when organising events? Do you use positive language when describing people with disabilities? Are you aware that some disabilities are not visible?
Sunday 3rd December 2017 was International Day for Persons with Disabilities (#IDPD17). The aim of IDPD is to campaign for the economic and social empowerment of people with disabilities and to spotlight and create opportunities for them. This year’s theme is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”. There are an estimated one billion people around the world living with disabilities, many of whom face societal barriers and stigmas that make it harder to integrate into society. AbleChildAfrica is a great charity that supports remarkable African-led organisations, striving to achieve equal rights for disabled children and young people. As a member of the charity’s Youth Council, I have enjoyed learning more about how a charity operates, meeting and working with other like-minded young people and understanding more about what it is like to live with a disability in the UK and in a developing country.
To end this post, I thought I would include 3 ways we can all be more disability inclusive:
- Access – plan accessible and wheelchair-friendly events
- Care – care for others and make People with Disabilities feel comfortable about voicing their experience and challenges
- Awareness – increase your awareness of what is like to live with a disability by reading blog posts on websites like AbleChildAfrica’s
About the Author: Mary is a member of the AbleChildAfrica Youth Council. She is passionate about inclusion, and has volunteered both in Bulgaria and Africa with disabled children. As a British-born Nigerian, Mary is excited about growth prospects in Africa and the role the Diaspora can play. As part of the ICS Programme with the charity VSO, Mary spent 3 months working in schools and with young entrepreneurs in Zanzibar, Tanzania. She works as a Management consultant at PwC, and plans to utilise and share her relevant social media, marketing and fundraising skills with the rest of the youth council and develop her advocacy skills.