The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations. Observance of the day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.
It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
Over one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability.
Of these, over 10 million live in Britain, Five million are over state pension age, whilst 770,000 are children under the age of 16. That equates to 1 child in 20. It costs up to three times as much to raise a disabled child as it does to raise a child without disabilities.*
After-effects will vary
Meningitis is just one of the many causes of disability. For those who survive the disease the after-effects will vary, but may include limb loss, acquired brain injury, learning and behavioural changes, hearing loss or sight problems.
Although many people will make a good recovery, others will be left with these life-long and disabling after-effects. Regardless of the outcome, the impact of the disease can be huge, changing lives forever
Around the world, persons with disabilities face physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that exclude them from participating fully and effectively as equal members of society. They are disproportionately represented among the world’s poorest, and lack equal access to basic resources, such as education, employment, healthcare and social and legal support systems.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities draws awareness to persons with disabilities and the problems they are faced with in their everyday lives. It’s a chance to learn more about the many types of disabilities that exist.
Are you disabled or do you know someone who is? Everyone has different skills and interests, so why not find a way to celebrate these, whatever they are, in keeping with this year’s theme – inclusion matters: access and empowerment of people of all abilities.
*Source: Disabled Living Foundation/Shaw Trust