Posts Tagged ‘disability rights’

Include, organize, celebrate, and take action: The United Nations International Day for Persons with Disabilities

December 3, 2012

Sometimes at the food hamper program people trust us enough to tell us the story about why they need a food hamper. The other day, a woman called in needing a hamper delivered because of a disability. She experiences light sensitive epilepsy, meaning when she is outdoors too long she could have a seizure. This makes things very difficult for her; what are simple tasks for some people, like running errands or bringing her kids to school, are always potentially dangerous. It also makes it nearly impossible for her to hold a job. Since her disability is invisible–meaning that just by looking at her one would not know she has a disability–she must deal with people who may not believe she actually has a disability at all. Many people experience different kinds of disabilities which may or may not be evident, and living in a society which tends to be structured for people without disabilities means they face many barriers to living a healthy and fulfilling life.

Today is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and this year’s theme is “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all.” While the provincial government has made some headway by passing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which is working towards eliminating physical and social barriers for people with disabilities, there’s still a long way to go.