International Day of Persons with Disabilities

I read in the newspaper that today and every 3rd day of December we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disability. This year’s theme "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and Justice For All of Us’’ highlights the need for a renewed commitment to the ratification and full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. The observance seeks to increase awareness of gains that can be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life.

Being a person with disability I’m glad that special attention is given to us even once a year. I'm thankful for the people who exert their efforts in fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, seeking all means to provide support to show welfares for the disabled persons. It’s a sad reality that persons with disabilities often live marginalized lives, deprived of some of life’s most basic experiences. Some have little hope of getting an education, getting a job, having their own home, creating a family, raising their children, voting or enjoying a social life. For a vast majority of the disabled, shops, public facilities, transport, and even information are largely out of reach.

According to the news, in developing countries, poor medical conditions during pregnancy and at birth, traffic accidents, the prevalence of infectious diseases, natural disasters, armed conflict, land mines, and the proliferation of arms cause injuries, impairment, and a lasting trauma to the disabled. However, in some developing and developed nations, legislation promoting and protecting the basic rights of persons with disabilities has seen the disabled live fulfilling lives as students, workers, family members, and citizens. These countries have also been able to remove some physical and cultural barriers that had previously hindered their full participation in their communities. The disabled are not only entitled to their basic rights; they also have the right to be an empowered and empowering source of social, cultural, political, and economic development.

I hope as we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, people will have a greater understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.

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