Coming in December – “International Day of People with Disability”

Sunday, December 3 is “International Day of People with Disability.”

Over one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, live with a disability.

In the United States, and around the world, people with disabilities face physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that prevent them from learning, living, working, and playing in their communities. December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

“Including people with disabilities in everyday activities and encouraging them to have roles similar to their peers who do not have a disability is disability inclusion. This involves more than simply encouraging people; it requires making sure that adequate policies and practices are in effect in a community or organization.

Inclusion should lead to increased participation in socially expected life roles and activities—such as being a student, worker, friend, community member, patient, spouse, partner, parent or donor.

Socially expected activities may also include engaging in social activities, using public resources such as transportation and libraries, moving about within communities, receiving adequate health care, having relationships, and enjoying other day-to-day activities.

Sometimes people make the argument that making changes to increase accessibility is impractical, because they’ve been operating for years with few or no people with disabilities as part of their organization or initiative. That excuse simply is is exclusive.

stairwellPeople with an ambulatory disability are often excluded if a venue has only stairs.

“Ambulatory disability” means a disability because of which a person:

(1) Has a physical and permanent disability to such a degree that the person is unable to move from place to place without the aid of a wheelchair;

(2) Is not able to cross curbs because of paralysis or loss of function of the person‘s legs;

(3) Is missing one or both legs; or

(4) Has a permanently impaired or unsteady gait that makes it impossible or impractical to walk as a means of transportation

age distr

For only this disability, nationally just over 5 % of persons ages 18-64 have an ambulatory disability; that percentage jumps to nearly 23% for persons age 65 and older. Using those statistics, Columbia’s persons with an ambulatory disability is nearly 2,000 persons.

Other types of disability include: vision, hearing, cognitive, self-care and independent living.

This Huffington Post article, “10 Crucial Ways We Can Make Society More Inclusive for People With Disabilities”, offers more.


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