International Day of Persons with Disabilities was initiated by the United Nations in line with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set for 2030. This year’s theme is ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the SDGs, for, with and by disabled people.’
What is IDPWD for?
- Celebration – to recognise and value the diversity of our global community, and to cherish the role we all play, regardless of our abilities;
- Learning – to understand and learn from the experiences of people with living with a disability;
- It is a day for optimism – to look towards the future and the creation of a world where a person is not characterised by their disabilities, but by their abilities;
- Action – where all people, organisations, agencies and charities not only show their support for International Day of People with Disabilities, but take on a commitment to create a world characterised by equal human rights.
(Taken from the IDPwD website)
In today’s article for IDPwD, Vim Health shares messages from four members of the disabled community, and we also include links to valuable resources for ways you can get involved in this International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD).
My name is Patricia. I’m 38 years old and a mother of three children. In August 2014, I was involved in a traffic road car crash in Portugal that left me paralysed from the chest down with a C6/C7 spinal cord injury. Since my accident, I decided to focus on my health and my children. I like to be active, so I try to keep up with my schedule. I go to VIM once a week for three hours, undergo acupuncture once a week, and have my exercise routine at home. Some days are busier than others with my children’s GP or school appointments, running errands, socialising with my friends, and going out with my children, all with the assistance of my carers.
When I had an accident that left me paralysed, I thought it was the end. I stopped everything I used to do before my accident—socialising with family and friends, shopping, going to concerts, simple things like cooking a meal and going out shopping. It took me 4-5 years to grieve my condition. After that, I decided to give myself a second chance, meaning learning more about my condition and, little by little, how to enjoy my life with a spinal cord injury with my family and friends. The road has been filled with loads of bumps and little crashes, but I have learned a lot about myself, and I am enjoying the experience.
My name is Jack Silberston; I live in Brighton with my mum, stepdad, sister and cat, Georgie. I enjoy watching football, going to the gym and playing table tennis. I am also currently studying acting. A day in my life usually consists of going to college at around 8 am. When I finish college, I will either go to the gym or train in table tennis; I will then either go to the pub with friends or go home and enjoy a relaxing evening at home.
A message I would like to share with the disabled community is that, regardless of any hardships you may face, you can always achieve brilliant things with hard work and discipline. Everyone’s targets may not be the same, but we can all set targets to give us something to work towards.
I’m Rele Laguda. I have an incomplete C5 spinal cord injury sustained in a road traffic accident in 2004. I live in London, England, with my wife, two children, and our cat, Lunar. I work part-time as an account manager at Evenbreak (a job board for disabled people by disabled people). My interests are 90s hip-hop music, going to pub quizzes, and watching football. I support Arsenal FC.
The most valuable advice I’ve been given is that health is a top priority, both physically and psychologically. When you choose health, you choose wealth. Health is a positive flywheel. Your healthy actions become healthy habits. They give you energy, and maintaining the habits doesn’t take energy. You can allocate your energy to the worthwhile pursuits in your life. Your sense of purpose emerges, and you don’t have to draw on your vital reserve. You have more energy to pursue what you value as being worthwhile.
I’m Tom; I’m 34 from Brighton, and I have no pets, haha! I work in Cardinal Newman school as a strength & conditioning manager with 16-18yr olds playing rugby. I love sports, computers and design.
My grandad first told me, “No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, just keep your head up”. Wherever you are, you’re still here!
How to get involved.
There are several ways to support International Day of Persons with Disabilities and take action, be it at home, in your place of work or online, here are some examples to consider –
Host training sessions to educate staff members on disability awareness, accessibility and legal frameworks such as the Equality Act 2010. Amplify voices from within the disabled community and create inclusive communication. Remember, ‘Nothing about us without us’. Hire a diversity and inclusion speaker and make a pledge to donate, improve accessibility or a public statement of support. For some valuable resources for use in the classroom click here.