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A day to recognise those with disability

Published on 01 December 2017
  • Disability

This year marks the 25th anniversary of International Day of People with Disability.

Maroondah Councillor, and chair of the Maroondah Disability Advisory Committee, Kylie Spears said the day, on Sunday 3 December, is an opportunity to challenge perceptions and educate others.

“It is a wonderful way in which we can celebrate the contribution people with a disability make to our community,” Cr Spears said.

“To celebrate the day, Council is encouraging the community to join a conversation about what International Day of People with Disability means to them. Whether you have lived experience, or know someone with a disability, we’d love you to leave your comments on our website,” Cr Spears said.

“The conversation will be an inspiring collection of comments about the positive impacts people with a disability have on our society,” Cr Spears said.

Maroondah Disability Advisory Committee (MDAC) member Judith said International Day of People with Disability was also a wonderful way to educate people about the many talents and insights of people who have a disability.

Judith joined the MDAC in 2016, providing her with an opportunity to contribute to a wide range of Council projects and activities.

“We want to ensure that the voice of people with a disability is heard and acted upon so they are able to live a meaningful and purposeful life within this city. It is important that everyone enjoys the same work, life and recreation opportunities as able-bodied citizens,” she said.

After more than 50 years of working in the disability sector, Judith says she has seen some remarkable changes.

“I am pleased that there have been great leaps in the inclusion of people with disabilities in many areas of life. Educational opportunities are far more inclusive, as are sporting, leisure, living and recreational activities. The workplace, in general, is far more open to employing people with disability, as community education has broken down many of the barriers and preconceived ideas regarding people with disability and how they might provide meaningful and pertinent contributions,” Judith said. “But there is still more that needs to be done!”

“We need to educate the wider community about the many forms of disability that may, at first, not appear obvious. These include a wide range of disabilities within the physical, intellectual and mental spheres.”

“It is far better to encourage people to consider a person’s abilities rather than their disabilities, for we all have much to learn from each other.” Judith said.

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