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Observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities with Us

Observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities with Us

December 3rd marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), an annual designation that seeks to promote an understanding of disability issues and garner support for the rights, dignity, and well-being of persons with disabilities.  Additionally, this day also looks to foster the integration of disabled persons into every aspect of the political, social, economic, and cultural world.   IDPD was first established by the United Nations in 1992, and it is celebrated to varying degrees around the world.

Personally, my family has been blessed with abundant health and wellness.  Until early this year when I was diagnosed as having “severe osteoarthritis, bone on bone, both hips.”  That leads me to a surgeon for a bi-lateral hip replacement.  My dilemma, I was still in school getting my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and I had to finish the semester and my internship before I could take the time for the surgery and subsequent recovery.

I was walking with great difficulty and in tremendous pain.  I had to use a walker, and towards the end, I was in a wheelchair.  That’s when I realized how important the blue disabled parking spaces are, what it feels like when people talk down to you in a wheelchair, and how much the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was in helping other disabled folks have a better opportunity to access for services.

My story has a happy ending.  June 16th was my graduation, June 20th was my double hip replacement.  I am now pain-free, walking normally, and off of all pain medications (3 weeks after the surgery I took my last pain pill).  Unfortunately, most disabled folks are dealing and suffering from their maladies for their entire lives.  That’s why it’s so important that we help support IDPD.

This year, the theme for IPDP is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all.”  There are several ways in which we can observe IDPD in our local communities.  For instance, we can:

Educate

One of the major goals of IPDP is to educate the public about disability issues and look for ways in which we can better integrate persons with disabilities into mainstream life.  In honor of IDPD, we can organize public discussions and distribute educational materials that share ways of including and empowering peoples of all abilities in our communities.

Celebrate

Another great way to observe IDPD is by hosting performances and events that celebrate the contributions that persons with disabilities have made to better our communities.  Through these events, we can encourage persons with disabilities to reach their full potentials through sports, academia, music, and other avenues.  Not only will hosting an event raise visibility for persons with disabilities, but it will also ensure that they feel included and welcome.

Take Action

Finally, a great way to observe IDPD is by doing our best to create change.  For instance, we can encourage our educators, politicians, and other community leaders to promote best practices when it comes to persons with disabilities.  We can make sure that everyone has access to public facilities and has the same opportunities to receive an education and job training.

We at The Maria Sanchez show hope that you will join us as we celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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