The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on December 3rd (IDPD).
Every year on December 3rd, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is commemorated to encourage full and equal involvement of people with disabilities and to take action to ensure their inclusion in all sectors of society and development.
The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/3 established the International Day of Disabled Persons as an annual commemoration in 1992. The purpose of the Day is to raise awareness about disability issues and organize support for disabled people’s dignity, rights, and well-being. The aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of integrating disabled people into all aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
Moreover than 1 billion people are disabled, and this number is expected to climb as the world’s population ages and the frequency of noncommunicable illnesses rises. Despite this, few nations have the processes in place to effectively react to the health goals and needs of disabled people.
Although disability is linked to inequality, not everyone with a disability is equally disadvantaged. Much relies on the environment, including equal access to health, education, and jobs, among other things.
As governments and the international community fight the COVID-19 epidemic and define a road ahead, disability inclusion must be at the forefront of health system planning, development, and decision-making. Robust, efficient healthcare systems enable successful health.
WHO is committed to assisting the Member States and development partners in achieving their goal of leaving no one behind by tackling disability inclusion in the health sector, especially as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response.
Few things to keep in mind when interacting with differently able people:
They should be respected:
An essential thing to remember while working with people who have disabilities is that they are humans.
Their handicap is only one of their numerous traits. People with disabilities have the exact basic requirements as the rest of us, the most basic of which is to be treated with decency and respect.
Focus on their strengths rather than their impairments while interacting with persons with disabilities. They are one-of-a-kind individuals who bring a plethora of information, skills, talents, interests, and experiences to our society, getting a great deal of variety, ingenuity, and creative energy.
Remember that persons with disabilities may perform tasks differently than those without disabilities, but they might obtain the same results as well.
Follow the Golden Rule:
Treat others the way you want to be treated. Consider the individual first, not their handicap. Don’t be afraid to interact with people who have difficulties; instead, relax and be yourself!
Always inquire before assisting someone:
Just because someone is handicapped doesn’t mean they need or desire your help. Never assist someone without first seeking permission.
According to one lady, “I was once pushed down by two small old ladies who were attempting to ‘assist’ me walk on an icy sidewalk while on crutches. They walked up to me, grabbed me, threw me off balance, and flung me down!”
Before you speak, consider your options:
When speaking, avoid using labels; they offend everyone, especially those with impairments. When writing about or communicating to persons with disabilities, always utilize their native language.
Avoid being patronizing or showing pity:
People with impairments aren’t the victims of their circumstances. As one wheelchair user put it, “I am not a disabled person who is confined to a wheelchair. The individuals I run into with my footrest at the grocery are wheelchair victims.”
When speaking with someone with a handicap, avoid using pet terms like “honey.” Patting someone with impairments on the head or talking down to them as if they were children is also incredibly insulting.
Here are some examples of how to engage with persons with various disabilities:
When communicating with someone who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing, keep in mind that some people can hear, some can lip read, and still, others choose to utilize sign language or assistive technology. Inquire about their preferred method of communication.
Always identify yourself and let them know when you’re going when you interact with blind or visually impaired people. If they ask for help, you can give your arm or elbow a guide, but never push, pull, or grasp them.
Do not push, lean on, or grip the wheelchair of someone who uses a wheelchair when interacting with them.
When communicating with someone who has a cognitive problem, use simple, basic phrases. Allow them time to speak with you and be patient with them.
Allow someone with a speech disability as much time as they need to speak when interacting with them. Maintain a courteous demeanor and refrain from attempting to complete the statements.
Many of us will be disabled at some point in our lives, especially as we become older. WHO is committed to assisting nations in achieving a world where health systems are inclusive, and people with disabilities may achieve the best possible health.
COVID-19 has disadvantaged many people with disabilities and exacerbated their vulnerability due to impediments in the health and social sectors, such as discriminatory attitudes and inaccessible infrastructure.
Persons with disabilities must be at the center of healthcare decision-making for obstacles to be addressed quickly and inclusive.
Disability Inclusion in the health sector is the right thing to do and the rational thing to do because it contributes directly to the attainment of broader global and national health agendas.