This Saturday 3rd December is International Day of People with Disabilities, a day where people the world over recognise the rights, equality, equity and wellbeing of Disabled People in all areas of life.
Over the last two years, the combination of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the cost of living crisis has left far too many people in both the UK and around the world facing punitive living conditions, with the Disabled community taking the biggest blow.
The Office for National Statistics reports that Disabled people made up 6 in 10 of all COVID-19-related deaths between 24 January and 20 November 2020, and even before the current cost of living crisis, Disabled people already faced extra costs of £583 a month on average (Sources: ONS, Scope).
This year, Disability Rights UK are marking this important day with the theme ‘Hidden Disabilities’, in a press release they state:
“Disabled people make up the largest minority in the UK – over a fifth of us, but we remain hidden from public perception. Those of us who are seen are too often expected to have visible signifiers – a walking cane, special glasses, a wheelchair – and yet 70-80% of disabilities are invisible. It is time to trust us when we say we are Disabled. It is time to believe us, listen to our needs, and rise up as a society to meet those needs.”
Very few of us are leaving this world without becoming Disabled. If injury or illness doesn’t make us Disabled, old age is highly likely to do so. Nearly every one of the 79% of non-disabled people is pre-disabled. To look disability in the eye is to look at ourselves, and our future selves, in the eye.”
As well as a day for recognising the everyday struggles that Disabled people endure, International Day of People with Disabilities is about celebrating the value and the diversity of the Disabled community, and looking towards a potential future where someone is not characterised by their disabilities, but by their abilities.
Alongside the government funding and support that many need to survive, building a caring, committed network of support is essential for millions across the UK living with disabilities. At Equal Care, we are dedicated to fostering lasting, mutually rewarding relationships between those seeking support and those giving it. Today, and every day, we recognise the rights, equality, equity and wellbeing of Disabled People in all areas of life, and we celebrate every individual’s worth and importance to society.