International Day of Persons with disabilities - December 3rd

PR Team, 2015-12-02 00:00:00
International Day of Persons with disabilities - December 3rd

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES- DECEMBER 3

THEME FOR 2015: INCLUSION MATTERS: ACCESS AND EMPOWERMENT FOR PEOPLE OF ALL ABILITIES

The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation. The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.

Persons with disabilities must be able to fulfill their role in society and participate on an equal basis with others. It is important to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual. Often, the societal image of persons with disabilities is impacted by attitudes based on stigma and discrimination, as well as archaic ideas about disability and persons with disabilities that are often the greatest barrier to their full and equal participation in society and development on an equal basis with others. It is important to note that disability is part of the human condition, and that all of us either are or will become disabled to one degree or another during the course of our lives.

By promoting empowerment, real opportunities for people are created. This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities. Empowerment involves investing in people - in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. When people are empowered they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change and can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities.

Sub-themes for IDPD 2015:
1. Making cities inclusive and accessible for all
2. Improving disability data and statistics
3. Including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development

Bearing in mind that persons with disabilities form a high percentage of physiotherapy clientele, it behoves on us, Physiotherapists, to advocate for their inclusiveness, integration and reintegration into the larger society especially in the area of accessibility to public facilities.

We can, therefore, advocate for the following:

1. Accessible Parking Spaces
All parking lots must provide accessible parking spaces for PWD, at least there should be 1 parking space for every 25 spaces. All the facilities that provide goods or services to the public have a continuing obligation to remove barriers to access in existing parking lots. We are convinced that restriping of parking spaces is readily achievable in most cases.

2. Accessible entrances
As with parking spaces, all entrances to buildings that provide services to the public. Accessibility modifications may be required to enable persons with disabilities to gain access to existing buildings. It should, however, be noted that in planning to construct new structures accessibility issue should be factored in.

METHODS
A. The Advocacy 
Physiotherapists can write managements of health and other institutions, advocating that at least a space should be designated for the persons with disability in all parking spaces. Physiotherapists should also advocate that all entrances, especially those leading into main service areas, be wheelchair accessible. The above write-up can serve as the content of the letter.

B. How to Achieve Accessible Parking Spaces/Entrances
Accessible parking spaces for cars can have at least a 60-inch-wide access aisle located adjacent to the designated parking space which are the regular parking spaces. The access aisle is just wide enough to permit a person using a wheelchair to enter or exit the car. These parking spaces are identified with a sign and located on level ground.

Options:
1. State Chapters/departments can either do a painting of the disability/accessibility logo on the floor or a sign post with the same logo placed at the designated parking spaces. Charity, they say, begins from home. The closest parking space to all Physiotherapy departments should be accessible and designated for PWD.
{There can be production of stickers which can be pasted on sign posts at car parks to designate accessibility and at entrances of accessible buildings}.

2. Physiotherapists can embark on a survey of entrances to all the buildings and offices into treatment areas of the hospitals to ascertain whether they are accessible - a simple rule of thumb: there should not be an elevation e.g stairs without an alternative i.e ramps.
3. We can extend this advocacy to the Public buildings in our states.

PRTEAM NSP ADVOCACY STICKERS for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Theme: ACCESSIBILITY TO PUBLIC BUILDINGS: It starts from the car parks and continues to the entrances.

We affirm that:
1. Parking spaces should be designated/reserved for people with disabilities and patients who need to park close to the entrance of our clinics. Such spaces should be identified with a sign, such as the 'RESERVED PARKING'. Physical Therapists can start with closest parking space to our clinics/departments.

2. Entrances to buildings should be accessible. 'ACCESSIBLE ENTRANCE' stickers can also be pasted on doors of offices and treatment areas which are accessible. This will draw attention to the need to remove barriers from the entrances of other offices and treatment areas. Your doors can bear the message of Inclusiveness and Integration of PwD.

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