One billion people in the world have a disability and 80% of that one billion, live in developing countries. An international development agency seeks to challenge prejudicial attitudes towards the disabled, ahead of International Day of Persons with Disability.
CBM Australia has launched a video “Make Your Attitude Count.” In the video, people with disability from around the world talk about the discrimination they have faced.
Australian performance poet Stevie Wills stresses that people with disability have contributions to make.
“People with disabilities can face various barriers to participating in life in the same way that their peers do. Often the most difficult barriers to overcome are not actually the disability, but its people’s negative attitudes towards disability,” Wills explains.
Yen Vo of Vietnam, currently doing a Doctorate in Australia, says that to be admitted to study she had to fight.
“I had to tell them that I will study with my head and not my legs,” Vo said.
CBM says small changes in perception can make the biggest difference in people’s lives.
For Benjamin Pango from Papua New Guinea disability does not mean incapability.
“I don’t look at the crutches and say I am disabled. No. I am able”, he says.
“We need to ensure people with disability are included in all aspects of our development efforts” explains acting CEO of CBM Australia Jane Edge.
CBM Australia is part of the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) which is an Australian based, international network focusing attention, expertise and action on disability issues in developing countries; building on a human rights platform for disability advocacy.
The International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) is a United Nations day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being. The day is celebrated each year on 3 December.