Celebrating our differences

Today is the International Day of People with Disability.
Mount Alexander Shire Disability Action Group chair Lorraine Le Plastrier said one in five Australians lived with a disability and 90 per cent of those lived with an invisible disability.
“The theme of this year’s International Day of People with Disability is ‘not all disabilities are visible’ and focuses on the need to build awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately obvious,” Ms Le Plastrier said.
“We can make life easier for people who live with autism, acquired brain injury, or intellectual disabilities, for example, by simple changes in our language and attitude.
“Thoughtful behaviour and language can go a very long way in removing barriers for people in our community with diminished hearing or cognitive difficulties, for example.”
Castlemaine Community House manager Martyn Shaddick told the Express he had a number of hidden disabilities resulting from an acquired head injury.
“These disabilities include slow reading, poor spelling and nominal dysphasia (an occasional inability to recall words when speaking or listening),” Mr Shaddick said.
“I am constantly needing to explain my hidden disabilities to people, often in response to rude or judgmental statements such as ‘Where did you learn to spell?’ or ‘What do you mean you can’t read that?’.”
Ms Le Plastrier said if we were to build an inclusive society where all people with disabilities could reach their full potential, each and every one of us had to do our bit to become disability literate.
“We must educate ourselves about disability issues and look for ways we can individually promote dignity and respect in our language, attitude and behaviour.”
Within the Mount Alexander Shire, MASDAG advocates for systemic change that creates an inclusive, accessible and safe local community.
‘Inclusion’ means making changes that support equitable social participation, employment and access for all persons of all abilities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 − seven =

error: Content is protected !!