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The Editor speaks: Disabilities

Today (3) as I write this it is International Day of Persons with disabilities.

I am one of the lucky ones as the only disability I have is being short sighted that is easily corrected.

I am therefore not really disabled and I don’t also have to have the added burden of fighting the social exclusion of people with real disabilities.

European Commissioner Thyssen makes this point in his statement on this International Day of Persons with disabilities.

He says “there is still a long way to go”.

“Inclusive growth and social fairness are at the core of the European Commission’s agenda, as confirmed by the recent proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council have committed to the principle that people with disabilities have the right to income support that ensures living in dignity, services that enable them to participate in the labour market and in society, and a work environment adapted to their needs. “The Commission’s efforts therefore need to be flanked by actions from national, regional and local authorities to make sure that people with disabilities are not left behind. And the continued involvement of civil society and business organisations will be indispensable.
“The European Union continues to stand by its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As part of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 this European Commission has notably taken important initiatives to help removing barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities. Two years ago I presented my proposal for a European Accessibility Act, which aims at making key products and services accessible for people with disabilities. It is now high time for my proposal to be adopted by all EU institutions. The European Parliament has defined its position in September, and I am confident that Member States will reach an agreement at the upcoming Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting on 7 December. 2018 must be a year of delivery for the Accessibility Act, which will bring concrete improvements to so many people’s lives.
“The International Day of Persons with Disabilities offers an excellent opportunity for the voices of people with disabilities to be heard. Therefore, the European Commission organises the European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference, on 4 and 5 December. I hope I can count on broad support and interest from all actors. Together we will look ahead and discuss ways to build a more inclusive, social and accessible society.”

Cayman Islands Minister of Health, makes a similar point in his Message. He says, “I implore that you take the time on this day to consider the plight of an individual who has different abilities. Even if you have had a temporary ailment, such as a broken leg or arm, you have gotten a small taste of what may be someone’s everyday struggle”

“As a Christian society, it is our responsibility to ensure our neighbor is cared for and provided with the opportunity to maximize his or her potential. Investing in creating an inclusive society is investing in the development of the human capital in the Cayman Islands. By working together, Government and the private sector can develop programmes and infrastructure that provide full participation of all individuals in our society.”

Remember how lucky the majority of us are with no real disabilities and thank God and not to forget the ones who have to endure it.


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