Whichever name you use this day is one marked around the globe.
Firstly, IDPD is a great opportunity to celebrate the value disabled people bring to our communities in all sorts of ways. We often see headlines in the media referring to disabled people achieving ‘despite’ or ‘in spite of’ their disabilities. However, often they’re achieving because of their disabilities. Being part of the disability community – made up of such a rich diversity of people – is something to be extremely proud of, and certainly worth celebrating.
It may not always feel that way of course – discrimination and dismissive attitudes can mean at times living in today’s New Zealand leaves disabled people less than proud of their diversity, and unable to always see the true contribution they make to our society and families. What we can do to change that is work to make tomorrow’s New Zealand a better place and tackle, head on, discrimination and the barriers that stop disabled people achieving.
Another reason to mark IDPD is, of course, because we’re living in today’s world – which so far isn’t meeting the needs of our diverse disabled community. IDPD gives us all another chance to advocate for those needs to be met – and for society to change so disabled people can fully participate and achieve. We need to be working in and with communities to bring about real change – and sometimes that can start with changing one person’s attitude.
Across the country today individuals and organisations, schools and workplaces are holding events to highlight a part an important part of our New Zealand culture – our proud disabled culture – and the people who make up this diverse group of family members, friends, colleagues, and citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand.