The Optiven Group Foundation, is joining the rest of the world in celebrating the international day of people with disabilities.   Why is this important?   The day is celebrated every year on the 3rd of December to create a better understanding of disability issues.

  The observation is also a platform to mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

The theme for this year is, ““Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.

Through the challenges of those living with disability, society has also been affected in one way or another.   From the engagements of the team at the Optiven Foundation found that households with people living with disabilities also have challenges despite being able bodied.

For persons with physical disabilities, they will often require more care from the family members or caregivers.  According to George Wachiuri the Chairman of the Optiven Group Foundation, he says, “in some instances especially where they are not supported, people living with physical disabilities find challenges in handling their day to day activities as well as participating in the community activities including income generating ones.

As Optiven Foundation we have been able to reach out to such cases by providing support in terms of donation of basic needs and a new wheelchair in addition to psychosocial support”. And as the world celebrates the milestones made towards enabling inclusivity of persons living with disability, the main programme of the observance of the day will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York and will include the Opening, panel discussions and cultural events.

Member States, civil society organizations and the private sector around the world are also organizing their own events to celebrate the International Day to raise awareness and promote the rights and perspectives of persons with disabilities around the world.  There are a number of disabilities that people live with including

  • Vision, Movement.
  • Thinking.
  • Remembering.
  • Learning.
  • Communicating.
  • Hearing.
  • Mental health.

Closer home, we ask, what is it that you can do to help a person living with disability?   There are a number of ways you can support people with disabilities.  You can start by asking first and following their lead in case you think they need your help.   When speaking, be clear and listen well while at the same time speak directly.   Be aware of your personal space and be flexible to family members of people with disabilities.  It would be important also to consider accessibility of persons with disabilities including ramps and aids for those in need of special communication.

The great thing is that although it may appear to be a limitation, the fact that someone is living with disability can have a full and fulfilling life.   It is the likes of Nic Vujicic who says that “I’m officially disabled, but I’m truly enabled because of my lack of limbs. My unique challenges have opened up unique opportunities to reach so many in need.”

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