Loss of Sight? Artists like Andrea Bocelli, Ray Charles, or Stevie Wonder?
These brilliant singers have inspired and entertained us with their magical songs. They could hardly be regarded as Disabled.
Loss of Hearing? The deaf composer Beethoven- losing hearing from age 28 and composed his 9th Symphony- Ode to Joy whilst completely deaf. Was he less than his contempories?
Loss of mobility? Franklin D Roosevelt, was completely crippled by polio yet successfully steered the Allies to victory over the Nazi/Fascist Alliance during World War 2.
Loss of Sight and Sound? The amazing Helen Keller who without sight or hearing still inspires us today.
Mental Disease? Can anyone negate the work of Michael J Fox, refusing to allow Parkinson’s Disease to stop his determination to find a cure for this mentally devastating disease, or Billy Connelly probably still the funniest man alive, despite his advanced Parkinson’s.
The International theme for Disability Rights Awareness Day – 3rd December is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world ”.
This is what all people want – not only those with special challenges- visual, hearing, physical or mental. People with special challenges just want a level playing field. Equal access to education, communication, and opportunities to show their capabilities. So perhaps it is time to change the narrative around the millions who face an unequal world and find a kinder term to describe their needs and not use the archaic term – DIS-ABLED.
I have less than 10 % vision but do not consider myself as disabled. I am a member of a dedicated team of activists with reduced vision at Retina South Africa, determined to find treatments for retinal blinding conditions such as Macular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa and Diabetic Retinopathy. These conditions all cause continuing vision loss and affect the lives of over 1 million South Africans – Claudette Medefindt.
Retina South Africa needs the support of all South Africans to raise funds to assist in the worldwide quest to find treatments for these conditions and to ensure they are accessible to all South African patients.
So, on this day dedicated to all people who face special challenges we hope that you will be inspired to support this quest. Please log onto our website www.retinasa.org.za