On this International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD), People with Disability Australia (PWDA) reflects on another year of advocating for the rights of all people with disability to live in a future that is fully inclusive where the human rights of people with disability are elevated, respected and affirmed.
PWDA President Nicole Lee says, “2023 has been a year that has tested all of us with disability. I call on the disability community to steadfastly maintain our right to full independence in a society where we continue to face barriers and restraints on our full participation on equal footing with our peers without disability.” “This IDPWD, we challenge the broader community to accept all of us, respect us, and commit to upholding our human rights and remove the barriers that prevent us from living free and equal lives,” Ms Lee said. PWDA co-vice President Marayke Jonkers highlights the social, educational and employment disparities that people with disability continue to struggle with. “4.4 million Australians live with disability,” said Ms Jonkers, “yet 45% of us live on or below the poverty line, with lower employment rates compared with others in the community. Our society is fundamentally physically, technologically and attitudinally inaccessible,” she said. “The phrase ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ originated within the disability rights sector in the 1990s by people with disability,” she said. “It remains the clarion call of disability activists worldwide. Today more than ever we need to remind ourselves, our communities, policymakers and governments that people with disability and our representative organisations must be the architects of change with a seat at the table where our voices are heard at every step of the journey towards full inclusion and equality,” said Ms Jonkers. You can find out more about IDPWD at https://www.idpwd.com.au/.