3rd December 2022, 19:46
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was celebrated in Gibraltar on Saturday.
An event on Main Street brought the topic to the heart of town, inviting some reflection among the Christmas shopping.
It was organised by the Special Needs Action Group (SNAG) and supported by GHITA, Lincoln Red Imps, Boxing Association, GibSams, The Saffron Rose 4 Rett Charitable Trust, Sibshops, Generous Hearts, Kidney Care, Disability Rights Federation and Down Syndrome Support Group.
SNAG’s Eric Rowbottom said it was about “celebrating who we are and what we can achieve… although we may appear to be different, we are one and the same!”
A collaborative art project drew in passers-by.
PossAbilities hosted a 'Journey to Lapland' event at the Lathbury Sports Complex, in recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
A spokesperson said it was about “supporting the 'disability movement' to advocate for further acceptance and awareness of disabilities in Gibraltar.”
They were hoping to cover a distance of just under 5000km: a community effort, with some doing 10s of meters and others several kilometres. The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo MP was among those contributing.
Fun Christmas activities and fitness classes were enjoyed by those in attendance.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been about inclusion and promoting awareness of disabilities and how different attitudes can have a positive or negative effect on people with disabilities, according to the Government.
It said since announced in June, “considerable work” has been undertaken towards extending the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to Gibraltar.
In 2023, the Government expects to release more information about the move towards making all existing buildings accessible, which would be necessary when the remaining sections of the Disability Act are enacted.
The Ministry of Equality has reminded the public of the Disability Information Card and the RADAR Key Schemes. The Disability Information Card allows the holder to inform any person who may need to know about their disability in a discreet manner without anybody else having to find out. The RADAR Key Scheme allows key holders to access certain accessible public toilets after they are closed. Go to the Ministry of Equality website for more details: https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/department-equality.
The Minister with responsibility for Disability, Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “Accessibility is a collective responsibility and our Government has taken very big steps in improving the lives of people with disabilities… It is also very encouraging to see a number of charities coming up with their own ideas and working with Government to develop them.”
She highlighted how much progress has been made since 2011, while acknowledging that there is more work to be done yet to improve the lives of people with disabilities.