Thinking about an inclusive society
3 December is International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), a United Nations sanctioned day that is celebrated internationally. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.
Northcott Inclusive Workplace Officer Ben Keyte shares his thoughts on why IDPwD is a valuable day on the calendar.
Days like International Day of People with Disability help to break down stereotypes of disability within the community, and allow everyone to see the abilities of people with disability.
I know it’s a bit corny to say, but it really is true.
I think those who don’t know me might judge me because of my disability. But those people who do know me know that I’m just like any other 31-year-old guy who is outgoing and likes to go out with his mates, and spend time with family and friends.
In Australia these days, there’s a lot more physical access to things for people with disability that make life easier. And that’s due to all the laws which have been brought in around universal design, in terms of the way buildings have to be constructed to be more accessible. That’s definitely improved, even since I was little.
Also, very slowly people are becoming more educated about people with disability as well, and now realise that we’re just normal people like everyone else.
I love working for Northcott, but to be honest though, in a perfect world there wouldn’t even be any reason to have disability organisations. Or have people working in these kinds of industries. Because that would mean that society would be fully inclusive. No one would have to fight for people’s rights, or even basic human rights of what people have access to in their day-to-day life.
This idea goes beyond what is good for just people with disability though. This applies to all minority groups; to be fully included in society and just be a part of the community.
That’s why days like today are so important in moving towards a fully inclusive society.
There are many different ways to create a more inclusive society. Read about some of them here.
They may seem like an unlikely match, but Ben and Sue have become firm friends.