Fashion model Angela Rockwood working again
after a car crash left her wheelchair-bound.
“Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all.” So reads United Nations Enable’s theme for today, December 3rd, the 2012 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD 2012).
UN Enable’s website challenges everyone to observe the Day and lists events from around the world that are commemorating IDPD 2012. Events have been scheduled in countries from A to Z – including everything from marches in Argentina, to “Disability Week” in Mozambique, to a road show around a London borough in the United Kingdom. Closer to home, Perth County’s Milverton, Ontario hosted the 2nd Annual Canadian Amputee Hockey Challenge last Saturday night.
Stories from earlier this year showed individuals who were already working to promote accessibility and remove barriers for persons with disabilities. In August 2012 PEOPLE featured Angela Rockwood, a 37-year-old model who identifies as quadriplegic since a car accident that left her wheelchair-bound. Now, 11 years later, she is modeling again in a national campaign for fashion retailer Nordstrom. Or from across the water, PRI’s THE WORLD featured British artist Sue Austin, also wheelchair-bound, who performed what was dubbed an underwater wheelchair ballet in September 2012 alongside the Paralympic Games.
These women are example voices for “the world’s largest minority,” which is what UN Enable deems the over one billion people – or roughly 15 percent of the world’s population – who live with some form of disability. “Evidence and experience shows that when barriers to their inclusion are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life, their entire community benefits.”
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