Health minister Kim Wilson called on Bermuda to strive towards inclusion for all as she promoted International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
A press release from the ministry follows:
Earlier today, Ageing and Disability Services of the Ministry of Health had a meet and greet in Front of the National Library in Hamilton to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3 December around the world. This important observance aims to increase awareness and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.
The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. This theme focuses on the empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Minister Wilson said, “The right to work is a fundamental human right. However, persons with disabilities are often not considered for employment due to negative perceptions regarding their ability to contribute or the high cost of accommodating their disability or inaccessible workplaces.
“Through the use of adaptive and assistive technologies, and other reasonable accommodation measures, persons with disabilities make a valuable contribution in the workplace.
“And, with the use of the right technologies, persons with disabilities are able to perform well in their jobs. The international Day of Persons with Disabilities is drawing attention to the available technologies and measures that can be adopted to create work environments that are open, inclusive and accessible to allow persons with disabilities to fully participate and contribute to the workforce.
“This year’s theme, “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”, focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive and equitable participation as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda pledges to “leave no one behind”. Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development and promote a resilient society for all, including in the context of disaster risk reduction, humanitarian action, and urban development.
“This important observance aims to increase awareness and promote the rights of persons with disabilities. These issues are as meaningful in Bermuda as in larger jurisdictions, as the well-being of affected individuals and their families is impacted in all spheres of society.
“We must continue to focus our attention on ability, rather than disability. Given Bermuda’s scarce resources – especially human resources – it is essential that we ensure that everyone can make a contribution to society. We must not limit ourselves by putting barriers and restrictions in front of people. What we must do is to strive towards inclusion for all. It is important to continue to advance the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life.”