International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020

Building Back Better Post COVID-19: Enhancing This Ability for All Disabilities, Visible and Invisible

Creating and empowering equality and inclusivity ensures that we play our part to guarantee the rights of all humans to pursue happiness and have a sense of belonging. An all-inclusive society is one built around fairness driven by empathy and innovation - one that leaves no one behind.

This year, as the world commemorates the International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPD), the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) joins in remembering and projecting the need to consciously but seamlessly integrate all people with disabilities into every facet of our socio-cultural and political lives. The day calls for continuous promotion of the dignity of persons living with disability and their right to live in a world that actively understands their needs, recognizes their worth, and proactively projects their voices. There is ability in disability.

“Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”, is the 2020 theme set by the United Nation for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).  Beyond the past and the conventional innovations that are targeted at enabling persons with disabilities to live in a more inclusive society, we must now look forward and ‘build’ and ‘rebuild’ with consideration for the peculiarities of the present towards empowering and enhancing the future for people with disabilities visible and invisible. The COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant effects dictate a new world that necessitates a new future for all citizens of the world with or without disabilities. Now more than ever, we must ensure that the new estates of the future are conceptualised and enabled with a broad and integrating perspective that ensures inclusivity for all people.

What is equality if our society is not structured to empower the vulnerable to live an enriched life? The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a day for all. It exists to promote accessibility to equal opportunities for peoples with disability, to create awareness about the need to protect their rights. It exists to encourage greater insight through empathy towards a universally equitable society where abilities and disabilities make no difference in individual and collective aspiration to live the life each of us chooses. 

Government must then create inclusive policies that aid the participation of people with disabilities in decisions that affect their lives, create physical and perceptual spaces that includes all, breaking any remnant of the culture of abuse, neglect, and discrimination that pervades their experiences.

Individually, we all should commit ourselves to be more aware of people with disabilities, visible and invisible, and help to make not just today better but every other day a normal and better one uninhibited or limited by disability.

As an organisation, marking this day is important to all Pyrates, inspired by our Four Compass Points to actively innovate over the moribund conventions that sustain the discriminatory tendencies that prevents the essence of humanistic ideals for a purposeful world where every ability and disability matters. We, therefore, lend our voice as an instrument to aid inclusion and equality in our society. To achieve a fair world rooted in the basic tenets of democracy and coexistence. 

We must increasingly and actively continue to create a society that is purposed for everybody. A society that does not, wilfully or inadvertently, marginalize people. Persons living with disabilities must enjoy the same rights as everyone else. We must protect their rights to life, rights to work, rights to quality education, their dignity of person, and their pursuit of happiness. Indeed marking the international day of persons with disabilities is purposed towards the attainment of a just society.

 

Abiola Owoaje 
NAS Capoon
Abuja, Nigeria