Since 1992, December 3rd has been proclaimed “International Day of Disabled Persons” by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. This observance aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
International Day of the Disabled in Yucatan
“INCLUSION is the most important focus of attention for the disabled in Yucatan. And that is what we have been working for here at the Center for Rehabilitation and Special Education (Centro de Rehabilitación y Educación Especial: CREE), for the last 36 years. Not only in the rehabilitation and care of our patients, but also in the incorporation of this sector of society into working life and education,” declared Alejandro Ojeda Manzano, CEO of CREE.
“Disability has much to do with the environment, the architecture and urban design of the city; it is not only a matter of lack of mobility, but is rather related to the excluding and restrictive environment where this person lives,” he said .
“We still do not have an open minded society on the issue of disability, because many people still think that a disabled person is a sick person or tends to pity them, feel sorry for them and therefore marginalizes them,” he added.
“We need more interpreters for the deaf, more ramps on the sidewalks for people in wheelchairs and more braille signals for the blind or visually impaired,” he said.
“The Government actions do have an impact, but there is still much to be done,” he said.
Ojeda Manzano stated that according to the medical statistics of the 2010 INEGI census, 5.1 percent of the country’s population has some kind of disability, that is 5 out of every 100 persons.
“We must be aware that in Yucatan 6.4 percent of the population is disabled, so we are 1.3 percent above the national average.”
He said that Yucatan is no different from the rest of the country and the world, in terms of primary disability, which has to do with the neuromotor system, and impedes the individual to walk or move by himself.
“But the motor disability stigma, does not imply that the person can not do any activity,” he continued.
Ojeda Manzano stated that today, thanks to awareness efforts, most companies, schools and government agencies have opened their doors to the disabled, taking into account their ability and not their disability.
Women with disabilities, double discrimination
Moreover, under the International Day of Disabled Persons, the Human Rights Commission of the State of Yucatan calls to serve disabled women and girls, since this particularly vulnerable group experience a double discrimination situation.
A report from the Secretariat of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that women and girls with disabilities experience double discrimination, making them more vulnerable to gender-based violence, sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The report notes that women and girls with disabilities have been “invisible” in both, gender studies and research on disability, resulting in what is known as double discrimination.
The President of the “Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Estado de Yucatán” (Yucatan State Human Rights Commission) Jose Enrique Ailloud Goff, said that the main problems women with disabilities face are: social stereotypes, self-perception, maternity and unemployment.
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