NATIONAL NEWS - South Africa commemorates the National Disability Rights Awareness Month which takes place from 3 November to 3 December under the theme "Together Building South Africa Inclusive of Disability Rights".
Disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these.
A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person's lifetime. Disability Awareness Month offers an opportunity for all South Africans to remove these barriers and to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities through concrete action.
The awareness month was launched by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, national Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities. She said although much progress has been made in giving persons with disabilities access to more opportunities over the past 25 years, uptake of these opportunities has been slow for a number of reasons.
"Government has, through engagement with persons with disabilities themselves, developed a better understanding of what these barriers to equitable access and participation are.
"We will therefore over the next five years focus on targeted interventions to strengthen universal access and design, inclusive of sustainable and continuous access to reasonable accommodation support measures across the life cycle of persons with disabilities," she said.
The month-long campaign carries weekly sub-themes which are reflected in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (2019-2024) of government.
The following sub-themes are intended to focus conversations on priority areas identified by the disability sector, which also link to the seven priorities of government:
- Children and young people with disabilities empowered to chart their own destiny through access to quality lifelong learning;
- A built environment accessible to all persons with disabilities;
- Persons with disabilities as equal players in building inclusive economies;
- Children and women with disabilities - feeling and being safe as equal citizens in their communities.
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