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The Disability Sector – Predictions for 2013

Crystal ball

2013 is almost upon us, and it’s anyone’s guess what the new year will bring. The Mayan apocalypse turned out to be a myth, but we’re all hoping government innovations and improvements in accessibility won’t be. Although the disability sector has come a long way in 2012, in terms of technology, health advances; legislation and positive societal change, there are still plenty of improvements to be made.

We asked some of our favourite disability bloggers to share their predictions and hope for 2013. Here’s what they said:

“When we look at history there have been major advances in medicine, technology and social change. Personally I’d be stuck without antibiotics, my wheelchair/car/hoist, and equality laws/improving public attitudes. Despite these advances there’s so much more to do with transport, building access, employment, travel and relationships with disabled people; all stemming from educating society.

I feel the disability sector is sometimes too traditional and rigid in its approach. For me 2013 is where individuals can push the agenda of using new but proved design, technology and strategies. There’s so much out there we can use, we just need a shake up and a fresher perspective right now.”

Martyn Sibley, Disability Horizons

“My predictions and hopes are that I hope the Government become more deaf aware, and also disability aware. I want employers to take people for who they are, and what they can do, rather than disability.

I hope that people everywhere are increasingly open with us, and don’t quickly judge those with disabilities, especially hidden disabilities like deafness.

Text Relay is good. But if it’s to be replaced, it needs to be affordable and done like the way America has it. Otherwise it will never work.”

Liz Fisher, Liz’s Deaf Blog

“… Adapted transport facilities are a key means to the accessibility of disabled people to education, health, leisure and social integration. Several initiatives have already been implemented by the Mauritian Government in this context, such as free transport for disabled persons and refund of taxi expenses to university students with disabilities.

However, the fact remains that the transport vehicles being used for these purposes are still conventional vehicles with no special disabled-friendly features like ramps or lifts for wheelchair access, adequate space, adapted chair supports, good air conditioning, helpers among others. Many disabled children usually go to their schools in crammed and uncomfortable vans. Also, there are a lot of disabled adults who are not working because of a lack of disabled-friendly transport made available to them. This transport problem also limits the access of both disabled children and adults to health and leisure facilities.

Therefore, in my perception, the State should double efforts in 2013 to introduce disabled-friendly transport on a larger scale in Mauritius.”

Rita Venkatasawmy, Le Mauricien, (see her full post here)

“I hope that 2013 is a year we are able to break more stereotypes and misconceptions of those with O.I. or any disability. I hope that this is the year that instead of breaking up the disability community; we can unite to break more ground in our international civil rights. I hope that this is the year your dreams break because you went further than you expected to. I hope this is the year expectations of yourself break because you did more than what everyone else thought you could.”

Sandy, Perfectly Imperfecta (see her full post here)

“2013 is going to be the year the disabled community stands up for themselves in government and in the community. The Paralympics have once again bought disability into the spotlight and issues of accessibility will be hot topics in politics this year. My sincere hope is that this year, every person with a disability will make their own happiness both their goal and their responsibility. A positive attitude, community involvement and a desire to try anything once will go a long way toward creating an inclusive and supportive society.”

Steff Green, The Disabled Shop.

What are your thoughts and predictions for 2013? What do you hope will change in your country or your life?


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