WITH one in five Australians’ lives touched by disability, it’s something that can affect anyone at any time.
That was the message being spread at yesterday’s International Day of People with Disability community festival in Rosalind Park.
The event included a sausage sizzle, face painting and live bands, and was designed to create community awareness and greater inclusion of people with a disability.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Lisa Ruffell launched the event and explained that this year marked the 20th anniversary of International Day of People with Disability.
“It’s to increase awareness of the benefits of people with disability in every aspect of political, social, economical and cultural lives,” she said.
“I was interested to learn that an estimated 20 per cent of Australia’s population has a disability of some sort. This is a significant portion of our population and today provides us an opportunity to make a quality contribution to their lives.”
Radius Disability Services community connections co-ordinator Stephen Wilson said the community festival was a great way to celebrate the occasion and get people involved.
“A lot of these guys are going around saying, ‘It’s our day’,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for them to get out and for people in the community to see what they’re up to and the things they’re involved in.”
Pam Dawkins from SportzRules Victoria said this year’s theme was “removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”.
“The biggest barrier people with disability face in our community can be the attitude of others,” he said.
“As a community we need to be vigilant in acknowledging there is more to people living with disability than just their disability.”