Celebrating abilities and inclusion

December 3 is International Day of People with Disability.

The day aims to help break down barriers and celebrate abilities.  

In one of Bendigo’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfares, service providers pitched stalls and performers took to the stage as the community celebrated. 

The event at Hargreaves Mall on Friday was an opportunity to recognise abilities and break down barriers.

Carina White attended with Scope Icon disability support worker Chloe Thompson and several friends. 

“People can get out who have a disability and have a family day,” she said. 

The group was making their way to the stage to watch Camp Hill Primary School students perform.

“It’s great to get together and share the day, just to raise awareness of people with a disability and show we’re all equal and it’s important the people who need support get it,” Ms Thompson said. 

Access employment consultant Steve Davis said the event was a non-confrontational environment in which people could learn more about the services available and raise any questions. 

Bendigo Special Developmental School had a celebration of its own on Thursday.

The carnival-themed event started with a performance of the circus skills students had been learning throughout the year.

The fair featured an array of special activities.

The National Disability Insurance Agency released a video to mark the occasion, which this year coincides with the 10 year anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Disability is more recognised as an issue relevant to the whole community than it was 10 years ago,” former Disability Discrimination Commissioner and disability advocate, Graeme Innes, said.

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alistair McEwin said he wanted to see a world in which it was not news if a person with disability was going to university or to a school, just like anyone else.

The NDIA has asked people to share their reflections on how far disability rights have come in Australia over the past 10 years, and their hopes for the next 10 years, using the hashtag #10years.