Tags. Disability Groups and clubs. Bribie Island Rotary Club. Awareness. Brisbane. Queensland
Many people think having a disability is quite rare. However, global estimates in 2017 found that one in seven adults (over 14%) have some form of disability. We tend to judge our fellow man quite severely – yet strangely do the opposite when dealing with animals, eg the lame seagull is always given the first chip, the odd-looking dog is affectionately patted and loved.
Wouldn’t it be nice to treat disabled people this way? The word “disability” covers a range of functional restrictions – physical, mental, intellectual and sensory. These can vary from mild to severe, and might affect a person at any time in their life, from an infant born with an intellectual impairment to an older adult who becomes unable to walk, hear or see. Rather than turn away we should all try to help these people, as – there, but for the grace of God – (might) go I.
Tom Dutton who has a clubfoot will model in the parade on 3 December 2018
At a recent Rotary meeting on Bribie Island one of our members gave a heartfelt presentation about the isolation and loneliness of being hearing impaired. He talked about the difficulties involved in finding a support group; the fact that because he is over 65 he is not entitled to assistance under the National Disability Insurance; and the treatment he receives from shop assistants when he tries to communicate – many of whom think he is slightly mad because he cannot hear perfectly. Somehow he managed to bring humour into a situation that is really just deplorable.
Next time you meet a person who is hearing impaired, remember – they are not lacking in mental prowess nor in intelligence – they just cannot hear you perfectly. So face the person, speak clearly, or turn the computer screen towards them so they can see how much they owe, or write on a piece what you want to tell them.
Remember this disabled person is someone’s mum or dad, brother or sister, best mate, or next door neighbour. The same principle applies to the blind, those in wheelchairs, and those suffering other disabilities. Treat them as you would any other person who needs your help. People react badly to those with “Disabilities” – generally due to ignorance and lack of information.
Our World has some important lessons to learn about understanding how to relate to people who are living with disabilities. People living with physical and sensory disabilities are some of the smartest people in the world. You just never know what someone with a disability is capable of! For example, the achievements of the late Stephen Hawking, a man in a wheelchair who couldn’t speak and the much loved blind singers Andre Bocelli and Steve Wonder. Often a Disability results in other senses being heighten for example the fictional Marvel’s “Daredevil”, who is blinded as a child and becomes a superhero because his other senses are so enhanced.
To celebrate the achievements of local people with disabilities and raise awareness of their plight, the Rotary Club of Bribie Island and Spinal Life Australia are combining to hold an afternoon tea and Fashion parade on the International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) – Monday 3 December.
The event will be held at Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club, Banksia Beach staring at 2.00pm. The cost is $35 per person and the parade will feature both able-bodied members of Rotary and those in our community living with a disability.
Guest speaker on the day is Susanne Rea, OAM from the World’s Greatest Meal/End Polio Campaign. All proceeds will go to Rotary’s End Polio which means for every dollar we raise, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $2. This is such an important cause at the present time with the eleventh case of polio located in PNG. Please ring me on 0409 244 005 if you would like any further information.