There are just a few days left ‘til the end of 2016 and preparations to celebrate 2017 are in full swing almost everywhere. As it always happens at the end of a year, everyone reviews the almost ended year and makes projects, resolutions and wishes for the upcoming one.
Let’s start with the analysis, obviously considering accessibility and disability culture in general. How was this 2016, under this perspective? A light and dark one, with some lights and still too many shadows. Among the first, for instance, the approval of the so-called “after us” law, even with all its limitations, the increased number (also in Italy) of accessible tourism initiatives and, on mass media, a higher level of attention to web accessibility, commercials, movies and TV series giving back a new perspective on disability, that pays a higher attention to individual dignity than to the disease itself, without forgetting the great success of the Rio Paralympic Games. And, last but not least, allow me a personal note: during this 2016, I, at last, launched this project that, even after just a few months, got me to know organizations, people and projects truly aiming to, if not revolutionize, at least improve disabled people’ lives.
But, as we said earlier, as we approach the end of the year, we cannot pretend not to see so many shadows clouding the sky over people with a disability: work, that, despite laws and incentives, is still a sensitive area; architectonical and cultural barriers that still condition too much the daily life of who deals with a disability, even under a relational perspective.
So, let’s open the “Resolutions and wishes for 2017” chapter: what do I wish, for the new year, for me and for everyone who lives with a motoric, sensory or intellectual disability? Here you have my very own “wishlist”:
- More accessible cities and towns paying higher attention to everyone’s needs, not just during “special events”, and not just in Italy or abroad
- More qualified job opportunities for disabled people, without bias about their ability, skills and productivity
- A more inclusive community towards people with a disability, also under the sentimental and social perspective in general, since also we, disabled people, go out, have fun, fall in love (and not necessarily just “among us”)!
But, to make these wishes come true, acting individually isn’t enough: we’d all have to “act as a system”, work together to demand what we’re entitled to, without be happy with accepting to receive it “”by courtesy”. Since, for sure, it’s important to think about ways to help not self-sufficient disabled people who can’t rely on their family’ support, but it’s as much important to put on expedients and measures to improve autonomy and protect the individual dignity of whoever lives with a disability.
And what are your own wishes, for the new year? Would you like to share them in the comments?