From the Board President

July 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

Matt BarkleyOver 1 billion people, 15 percent of the world’s population or nearly one of every 7 people has a disability. These figures, according the “World Report on Disability,” a new international survey conducted by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, will continue to grow as the population ages.

The report also found that people with disabilities are three times more likely to go without adequate health care and are far more likely to be uneducated, isolated and unemployed. Those are the eye-opening findings from the report that are getting headlines, but to those of us who have disabilities, they are a reality that we live with every day.

When you dig a little deeper into the 350 page report, it also states that “Disability is part of the human condition. Almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life,” and it goes on to say “a person’s environment has a huge impact on the experience and extent of disability. Inaccessible environments create disability by creating barriers to participation and inclusion.”

These statements aren’t the ones grabbing headlines, but they are the ones that ECNV works to overcome every day. The “disabling condition” isn’t the fact that we use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, service animals or sign language. Our “disabilities” come from the inaccessible environments, unaccommodating behaviors and misguided attitudes that continue to oppress us.

While the findings of the “World Report on Disability” put an international perspective on disability, the barriers facing people with disabilities are just as prominent, and as pressing, here in Northern Virginia as they are throughout the world. ECNV has recently made great strides in breaking down these barriers, but we couldn’t do it without you. As a valued ECNV member, you are our greatest asset in overcoming these obstacles and we thank you for your continued support.

By Matt Barkley, ECNV Board Presdient
Article from the ECNV Declaration (Summer 2011 Edition)

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Entry filed under: Advocacy, Newsletter - The ECNV Declaration. Tags: .

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