Spain wins Roosevelt prize for disability rights and inclusionby Ivano Abbadessa - 2013.09.23
“If you don’t like something, change it. If something bothers you, confront it.” This is the motto Spain used in recent days when it received the Franklin D Roosevelt International Disability Rights Award from the United Nations headquarters in New York. The award recognizes the efforts made by a country to improve the rights, inclusion and well being of people with disabilities in all areas of society.
The grandson of the famous US president, David B Roosevelt, presented the award to Queen Sofìa of Spain. She emphasized that people with disabilities are "human beings with the same dignity and rights as any other person". They are not just ‘recipients of subsidies’. She also attributed the success of the Spanish model to collaboration between different levels of government and social organisations.
Indeed, Spain leads by example in this field. It was the first in Europe to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and has adapted its laws accordingly. In the coming years it will follow the Plan on Disability 2013-2015. It will also take into account children with disabilities, of which there are 140,000 in Spain, who are at increased risk of exclusion and poverty.
Furthermore, in times of financial constraint, Madrid has not neglected accessible tourism and has in fact invested in it. Not only has it campaigned for better access to public spaces, infrastructure and services but it has also implemented appropriate technologies for people with disabilities. It’s therefore not a coincidence that 20 million Europeans with disabilities recently expressed a desire to visit Spain in the near future – and this represents a significant economic resource for the country.
There are also plenty of personal stories about inclusion that have made history, such as Pablo Pineda who will be presenting Piensa en Positive, the first TV programme to be presented by a person with Down’s syndrome. Or take the case of Angela Bachiller, who last July became Spain’s first town councillor with Down’s syndrome in the town of Valladolid.
All in all, there is no shortage of reasons to award Spain with the bronze bust of the 32nd US president, who contracted polio aged 39. Despite being paraplegic and unable to walk or stand without assistance, he was elected four times by the American people. A cheque for $50,000 was also presented to CERMI, the Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities.
Sunbathers in wheelchairs have three choices other than sitting under the umbrella
Being disabled in the summertime does not mean giving up surfing or scuba diving! No one ever said that a disabled person has to stay parked under an umbrella the entire time at the beach. There are at least three options for enjoying one’s time at the sea, and West has Read More.
Best practices for sports facilities wanting to provide complete accessibility
Athletes with disabilities have to compete, not only for medals in the pool or on the track. But the structural barriers all around them force them to compete in their daily lives 24/7. Simple activities like taking a shower after practice or opening one’s locker in the dressing room can Read More.
This is how museums become accessible to visitors with disabilities
A guide entirely dedicated to explaining how to make exhibits and museums completely accessible. The initiative was launched by the French Cultural Ministry, and was targeted to the cultural sector; institutions and workers responsible for projects involving exhibits (temporary and/or permanent) and any type of attraction that might involve visitors: Read More.
Future surveyors awarded for the accessibility projects
Yesterday in Rome, Italy, the 5° edition of the contest entitled “I futuri geometri progettano l’accessibilità” (Future Surveyors Design Accessibility) was held, in which young surveyors were awarded for their innovative solutions to striking down architectural barriers. Candidates for the competition came from all of the Polytechnic Institutes throughout Italy Read More.
Airbnb not only dislikes taxes, but also guests with disabilities
For dwarfs, blind and brain-damaged individuals, there are are no places available in Airbnb offerings. This heavy accusation is launched in a study undertaken by a team of experts from Rutgers University of New Jersey. According to whom, the well-known online platform used by tourists renting short or long-term vacation Read More.
US airlines face soaring disability complaints
The number of disability-related complaints against US airlines shot up more than twofold in a decade. According to a report out from the Government Accountability Office, travelers with disabilities filed more than 30,000 complaints with airlines in 2015, up from fewer than 14,000 in 2005. The vast majority of complaints Read More.