Tagged with: ADA advocate awareness disability fitness health inclusion sports Technology wheelchair
Monday April 6th is the second annual International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. It was created by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the importance of sports world-wide.
The reason to mark and celebrate this day is for everyone to continue to become aware of the importance of physical fitness. The benefit of sports is that it can grow communities to benefit from its principles of health, socialization and empowerment. The incredible power of sports has a positive influence on social change within communities and nations. This day is to serve as a rallying point to for all groups and organizations to use their resources and tools to empower and educate communities on the importance of using sports to unify and develop peaceful communities.
So, what are you doing to bring awareness? It can be very easy. The first thing is make sure that you are leading a healthy active lifestyle. This is very important for people who have disabilities. We have 56 million people in the US with disabilities and 48% of the adult population is inactive. We have 5.5 million children with disabilities in the US and 38% are inactive. The opportunities are there for this nation. What about world-wide?
Considering there are 1 billion people world-wide with disability it is very imperative that nations become aware of health issues in their own country. At the end of the day, providing resources and activities for people with disabilities is a good start to dealing with health disparities.
As a rugby player and a Paralympian, I have the responsibility to let my community know of the importance and benefits I have gained by leading a healthy active lifestyle. I recently spoke at the Muhammad Ali Center at the forum for social change. It was very encumbent that I explained the important initiatives that exist to help promote the importance of access and opportunity for people with disability.
The importance of initiatives such as commit to inclusion to, universal design, inclusive healthy communities, person first language, the ADA and section 504 are current issues that are important to disability culture. It is having awareness of disability culture that can change the mindset of communities and neighborhoods. It is changing the mindset of local communities that can eventually lead to changes in cities, counties, states and even nations. It is in changing nations that we have met our goal of achieving sports development and hopefully peace. It is the goal of peace is what all nations hope to strive for. It is through using sports as a tool that we can hope to achieve world-wide harmony.