International Year of Disabled Persons: Seeking Self-Reliance
Gutestam, Monica, UN Chronicle
Walking up a flight of stairs to a classroom, getting into the tub for a morning bath, running to catch a cab on a crowded city street at rush hour, reading a book, watching television, listening to the radio, coping with job and family stress--these are ordinary, everyday experiences for most people. But for many of the 500 million disabled people in the world, they can be painful, if not impossible, tasks.
One of the main goals in life is to become self-reliant, to experience the deep satisfaction of being able to take care of ourselves. That satisfaction is being denied to many disabled people everywhere, as a consequence of mental, physical or sensory impairment.
With a little help, many of these people could become self-functioning, requiring little or no assistance from institutions or charity. Aiming at a world where disability does not automatically condemn a person to life-long dependency, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the year 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons.
The theme for the Year was "Full Participation and Equality". Persons with disabilities, it was stated, have the right to take part fully in the life and development of their societies; enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens; and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting …
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Publication information: Article title: International Year of Disabled Persons: Seeking Self-Reliance. Contributors: Gutestam, Monica - Author. Magazine title: UN Chronicle. Volume: 28. Issue: 2 Publication date: June 1991. Page number: 76+. © 1998 United Nations Publications. COPYRIGHT 1991 Gale Group.
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