Thursday, 17 November 2022 04:36

IDPwD 2022

Disability 350
Mary Pianta 

Saturday, December 3, marks the International Day of People with Disability. The U.N. Official Theme for 2022 has been announced. “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.

This observance provides an opportunity to celebrate the lives, contributions and achievements of the 4.4 million Australians with disability. The day aims to raise awareness and take steps towards a more inclusive and accessible community. 
In ‘Fratelli Tutti” (2020), Pope Francis calls us to ensure active participation of people with disabilities in the civil and ecclesial community. Currently, many people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others. 
The problem of disability is not so much the impairment but the ignorance, intolerance, injustice and exclusion that misses the dignity and humanity of the person. It is also necessary to recognise the range and vast diversity of experiences within disability. 
Each person in the community needs to be accepted as a brother or sister. Our aim should be to speak no longer about ‘them’, but rather about ‘us’. Catholic social teaching and theology of disability offer a rich and more human basis for care of people with disabilities. All people are created in the divine image; this indicates how essential it is for us to listen and understand, to become a friend of people with disabilities. 
All should feel welcome at the Lord’s table and be encouraged to fulfil any ministerial roles to which he or she is called, competent and capable. 
Sometimes we make assumptions about what people with disabilities need or want. Any discussion of inclusion must begin with the understanding that people with disabilities know best what is needed, based on their own experiences, so should be included in all consultations. Their participation enriches every aspect of Church life. 
Mary Pianta.           
Disability Contact Coordinator.           
Diocese of Sandhurst.