There are almost one in five people living with a disability in Australia.
On Sunday, December 3 the world marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD).
This year’s IDPwD theme was ‘transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all’, which aimed to promote the removal of the physical, social and technological barriers that typically exclude people with disabilities from participating in society.
Celebrations were held across the shire throughout the week and Highlanders donned blue and orange striped ribbons in a show of support.
On Friday, December 1 Disability Services Australia (DSA) held an ‘Ability Walk’ event at Lake Alexandra.
DSA’s Vanessa Webb said it was an opportunity for people of all abilities to come together to show their appreciation and support for people living with disabilities.
Visitors walked and wheeled around the lake, played dress ups at the selfie station, and listened to local rock band the Hidden Wonders.
On the same day, Challenge Southern Highlands (CSH) held a morning tea at their premises in Welby, where supported employees and their friends and families came together to commemorate the occasion with scones and cakes donated by Bakers Delight Mittagong and Grayco.
Challenge’s Gloria Gilroy said IDPwD was an opportunity to promote inclusion.
“It’s not a day to segregate people with disabilities, it’s a day to celebrate them,” she said.
“Our guys give us so much all year.
“They contribute to the community and they enhance everything in our lives.
“They help make the world a nicer place and we love working with them.”
Challenge Southern Highlands employs people with disabilities, like Becky Evers (pictured) who has been a supported employee at the Welby Garden Centre since 2009. The organisation has also recently opened a transitional home for adults living with disabilities.