This week cbm celebrates! On 3rd December 2014 it’s the International Day of Persons with Disabilities – a day that this year promotes “Sustainable Development: the Promise of Technology”.
What is International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a day that aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also aims at increasing awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
This year’s theme: “Sustainable Development: the Promise of Technology”
New technology is something we almost take for granted because our globalised world is full of permanent new development and innovation. In these days a new iPhone is hardly released when Apple introduces its successor in the market. Throughout our history technology has always impacted our lives and what really matters is how technology benefits each individual person. It can mean a lot to someone who can’t hear, see or walk – also in the world’s poorest countries. It might even change someone’s life completely.
Compared to people without a disability, people with disabilities can be just as talented but they might face challenges in their daily life. Technology offers the possibility of addressing the daily challenges people with disabilities face so they can participate more fully in society, through education, jobs and community life. This week we are highlighting the transformation technology can bring to the lives of people with disabilities.
Sub-themes that focus on the topic’s promise:
• Disability-Inclusive Sustainable Development Goals
• Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Responses
• Creating Enabling Work Environments
Read more on the three sub-themes here.
From cbm International President Dave McComiskey
"At cbm, all our forms of communications are inclusive. This means that we aim for a working environment where everyone at cbm can fulfil his/her job regardless of their abilities.
As a professional organisation, we want our staff to be able to use all of our equipment, systems and software. This requires technical adjustments and time but we believe that our standards and professional conduct should follow best practices for accessibility to ensure our credibility as an inclusive NGO."
How does cbm use technology?
Pallavi, who is unable to speak, was recently assisted to enrol in vocational training courses to develop computing, tailoring and beautician skills. Now she is keen to redouble her efforts and get a good job that will draw on the skills she’s gained.
We at cbm realise the power of technology to promote inclusion and accessibility to help realise the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society.
Our Advocacy Manager Lars Bosselmann believes that "including persons with disabilities in future development plans will not only make life better for those individuals benefitting from development, it will also help to create better societies at large, thereby achieving truly inclusive development."
Also for Mike Potter, our Marketing Manager – Acquisition here in New Zealand, technology has played an important role in learning what is possible with a disability. It has also enabled him to live a very fulfilling and active family life. You can read his thoughts on what technology promises for whole communities here.
Social Media and assistive devices
Technology, and especially social media, is changing the way cbm responds to emergencies and crises. Including people with disabilities in the planning and response to disasters is vital if no one is to be left behind. Assistive devices are also becoming an important enabler in creating productive working environments. cbm is aware of the power of technology and strives relentlessly to provide benefits from technology to better the lives of people with disabilities.