Social Inclusion and Accessibility for Persons with Intellectual Disabilites

Asia-Pacific, Built Environment, DIAUD Network, Events, News, December 15 2017

Special Olympics World Games

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On Wednesday, December 13th, the DIAUD Network the hosted another successful meeting to discuss final preparations for the upcoming World Urban Forum.  Network members highlighted the responsibilities of the GAP Persons with Disabilities Partner Constituent Group in hosting events at the Forum   The meeting also featured a presentation on inclusion of persons with disabilities by Krista White and Christy Weir from Special Olympics.

Special Olympics is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability.  Through sport, health and educational programming, Special Olympics is working to address the global challenge of exclusion for persons with intellectual disabilities.  Though known for their World Games, which features athletes with disabilities from around the world, Special Olympics also has one of the world’s largest health programs.  Their Healthy Athlete program, which brings disability related health services to local athletes, families, friends, and healthcare providers, has been implemented in 170 countries around the world.  Special Olympics is also working to expand their unified sports program and young athletes program, which create spaces for children with intellectual disabilities to participate in organized school sports and after school programs alongside children without disabilities.

Today’s presentation highlighted Special Olympics’ new Inclusive City Initiative.  At a time where countries around the world are directing their attention towards urban development, Special Olympics hopes to engage with local governments and communities to ensure accessibility, and inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities.  In order to do so, they developed an inclusive city framework around SDG 11, to be piloted in Chicago, Panama, Seattle, and Abu Dhabi.  Thus far, the city of Chicago government determined its goals to be around education, and has begun working with schools, the park service, and Special Olympic athletes to develop a five year inclusion plan.  In order to understand the challenges and best practices of implementing inclusion into cities, Special Olympics also developed pre and post-awareness surveys to assess partners’ efforts in education, sport, and health.  In order to promote inclusive development, going forward Special Olympics requests that any country which wishes to host a games event provide an inclusion model and demonstrate a commitment to becoming an inclusive city.  At the end of the presentation, Network members discussed ways in which they could promote Special Olympics’ initiatives, and  get involved.

 

The DIAUD Network’s next meeting will take place on Wednesday January 17th, 2017 at 8:00am EDT.  Catherine Carty, Project Manager for the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive PE, Sort, Recreation and FItness at the Institute of TEchnology in Tralee (ITT), Ireland, will be presenting their current initiatives.  The collaboration between the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) , the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), and World Enabled makes the DIAUD Network possible.  These network meetings are hosted and recorded on a virtual platform by IDPP and the recordings are available to registered DIAUD Network members.  In order to receive updates and further your participation with the Network, join the mailing list here.

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