Standing Alone

Now that the elections are over and politicians have settled, and we have some new ministries and ministers, we do hope that we will be at the receiving end of some consultation, opportunities and services delivery.

May our “lot” improve, and may people with disabilities feel the impact of a stand-alone Ministry on disability.
Of course, we are bundled with women and youth, which is quite acceptable for us in my opinion.
One surprise though, was the outcry from woman’s organisations, stating their unhappiness at being bundled with people with disabilities and youth! Come on ladies, stand by us, don’t stand-alone.
The New minister, Ms Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, in her new Ministry (Women, Youth, Disability), is now a recipient of a subscription of Rolling Inspiration. The subscription is intended to give her a greater insight into the mobility impaired sector.The Confederations Cup gave us hope for our “boys-boys” and we are very proud to see how they shaped up. Well done!
What we have also witnessed, however, is the fact that the soccer administrators have made no progress towards catering for people with disabilities in a tournament and at the stadia.
It is not acceptable for us to be catered for on the sidelines of the pitches. We need to be integrated into all the facilities available, at all levels, with as many choices as everyone else.
Free tickets must not compromise our rights to accessible facilities.
I have been part of a delegation who has been engaging with the 2010 Local Organising Committee, and we have further appointments going forward.
Unfortunately I am not feeling very confident about the plans in place. We will have to exert a fair amount of pressure on the Local Organising Committee in order to create an acceptable offering for people with disabilities and an equitable opportunity for us to be a part of the 2010 world cup.
The “offering” that I refer to is not as simple as just an accessible stadium. There must be an accessible process, from the time you make a decision that you would like to be a spectator.
It should not matter whether you will be coming from abroad, or from the neighbourhood, essential elements that must be accessible are: information, flights, transport, communication, hospitality, accommodation, safety and then of course, the actual stadia.
Expanding on this, is our expectation that the 2010 volunteers must be sensitized to disability and also include our own persons with disabilities in their ranks. So you can see that, indeed, there is a lot of progress that is going to need to be made in the next 350 days towards an equitable offering for people with disabilities in the greatest sporting event in the world.
Rolling inspiration is looking forward to playing a huge part in communicating the opportunities that the World Cup will offer us.
Watch this space for progress.

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