Celebrated on December 3, is the International Day for People with Disabilities. The theme of of this years event is “Not all Disabilities are Visible” and I could not think of a more relevant moment for this focus. Mental health is a prime example of a potential invisible disability in this time of COVID-19.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
“According to the WHO World Report on Disability, 15 per cent of the world’s population, or more than 1 billion people, are living with disability. Of this number, it’s estimated 450 million are living with a mental or neurological condition— and two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical help, largely due to stigma, discrimination and neglect.”
“Another 69 million individuals are estimated to sustain Traumatic Brain Injuries each year worldwide, while one in 160 children are identified as on the autism spectrum.” IDPWD2020
My personal experience with disabilities felt limited until the diagnosis of my youngest daughter with GRIN2B, creating a genetic abnormality. However, when I read about brain trauma from injuries, mental health issues and learning differences, I can quickly come up with many examples of people close to me if not including myself.
Just a few years ago, I struggled immensely with just the word ‘disabled’. The fact that a ‘dis’ exists, suggests something negative.
‘Dis’ease, ‘dis’appointed, ‘dis’approval, ‘dis’like, ‘dis’connect.
All these words have a negative connotation or meaning. So why should my daughter, be labeled immediately in a negative way? I was just so struggling at the time with focusing on what she ‘CAN’ do, instead of drowning in the deep ocean of can’t.
Thankfully, I can now get behind and promote an important day like ‘International Day for People with Disabilities’ because there are still many taboos, many improvements that can be made, for the people living under this umbrella.
‘Rona Corona (KAKA)’ Book Launch
The International Day for People with Disabilities happened to coincide with the launch of my new children’s book, ‘Rona Corona’ (KAKA). It felt like a good match to join it to such an important and significant celebration. The main character in this book again is KAKA, however this time, KAKA is looking after and caring for Egg, a character with quite extreme disabilities. KAKA’s role in this story is to choose a safer and healthier route for Egg, when Rona Corona enters the house.
Download this eBook today and read it with children so that people with vulnerabilities can live more safely, in a world with Corona.