December 3 marks the UN International Day for People with Disabilities. The 2020 theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.
This week also marks York Disability Week – a programme of activities celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities here in York, organised by a group of individuals and organisations from across the city and supported by York Human Rights City Network and City of York Council. This year’s programme of activities includes talks, workshops, musical events, creativity, advice sessions, exhibitions and much more. Find out more here.
Councils play a crucial role in enabling people with disabilities to live their lives they want to. City of York Council together with partners across the city continues to work to ensure people with lived experience have a meaningful voice in their communities and to achieve an inclusive, accessible and sustainable society.
Cllr Ashley Mason, who has a severe visual impairment, is calling on more disabled people to consider standing for election to add their experiences and insights into how our city and communities are shaped. If you’re considering becoming a councillor, the Local Government Association’s Be A Councillor campaign offers all the information and support you will need – you can find further information here.
Cllr Ashley Mason, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward, commented:
“I’m glad to see that despite this year’s challenges, our amazing local organisations and charities are coming together to celebrate the International Day for People with Disabilities.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disrupted routines and stretched services have greatly impacted the lives and mental well-being of people with disabilities. Spreading awareness of invisible disabilities and the impacts to mental health, is crucial as we continue to fight against the virus.
“Local government benefits from diversity and lived experiences of those who see the world slightly differently. Now, as we move to build for a more inclusive future, it is crucial that the voices of those with disabilities are represented so we can make meaningful change in our communities. If you need help, guidance or further information, the LGA’s Be A Councillor campaign is a brilliant place to start.”