2021 International Day of People with Disability: Celebrating Achievements and Contributions

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This International Day of People with Disability, we hear from our client, Jack who shares his thoughts on celebrating the achievements and contributions of people living with disability.

Jack has just turned 18 and completed Year 12.  He is now looking to the future and all the exciting possibilities it holds.

“Disability varies between each individual, providing a number of unique challenges. Despite these challenges that are constantly being faced, people with disability aim to accomplish each goal we set ourselves as we continue to aim for a brighter tomorrow. As a person living with disability (cerebral palsy), I have faced many struggles and challenges, ranging from physical mobility to my attempts to change the mindsets around disability. Living with disability provides the opportunities to embrace the challenges and set goals for ourselves, growing our resilience, patience and optimism, as few goals will be achieved on the first attempt.

Although the challenges we face differ from person to person, it is important to remember that the challenges faced by those living with disability do not make them any different to any able-bodied person, as everyone faces their own challenges. Every individual has their own strengths, talents and weaknesses and it is important not to focus on obvious weaknesses and instead to focus on including everyone, or you might overlook someone with the talents and skills you need most. Never judge a book by its cover and never judge a person by their disability. I guarantee you that everyone has their challenges. I’ll just use mine to see how far I can push myself, then I’ll push that limit.

When participating in or leading a team, some of the best team members are those with the drive to overcome their challenges and support those around them to do the same. Encouragement, empathy, resilience, inclusion and positivity are some of the most important qualities in leadership and those living with disability are some of the best sources of these skills. One does not have to be the best at the task to be the team leader, they need the ability to support their peers to aim to achieve their best and provide the shoulder of support when things don’t go to plan.

We all have goals, challenges and obstacles to overcome and a person living with disability is as similar to an able-bodied person as two people living disability are or two able-bodied persons are. Together as we strive for a better future, let’s unite to conquer the challenges we face together as an inclusive and united team of talented individuals.

As for my dreams and aspirations for the future, I am aiming to promote the consumption of edible insects as a way to sustainably feed our constantly growing population with an alternative protein source, with goals of starting my own business. I anticipate that there will be challenges that will arise, such as breaking stereotypes surrounding edible insects.  I’ll aim to break those, as well as those surrounding people living with disability, while working towards an inclusive and sustainable future.”

Earlier in the year we celebrated ten young South Australians living with disability for their commitment to achieving their goals at the Novita 2021 Achievement Awards presentation ceremony. Meet our 2021 Achievement Award winners and check out their amazing stories.