December 3 marked the observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. What can hospitals do now to promote inclusion of people with disabilities? Start by making sure your facility, signage and documents are accessible and understandable. Include people with disabilities on committees, such as your patient and family advisory council. Review your hiring practices to ensure those with disabilities are equally considered for employment. Partner with local agencies to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Being deliberate about including people with disabilities in all aspects of society truly benefits everyone in your community.
Recognized by the United Nations since 1992, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebrates the diversity of the more than 1 billion people living with some form of disability around the world. That’s one in seven people. The day aims not only to promote the rights and well-being of those with disabilities, but to increase full societal inclusion of those with disabilities.
The impact of removing barriers to inclusion and creating opportunities for people with disabilities is significant considering that those with disabilities are more likely to experience violence as both children and adults, generally have poorer health (typically due to lack of access to affordable health care), have lower education achievements and have higher rates of poverty. (Lisa Segerstrom)