International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) 2020
Statement by Antonia Karydis-Frisan Chairperson – TADSA
As the Chairperson of TADSA, I consider it an honour to acknowledge and support this year’s theme for the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”. The number of people with disability has increased in Australia. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2018, there were 4.4 million people with disability, with over 100,700 South Australians who require daily assistance due to disability.
Since 1992 this internationally celebrated day aims to challenge the way we think and see the ability in disability. In 2020 ‘Building Back Better’ provides an overarching focus on how society can strive for inclusivity through the removal of physical, technological and attitudinal barriers. We have to know of this vulnerability, yet barriers to inclusion and accessibility in the workplace, schools and within the wider brim of our society remain. Removing such barriers will empower all individuals to be participating contributors in their communities.
IDPwD also sheds special focus on vulnerability due to the challenges imposed by the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, it has meant isolation or limited access to services, an inability to obtain essentials, medicine, care and engagement with the healthcare system.
From the perspective of TADSA with its’ 43-year long expertise as a leader in provision of customized solutions, IDPwD which falls on the 3rd of December 2020, also raises awareness about Assistive Technology (AT) and its ability to restore or improve function, at least in part, for a limitation.
At TADSA, we never paused our work due to COVID-19. Our home based work-sheds model and consultation process with individuals through emails, phone calls and online discussions were effective in maintaining access to customised solutions for many. We stepped up our efforts this year to improve the lives of people with disability, their families and carers, at a crucial time when many other doors were closing.
TADSA, a pioneer in the field of AT, continues to pave way for a holistic approach to inclusion, with the ethos of ‘possibility’ that can be embraced into people’s lives by way of making or modifying equipment that makes their mobility, eating/drinking, learning, transportation, communication, sports and everything else practical, simple and convenient.
TADSA is entirely driven by a passionate team of volunteers with a wealth of experience in many fields of expertise and I look forward to continuing the team effort and together continue to work toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”