December 3rd is celebrated around the world as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and while in the UK we prefer the term ‘disabled people’, we still encourage all people to help raise awareness.
Over one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability.
– United Nations
In the UK, it is estimated that around 11 million people live with a life-limiting long-term illness, impairment or disability. It may come as a surprise to some to learn that more than 1 in 6 people in the UK fall into this category and this year’s theme, Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities, mirrors Diverse Cymru’s core values and beliefs.
Despite such a large number of people who may potentially need some level of support to live independently, there are still many barriers to equal access and inclusion. We hope that this year’s theme will spread the message, that small changes can make a big difference, far and wide.
Jane Hutt AM speaking at the launch of Diverse Cymru on International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2011.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities is particularly pertinent for Diverse Cymru as it also marks the anniversary of our launch in 2011. One of our main services throughout has been the delivery of direct payments services in Cardiff, allowing people more choice and control in engaging the support they need, and we’re thrilled to have extended these services into Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.
This is the single biggest expansion we have undertaken since Diverse Cymru was created and now, as the nation’s largest provider of direct payments services, we have the opportunity to make a real difference by helping disabled people, older people and carers across West Wales to live empowered and independent lives.
Direct payments were established to empower those receiving care with choice and control over how that care was managed and, significantly, the system was designed by disabled people for disabled people.
Diverse Cymru Chair Helen Bennett said:
This is an incredibly important development and one that it is entirely in line with Board of Trustees ambitions for the charity. I would like to offer my personal thanks, and that of the Board, to all the staff and volunteers without whose efforts this would not have been possible.