A new campaign launched by Wigan Council is aiming to reduce prejudice and discrimination against disabled people, as well as addressing a host of other issues.
#BelieveImOnlyHuman was launched earlier in the year by the local authority, and had a broad remit in terms of encouraging tolerance within the local community – age, gender, race, religion and sexuality, as well as mental and physical health, were all identified as issues which needed the campaign’s attention.
The disability aspect of the campaign was timed to coincide with the 2016 International Day of People with a Disability, which is organised by the United Nations and took place this year on Saturday 3 December.
To help raise awareness and understanding of the discrimination which can sometimes be faced by those who are less mobile or otherwise physically impaired, Wigan Council enlisted the help of two local heroes to spread the word about their experiences, challenges and achievements. Danny Dawoud and Georgina Hall are both disabled, and spoke to Wigan Today about the obstacles they have had to overcome in their lives.
‘The barriers are being broken down’
24-year-old Danny, from the town of Hindley, is a wheelchair user who says that he has experienced discrimination for his disability throughout his life. ‘It definitely has affected me. You can experience it so much you can actually become numb to it’, he told reporters.
Now, however, Dawoud is the vice-captain of the Great Britain talent squad wheelchair rugby team, and believes that his positive recent experiences are being echoed by a shift in attitudes throughout the UK: ‘The barriers I believe are being broken down now and we are teaching the younger generation in a more positive way.’
Like many people who for different reasons require the assistance of new mobility scooters and other accessibility products to help with everyday life, however, Danny is aware that more still needs to be done before true equality is achieved. As he noted, ‘We want to improve the image of us as a community. The only way we can do that is by getting the message out there that we might all be different, but first and foremost we are all human’.