For Equal Opportunities and Respect for Differences

Havana, Dec 4.- The Cuban Association of Persons with Physical and Motor Disabilities (ACLIFIM) marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) this Thursday, December 3, at Havana’s Convention Center, as part of the daily efforts to increase equality and social integration.

The work carried out in Cuba to promote greater social awareness, as well as recognition of the skills and merits of those with disabilities, was noted during the event.

Milagros Martínez, representing the Cuban Association of the United Nations (ACNU) at the event, stated that one in seven people worldwide suffer from some form of disability, and are frequently victims of violence and segregation, while over 50% have no access to healthcare.

However, Cuba is proud to have several associations that represent and defend disability rights across all spheres of society.

From a legal standpoint, the event was also an opportunity to emphasize non-discrimination and respect for differences, and note how the Cuban legal system provides for a system of care and public safety for all.

“I was able to receive an education and complete a university degree thanks to living here. Despite our conditions, we have the same opportunities to excel, to get a job and a salary for our financial tranquility, to express ourselves and make our voices heard,” Elbia Ramírez, who was recognized for her active work in ACLIFIM for over 30 years, told Granma.

The President of the organization, Mabel Ballesteros López, added that whilst there remain areas for improvement, the gains resulting from recognition and equal opportunities for the disabled achieved since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution can not be overlooked.

The event also saw the participation of officials and employees of the National Association of Deaf People of Cuba (ANSOC), the National Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ANCI) and representatives of the Embassy of Japan, which provides assistance with equipment and resources for several special schools in the country.(Granma)

Radio Cadena Agramonte, December 4, 2015

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