This Sunday (July 12) is Disabilities Awareness Day in the UK. Did you know that there are around one billion people with disabilities worldwide? That is 15% of the population.
A disability is a health condition that lasts for a long time and affects daily life. For some people, this is a physical disability, which means it affects their body. They may have difficulty with movement, sight or breathing. Other people might have a disability that you cannot see, such as a mental health problem.
In the UK, there are around 14 million disabled people. Around 1.2 million people use a wheelchair to get around.
Living with a disability can be hard. One global study found that people with disabilities tend to have a higher risk of poverty than people without disabilities. In developing countries, nine out of 10 disabled children do not go to school. In some places, unemployment among disabled people reaches up to 80%.
This summer, however, people with disabilities will show the world that they are just as talented and capable as anyone else. The Paralympic Games will take place in Tokyo, with events like Wheelchair Basketball, Sitting Volleyball and Athletics. Will you be watching?
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Watch one of the UK’s former Eurovision contestants, SuRie, perform her song Storm in sign language. Did the signs change the way you enjoyed the song’s lyrics?
- Imagine that you need a wheelchair to get around. Write down a list of challenges that you would face during an ordinary day. If you have time, think of some solutions. (For example — would you need to install a ramp or a lift in your home?)
- Make an advertisement for this summer’s Paralympics. Could they be even more exciting than the Olympic Games?