Casual Day for the differently-abled (and everyone else)

IT’S that time of the year again when we celebrate diversity by wearing casual attire to work and, perhaps, have a less-formal approach to business etiquette.

READY FOR THE RACE: People of all ages who use wheelchairs (or any mobility devices), as well as able-bodied individuals, are encouraged to attend the Casual Day celebration at Titi Jonas Multipurpose Community Centre on Friday. They might even be able to participate in a race at the centre. This picture was taken at a previous event, and everyone had a great time competing

The annual disabled Casual Day celebration will take place at the Titi Jonas Multipurpose Community Centre where a whole lot of fun has been planned.

Teri Lee Baartman, the organiser of the event, invites everyone to attend.

“If you are a human being, disabled or not, your presence is very welcome,” said Baartman, who invited everyone to bring a friend. “But I need to tell you, visitors need to be punctual. The gates will close at 9.30am on Friday. Limited space also means that once we have reached our capacity we will be unable to accommodate any more visitors.”

Baartman has arranged for pupils at local special care centres in Ndlambe to show off their talents. “These kids are dying to show you what they can do,” she said. “We will have fun educational activities where a number of disabilities will be covered. We will be singing, dancing and eating together, and what can be more fun than that?”

The event will finish with a parade to celebrate those in wheelchairs and who use walking aids.

Baartman is convinced that the term disability is a societal barrier.

“If we look at what a disability is, it is just a way to exclude people. Take a person in a wheelchair as an example. How does a person in a wheelchair get to work if there is no public transport available? Then think about moving around town, or accessing the shops, car parks and other public places. Where are there facilities for the disabled such as ramps and slopes?” she asked.

“Whether one is hearing or visually impaired or uses a wheelchair, everyone has a right to access all public places and facilities. If we can get rid of the idea that the disabled are not our problem, and eliminate these restrictions, it will be unnecessary to talk of disabilities again.”

More from the event itself in next week’s Talk of the Town.

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