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Disability Day Celebration: "Break Barriers, Open Doors"

December 17, 2013
The festival banner translates as "Let's break barriers and open doors to a society where, handicapped or not, everyone is equal"
From Fond des Blancs, Haiti comes a whole album of pictures, of last week’s 3rd annual celebration for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. More than 60 people passed under the banner announcing the theme for this year: “Break Barriers, Open Doors: Development and Inclusion For All,” to get to the festivities.

They came for a lively debate on disability rights and social inclusion, as well as stories from wheelchair users about their day-to-day experiences and the struggles they face. Later, community members got to try out wheelchairs themselves for the first time, as they were paired with experienced Spinal Cord Injury Clinic residents in games and races.

There were relay races, obstacle courses, and a basketball competition, and much laughter and cheering. The day concluded with a slideshow of the past year at SCI Clinic, full of individual and community accomplishments. For both education and celebration, the day was a success, says SCI program coordinator Betsy Sherwood. “Overall, it was an awesome day.”