By John Rae
June 16, 2010
At major local, national and international gatherings that discuss issues facing the future needs in our society, it is common to consider the
inequities of women, the discrimination facing indigenous groups or racial minorities, and nowadays one can expect calls to discuss the future of our
planet to be high on some groups’ agendas. This is perfectly appropriate.
But so often, the needs of the world’s 1/7 of our world’s population who live with a disability, and who are often among the poorest of the poor and
most marginalized members of all nations, are so rarely even on the radar screens of these meetings, let alone on their agendas. the rest of the human
rights community why we continue to be left out in the cold, and what are human rights groups that talk a good line about inclusion prepared to do to
become truly inclusive of all who live on the margins?
Major gatherings like the Peoples Summit that are organized around G-8 or now G-20 events provide community organizations with a rare opportunity to
spotlight examples of collaborative work among a variety of equity seeking groups, for there is much overlap. For example, many of us are a member of
more than one group; women are found among racial minorities, indigenous
peoples and persons with disabilities, and men are also found among racial minorities, First Nations communities, or persons with disabilities.
Unfortunately, this rare opportunity is too often lost, as events, interesting and stimulating though they may be, generally discuss only one
group, and rarely focus on the inter-sectionality that must be the future way of operating, if we are truly interested in building a world where the
rights and participation of all peoples from all over the world, regardless of age, race, ancestry or disability are welcomed, understood and included.
1st Vice President
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians