Diversity is the essence of humanity
Every man and woman with a disability, in any country in the world, has the right to a dignified life. It is not just a matter of satisfying certain needs, but even more of having one’s desire for acceptance and autonomy recognized. It is necessary for integration to become a mentality and culture, and at the same time for legislators and government leaders to give this cause consistent support. Today we find ourselves reflecting, discussing and verifying the state of the situation regarding disabilities: from a cultural, institutional, legislative and operational point of view, starting from the principles of protection of the rights of people with disabilities. The point of reference is that of the rights of citizenship, constitutionally recognized, observed in their protection and enforceability identified in their characteristic of universal subjective rights. From another point of reference is that of the enhancement of the person, where the state recognizes and supports initiatives aimed at the common good, solidarity, co-responsibility in a perspective of social policies of community care: forms of assistance and support provided both “in” the community as much as “from” the community. It is necessary to place the defense of the person with their dignity and their right to remain in their own communities, in contact with their family and social networks, at the center and heart of the system. The person at the center means that he is not only the object of the performance and response system, but also the subject who collaborates, participates, chooses the inclusion process, even where the seriousness of the impairment of the clinical or behavioral picture is of a considerable entity.
It becomes a priority to think and implement a welfare that aims to affirm, request and demand:
The urgency of a real recognition of the rights of every man and woman with disabilities to a dignified and livable life; The urgency of promoting a culture of recognition of the existential desire for the acceptance and autonomy of every person with disabilities and not only for the satisfaction of needs;
The urgency of propitiating the differential and differentiated times that mark the existential arc of the life of every person with disabilities; The urgency of promoting scientific research, which can guarantee every form of prevention of the harmful event; The urgency of promoting health protection, especially in those forms where treatment cannot guarantee healing, where it is not possible to get rid of disability, but it is necessary to free the potential that any disability can never erase; The urgency of guaranteeing the right to study, work, housing, the removal of barriers; The urgency of promoting research and experimentation, designed to support and increase potential, remembering that rehabilitation is not only the return of compromised functions: it is also a barrier to decay, activation of compensatory functions, evocation of alternative functions.
Inclusion remains the fundamental point for breaking down barriers: inclusion of children in school and in sport, inclusion in the world of work, in civil society. Participation, knowledge and overcoming of prejudice and mistrust. With everyone’s work we will certainly go very far. Not recognizing this strong need for total inclusion can cause three types of deficit: economic, in that not using the available resources leads to a costly loss; social, because not integrating any category creates marginalization; democratic, because denying participation means denying full citizenship.
In fact, breaking down the barriers that prevent the full democratic participation of all citizens in the life of the country represents a great sign of civilization.