As declared by the UN, today was International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Started in 1992, the observance day aims to promote understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of those with disabilities. With one billion people worldwide experiencing some sort of disability, the day can have an important impact on many who experience difficulties every day. In honor with the international observance, we at NeedyMeds want to share the resources available for people with disabilities in the United States.
The UN theme for 2014 is “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology.” In a previous blog post, we covered state grants that are available to those in need of assistive technology. We also have information on over 20 national organizations offering financial assistance to those requiring assistive technology, and many more serving regional areas. For those less suited to technology, there are programs offering assistance dogs to those suffering from various disabilities and conditions.
As technology and assistance animals can improve the quality of one’s life, worthwhile experiences can also enhance the lives of those with disabilities. With almost 200 camps for those with physical disabilities and over 100 for those with developmental challenges, people of all ages all over the country can go on retreats with peers they can relate to and professionals familiar with their care. NeedyMeds also has information on scholarships for people with disabilities who pursue a higher education.
As a group, persons with disabilities are more likely to experience less education, worse health, less employment, and higher poverty rates than those without disabilities. However, the “Promise of Technology”—whether it is a prosthetic limb, wheelchair, hearing aid, or Internet information resource—can help those affected by the barriers to better education, employment, healthcare, and financial stability.