DISABILITY PRIDE PARADE TO BE HELD IN BELFAST TODAY

dISABILITY PRIDETHE Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership  is taking part in today’s (Saturday, September 20) inaugural Disability Pride carnival in Belfast city centre.

(NIRDP) brings together groups representing people affected by rare diseases, and clinicians and others working on rare disease and disability issues.

Dozens of people who are living with disabilities will take part in the event, which starts at Writer’s Square at 11am before travelling along Royal Avenue to City Hall.

Disability Pride began in Chicago 10 years ago to celebrate the lives of disabled people and is taking place in the UK and Ireland now for the first time.

The NIRDP, whose ethos is ‘Stronger Together’, is teaming up with Translink who are supplying transport on the day – under the theme from ‘Here to Now’.

Translink is providing a vintage bus from the 1950s and their latest modern version – a double decker bus which can accommodate 74 people and two wheelchairs – illustrating how far the company has travelled in providing accessible transport for able and disabled passengers.

Parade participants will walk or travel in their wheelchairs in front of the older bus while another group of people will walk or travel in their wheelchairs in between the two buses representing their various groups and charities.

The parade will demonstrate the great progress that has been made towards accessibility for all on public transport, and the journey that has been made by all the charities and groups involved, coming together in a Partnership that works on common themes to help everyone with a rare disease in Northern Ireland.

NIRDP Chair Christine Collins said “The Disability Pride carnival is about recognising, respecting, and valuing the contributions of all those with disabilities.

“It’s about rejoicing in achievement, and in our power as human beings to live every day as it comes, to the utmost, and to work together constructively to overcome difficulties. It shows the good things we can do.”

Terry Butler, Translink Accessibility Officer said, “We are delighted to be a part of the first Disability Pride event in Belfast. Over the last number of years new vehicles, stations and better passenger information has meant more and more of our services are more accessible making it easier for people with disabilities to get out and about more often, enjoy greater independence and experience a better quality of life.”

ABOUT THE NORTHERN IRELAND RARE DISEASE PARTNERSHIP

The NIRDP is a not-for-profit organisation bringing together those living with a rare disease and organisations representing them.

Our aim is to work constructively with stakeholders and service delivery organisations to find practical ways of improving the quality of life, treatment and care for those with rare diseases in Northern Ireland.

To achieve this, we work closely with the DHSSPSNI, Health and Social Care Boards, Public Health Agency and the Patient Client Council in Northern Ireland, with RDUK, and with IPPOSI, MRCG and GRDO in the Republic of Ireland.

 

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