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© 2019 THE INCLUSION BLOG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Nelson Mandela and breaking barriers

nelsonmandelaLast week was certainly one of highs and lows.  International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the passing of Nelson Mandela has had me thinking about how barriers come in all shapes and sizes.

Overcoming them isn’t just about legislation, although it’s a great place to start! Last week we celebrated International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Manitoba in a big way.  Bill 26 was passed!  Congratulations to all who worked so hard at Barrier Free Manitoba to make accessibility for all Manitobans better and enforceable by law.

Nelson Mandela, one of the world’s greatest ambassadors of humanity, died last week.  A fearless champion of treating people with respect, Mandela accomplished in his lifetime what many would have said was impossible.  His indomitable spirit lives on in people championing equality.  His words, ‘There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living,’ spurs me onward in supporting people to achieve lives lived in full equality and respect.

Mandela had an extraordinary way of bringing people closer.  Close enough that they could see what they had in common as opposed to what was different. Pro Infirmis is a European support organization whose tagline is ‘look closer’. Their recent YouTube sensation would have done Mandela proud. ‘Because Who is Perfect?‘  is made in the best tradition of breaking barriers.  Mannequins are a traditional representation of physical perfection.  The video is a collaboration of persons with disabilities and mannequin artisans to create mannequins that challenge the assumptions of what is perfect.

The attitude found in this video reminds me of Mandela and his gift for turning assumptions on their head.  It’s a unique way of breaking barriers and challenging assumptions.  Something Mandela celebrated through his life.

How did you celebrate December 3rd, International Day of Persons with Disabilities?  What are your thoughts on Mandela and his legacy?  Watch ‘Because Who is Perfect?’ and let me know what you think.


Inclusion Blog Post

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