HIP’s Disability Initiative highlights everyday people who have risen to the physical, societal, and psychological challenges presented by their disabilities and have acted in a heroic capacity in service to others.
The mission of HIP’s Disability Initiative is to educate, empower, and inspire action on behalf of persons with disabilities. As HIP advances everyday heroism by encouraging expression of the positive attributes of human nature, we believe that this must incorporate the full spectrum of human abilities. Heroism can include rising to the physical and psychological struggles presented by disability and associated societal barriers in order to serve others. Heroes with disabilities embody the desire to serve others with disabilities and the broader community at large, by improving access, attitudes, and the availability of equal opportunities. Heroes with disabilities put their best selves forward in service to the community regardless of personal costs or risks. They project these sociocentric positive character traits to the entire global community. In doing so, these heroes improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities around the world.
Statement of Importance
According to the United Nations (2007), people with disabilities constitute the world’s largest and most disadvantaged minority group. As the global population ages in the coming decades, people with disabilities will also constitute one of the most rapidly growing minority groups on the planet. Currently, over 1 billion persons live with disabilities around the world, or 15% of world’s population (WHO, 2011). Considering the ways in which their families are also touched, the number of persons who are directly affected by disability reaches beyond 2 billion, representing almost a third of the world’s population. Disability is also unique as a minority status in that it is an experience that will touch most people at some point during their lifetime. As such, attention to disability concerns and the growth of disability as a human rights issue stands to benefit every citizen of every nation. Therefore, we at HIP believe that a focus on disability is not only warranted at this point in human history, it is critical.
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