Human Rights are Universal
By Nicole Flynn, Associate Consultant
December 10, 2022 starts a year long campaign in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The slogan for this campaign “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All” amplifies the Universal Declaration which states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. The UDHR contains an introduction and thirty articles which states that human rights are universal. They can’t be used to exclude a group of people. No one is left out, the rights state that all people are valuable.
People who have lived experience with intersectionalities, that are not part of mainstream society, are excluded, devalued and dehumanized. Attributes and intersectionalities do not define humanity. Humans are equal, unique in their own special way, with views, experiences, strengths and abilities. In 1992, the United Nations declared December 3rd as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The purpose of this day is to increase the awareness of the lives of people who have disability as an intersectionality.
The theme for IDPD 2022, is creating positive solutions for the inclusion of persons who have disabilities. The goal is to achieve an accessible and equitable world. To do this, positive change involving actions that lead to solutions need to happen. Inclusive sport is an example of how people who have a disability are able to be part of a community. However, there needs to be a focus on positive solutions that help make people who live with disability part of the working community. By working together, self-advocates (people who identify as having a disability), employees, decision makers, educators, and community leaders can bring about positive change. For example, assistive technology may be used to accommodate an employee to make mainstream employment possible. The option of working remotely also increases flexibility around the work schedule and allows for self-care. The use of technology has an important role in making employment both accessible and successful.
Communities are also encouraged to develop conversation, collectively share tools, and methods for increasing inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. The discussion needs to get rolling, not just thinking about ways to be inclusive, but actively seeking solutions and trying new procedures. Getting together to share knowledge, different perspectives, and problem solving, will expand awareness and activate change.
Exploring different ways to include people who are typically marginalized will benefit communities. Sport is often used as a model of inclusivity. The attitude toward an athlete, who identifies as disabled, is generally positive and encouraging, often asking “How can this sport be made inclusive and accessible?”
Presently, many athletes who have a disability are competing in mainstream sport. There has been a development of specialized equipment to increase inclusion. An example is the sip’n puff device installed on the Martin 16 sailboat permitting a person who has a disability to skip independently. Since technology has been successful in sport, perhaps technology could also be used to increase inclusion in the workplace. Like in sport, employers need to ask the question, “How can this workplace be made inclusive and accessible?”
December is a great time to have conversations about positive solutions that will make communities more equitable, diverse, and inclusive for all. Let’s remember that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is for all people. No one is lost, forgotten, or excluded. All people have an important role in the community and a voice to be heard.
Nicole Flynn is from the rural area of Centre Hastings, Ontario. She is a graduate of the Loyalist College General Arts and Science diploma program (not modified). Nicole is an entrepreneur, an Associate Consultant with People Minded Business Inc. (PMB), and an international medalist in three sports. She is a global citizen who believes in freedom, power, and prosperity for everyone.
Nicole’s goal is to experience and learn more about what is happening around the world and to share her knowledge with others. It is her hope that by reading Nicole’s Notes, people will broaden their perspective, re-evaluate their assumptions and attitudes, and bring their creative ideas and inputs to the table.