Belfast Telegraph

Inaugural Disability Pride event hits Belfast

By Colin Francis

Thousands of people took to the streets of Belfast for a Disability Pride international carnival and family fun day on Saturday.

People who are living with disabilities took part in the event, which started at Writers' Square before parading along Royal Avenue to City Hall.

Disability Pride began in Chicago 10 years ago to celebrate the lives of disabled people. This year's event was the first in Northern Ireland.

Parade participants walked or travelled in their wheelchairs in costume or formation with a vintage and modern bus showing the difference in accessiblity for disabled people made in public transport.

Disabled people are a large proportion of the population with 17.4% of people here living with a disability, including more than 200,000 adults.

Contrary to popular perception, 95% of disabled people do not use wheelchairs and very few disabled people, just 3%, are born with a disability, while almost two out of every five homes include at least one person with a disability.

Christine Collins of the Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership 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."

Belfast Telegraph

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