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Sif at the Islanding conference 2021

We are different but we are no less valuable

Sif Holst retired when she was only 26 years old after she fell ill, but is today the vice-chairwoman of the Danske handicaporganisationer, a sister organization of the Icelandic Disability Association.

Working together to achieve more. Sif Holst

European Disability Forum spoke with Sif Holst as a disability rights advocate and Danish candidate to the #CRPD Committee about her vision, the importance of data and the advancement of disability rights and women and girls with disabilities.

Speech General Debate COSP14

The Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was held under the shadow of pandemic. This was the main theme for Sif Holst speech during the General Debate. Watch the video

Changing the mindset: Employment for people with disability

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on our societies – and on the number of unemployed people with disabilities. Our experience with working from home could open new opportunities, and we need to take advantage of this. But in order to fulfill our Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) obligations and ensure opportunities for, for example, people with psychosocial disabilities, we need to do more, we need to change our mindset.

Healthcare for people with disabilities

Back in 2009 I got cancer for the second time, a recurrence. But during my first battle with cancer I was not yet dependent on my wheelchair and so there was some practical issues, which needed to be addressed before my radioactive treatment. I knew from the first round that the hospital I was in did not have any wheelchair accessible bathrooms in connection with the isolation room. And when I made the staff aware of this issue, the answer was “Are you sure you want the treatment”. Eventually the problem was solved, and I was offered the treatment at another hospital in another part of the country.

But unfortunately, I am not the only one to experience situations such as this. In Disabled People’s Organisations Denmark, we have become aware of people with disabilities, being turned away from national cancer screening programs and we have tried to raise awareness about the unequal access to health, that exist when you have a disability – even when you live in Denmark.

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