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.
On Friday 25th I was Keynote Speaker on DTU Green Challenge. The following is a modified version of that speech. Denmark has launched the new
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.
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
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.
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.
I am a candidate to the CRPD. I am also a woman with a disability a raredisease and I live with chronicpain and Sightsavers asked me to share a little about myself and why I believe we need a #EqualUN
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, the #CRPD, talks about #accessibility, about enabling “persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life”. But how do we achieve this? In this article I write about the right to access, about UniversalDesign, about my favorite commercial example and the need to also work with UniversalCourtesy, done so well by Copenhagen Airport with the Sunflower Lanyard in order to achieve full access – including achieving accessibility for people with psychosocial disabilities
In order to achieve more, we need to work together.
This week I have mainly focused on the Nordic copperation and the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market. Focusing on new opportunities, but also concerned about the digital divide and an increasing gab in education.