martedì 17 maggio 2011

To mobility and indipendent living for disabled people

We have reached stage 5, after Israel, Slovenia and Argentina (the fourth stage in Mexico was, unfortunately, canceled by FINA due to poor safety of waters, and will be recovered upon later date). As scheduled, here comes Canada.

Let me take this opportunity to thank the United World Board for wanting to share the core values of my project and especially for the realization of what will – hopefully – be a stage which we will hold in our minds in the long-term, both from a social point of view, since Canada, and in particular the Board, has always adopted a policy of inclusion and integration of people with a specific attention towards people with disabilities, and from the point of view of sports, as the weather and sea conditions will not be the easiest ones: just think of the water temperature around 8 degrees Celsius in this period, and the external temperature that is expected to be 17 degrees at most (basically we are not so far from Alaska!). It is therefore a crossing of 20 km affected by many difficulties, and only being able of reaching the finish line will be – let me exaggerate – an epic adventure!

Certainly many people will wonder why I stubbornly face increasing difficulty, rather than settle for some swimming here and there, just to keep trained. Those who know me well already know the answer: I do so hoping, on my behalf and in addition to the many others who daily strive for this, that it is useful to remind the world, and my country in particular, the hardships that still stand in the way between society and disabled people.

For this, I would like to dedicate this stage to mobility and independent living by inviting those States that have not yet ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons to do so as soon as possible and asking others to create the conditions for equal participation:

- to raise awareness of society and of disabled people about their own rights;

- to ensure effective medical assistance for disabled people;

- to provide rehabilitation services for disabled people so that they can reach and maintain their optimum level of independence and functionality;

- to ensure the development and operation of support services for disabled people, in order for them to improve their level of independence and to enable them to fully apply their rights, and finally to link those services to people’s needs.

I would like to greet you recalling the love, support, and the proximity of those who support me: without their trust, I would not have been able to develop this wonderful project, swimming in the seas worldwide, for a world without barriers and without frontiers.


Salvatore Cimmino

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