In the morning, after they wake up, it is very difficult for people with disability to plan their day. And very often they have to be content just with imagination.
We are aware of the reasons of this sad reality: there is a lack in prostheses and support devices; houses often lack of lifts that would allow disabled people to enter and leave easily their homes; the unemployment rate among then is often high and therefore they despise themselves.
Furthermore, if I think of teenagers, in many places in this country as well as in many others around the world, schools have architectural features that deny access to the handicapped or, even worst, do not employ assistant teachers.
This happens because progress is not equally distributed and, therefore, is not for everyone.
In June 2014, the United Nations will organize a round table to support my battle for actionable Fundamental Rights, in conjunction with the last phase of my swimming world tour aimed at making people aware of the difficulties faced by disabled.
I hope that representatives from the field of science , the industries and the Hi-Tech sector – who are indeed able to gather their efforts in order to improve disabled people independence – would like to participate.
Scientific research, technological progress could be the most important tools in order to make our planet accessible and welcoming to all disabled individuals.
I have been disabled since I was 14 years old, when doctors decided to amputate my right leg because of an osteosarcoma.
After the operation, it was not easy at all to go back to my normal life. Years of chemotherapy followed, as well as physiotherapy sessions aimed at teaching me how to walk with the prosthesis, and psychological issues.
I was just a boy, struck by so dramatic circumstances, which I was unable to deal with on my own. I was able to move forward thanks to doctors’, nurses’ and physioterapists’ attention, expertise and helpfulness. And, obviously, also thanks to the majority of the teachers and schoolmates, for whom it was very hard as well to face all the issues that came along.
Living in Italy as a disabled person is not easy at all: there are many difficulties and we find ourselves dealing with problems due to the fact that the most basic needs of such a minority are not taken into account, and disabled people very often remain unheard.
On December 3rd the “Disabled People’ s Rights Day” , established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981, will be celebrated. So I would like to invite those who believe in Democracy, Equality, and Law to pay attention to inclusion and integration of disabled people.
Dreams do not fade away, people abandon them.
See you in New York.