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Greg Dorey

Diplomat

Part of UK in Hungary

3rd December 2011

Working with the Disabled

3 December 2011 is the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  This year’s theme is “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development”.

In recent years the British Embassy in Budapest has engaged in a variety of projects relevant to this theme:

  • In 2009 our Away Day was at Ability Park, a Hungarian theme park to allow people to experience what it is like to have different types of disability;
  • In 2010 and in 2011 I and colleagues completed the challenge course  at Ability Park’s site at the Sziget Music Festival;
  • In October 2010 I helped open the Wheelchair Fencing World Cup championships in Eger;
  • In 2011 we made both the Embassy (on the occasion of a “500 days to go” to the Olympics event) and the Residence (for the Queen’s Birthday Party) wheelchair accessible and staged Palaympic sports events;
  • In November 2011 I was proud to be asked to award medals to Hungarian Para -athletes; and
  • We are sponsoring Ability Park’s Paralympic competition, the winners of which will travel to London to cheer for Hungarian Paralympians.

I should also mention our financial support (for the second year) of the Hungarian Suhanj! Foundation (supporting the disabled and visually impaired to be physically active). Activities with Suhanj! included:

  • We displayed a Suhanj! photo exhibition at our “500 days to go” event; and
  • We sponsored the sporting activities of blind and partially blind people (spinning and yoga classes).

On the occasion of the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne said:

“As the Minister at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I am delighted that the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2011  will be taking as its theme “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development” “This inclusiveness is something that the UK, as host nation for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), sees as an essential part of London 2012. “The UK is committed to hosting the most accessible Games ever and London 2012 is the first Games where the planning and organisation of the Olympics and Paralympics has been fully integrated. Disability access has been incorporated into the design and structure of the buildings, open spaces and public transport for 2012. “So as the UN uses 3 December 2011 to encourage the inclusion of disabled people in development initiatives, I hope that London 2012 will likewise encourage inclusion to be at the heart of planning for major sporting and cultural events for years to come.”