19-20 October 20203 – Lisboa, Portugal
Portugal, a country renowned for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, has also been making significant strides in ensuring accessibility and inclusivity for all its citizens. On October 19-20th, all project partners from Call4Action project gathered together to celebrate National Accessibility Day in Lisbon, a day dedicated to acknowledging and promoting equal access to facilities, services, and opportunities for people with disabilities. This day reflects Portugal’s commitment to fostering an inclusive society and promoting accessibility for everyone.
One day before the big event, on 19th October project leader organization Association Salvador from Portugal organized partners meeting where representatives from Impulsa Igualdad from Spain and Poraka Nova from Macedonia attended, in order to discuss the past and future activities of the project, finalization of the survey, dissemination of the event in Lisbon and creating the upcoming courses.
The 20th October was reserved for the big event where +50 people attended and more than +300 followed the event through live streaming on social media to hear good practices from different countries related to accessibility topic, to hear what are the remaining accessibility issues in the country, real stories from people with disabilities and achievements made from companies and individuals. This day not only encourages open discussions and fosters a sense of empathy and understanding among all citizens, but moreover raises awareness on this topic.
The event Accessibility Talks was opened with a speech from the founder of Association Salvador, Salvador Mendes de Almeida, and then a good practice sharing was presented by the project partners Impulsa Igualidad and Poraka Nova. Afterwards, a round table of panel discussion was held on the topic of “How do we connect employability and accessibility? Are companies prepared?”.
After this session Ines Oom from Santander spoke about the importance of companies to reshape their work into inclusive work culture transformation and make inclusive job opportunities for people with disabilities, create welcoming and accessible environment for all.
As a final speaker was Catarina Oliveira, Nutritionist and Influencer, real enthusiast, motivator who provided us with an overview of some latest numbers related to people with disabilities and employability. She pointed out the real-life barriers they are facing when trying to find a job, the adaptation in a work place that needs to be done in order to have unhindered work flow. To quote “If your company doesn’t have elevator, or huge stairs, not wide enough entrance door etc…then yes, I am disabled person who cannot finish the tasks. But if you adapt your place to our needs, then no, I don’t have disability and that shouldn’t stop me from finishing my duties”.
The event was closed from Salvador Mendes de Ameida. He was grateful that we all gathered together not only to celebrate the day, but to raise awareness for the accessibility, that we have still a lot to be done. We are all in this together.
We are happy that we had a chance to meet the project partners in person and be part of this unique event, to hear inspirational stories and to learn how to create more inclusive and accessible communities.
The path to accessibility is inaccessible, sometimes we have to scroll like a baby, sometimes we need to make little baby steps, sometimes we will be facing difficulties, and in order to succeed we are not going to give up.