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International Day of Persons with Disabilities
December 3, 2014
Persons with disabilities had no rights before 1994. They had no recourse even if they were denied basic services such as education, health, rehabilitation and social grants on the basis of race, geographical location, gender, age or ability, as these were deemed privileges of a few.
But this only served to galvanise persons with disabilities to action, and the release of the Disability Rights Charter of South Africa in 1992 set the tone for how disability was to be approached in our new democracy.
The inclusion of the equality and non-discrimination clause in the Bill of Rights, with discrimination on the basis of disability specifically outlawed, was the first concrete step in entrenching a rights-based approach towards disability in the new South Africa.