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GDI Hub celebrate IDPD: "Education is a Tool"

International Day of Persons With Disabilities

Today on the 3rd December is "International Day of Persons With Disabilities" (IDPD). The annual day, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, serves to promote the rights of disabled people in all areas of life and well-being and increase global awareness about the key issues facing disabled people around the world. The 2021 theme is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world".

To mark this important date GDI Hub are celebrating by amplifying the voices of disabled people through a series of blogs.

Every person brings a unique perspective, an expert in their own experience. Each story, each voice, is an opportunity to change the narrative on disability, contributing to a collective call to action to make disability rights a reality.

Happy #IDPD 2021


Education is a Tool

To a large extent I believe education is a tool which can help people overcome numerous problems.

My name is Msafiri. Basically, I am from Tanzania, I was among the first Master of Science in Disability Design and Innovation (DDI) cohort 2019/2020.

Although the course interfered with the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, I succeeded in finishing the course as I expected. I was inspired to join this course after realising that Innovation and technology have the potential to have a transformative impact. This can be manifested in an aspect of our ability to solve some of the toughest global challenges, including those challenges facing Persons with disabilities. I enjoyed all aspects of the course and developed a deeper understanding of disabilities issues. All this would not have been possible without the excellent quality of teaching by the lecturers and overall support by the course team.

Honestly, studying MSc Disability, Design and Innovation at the University College London has been an intellectually stimulating experience. I feel lucky to join a unique course at a prestigious university. Overall, my experience at UCL has helped me develop a sense of self-worth and avoid a tendency of being fearful, a behaviour that I consider to be a dream-killer behaviour; however, as I proceed in this aspect, I take the precaution of not being arrogant as well as I pursue my goal. Mostly, as a Person with a disability, working with persons with disabilities to this moment is my passion. Therefore, I was motivated by the desire to be of service to others and rise above limitations and accomplish what others say cannot be done.

After I graduated from UCL, I went on to proceed with my previous job; the national human rights commission. Furthermore, I am involved in many disability initiatives, this includes a number of collaborations in disability and human rights context, this includes Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) at grassroots level, I collaborate with local innovators and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on a voluntary basis.

In general, my stay at UCL was really transformative. I had some opportunities to mingle with people. This included those from different faculties, ethnic and nationalities; that phenomenally helped me understand the basic thing that I am a human being first and the importance of being competent in different aspects keep on growing. I was impressed with a wide range of academic professionals, cultures, skills and knowledge this course involved; it helped me learn a lot outside and inside the classroom. Up to this moment, I keep on learning a lot around Disability Innovation.

So as I begin my journey to achieve my dreams all I can say is thank you "the Snowdon scholarship, the Global Disability Innovation Hub, University College London; Loughborough University and University of Arts London" for giving me an opportunity to pursue this further education. To a large extent I believe education is a tool which can help people overcome numerous problems. Receiving this Msc is a tremendous gift for me to re-invest back into my community and society.

Views expressed in this blog, and references used, belong to the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Global Disability Innovation Hub and its staff.