Belize City, Belize: The Live and Let Live Campaign is pleased to launch a new public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness among Belizeans on experiences of discrimination faced by persons living with disabilities or diverse abilities.
The new PSA underscores the importance of treating all Belizeans with respect. Too often, many Belizeans do not get to hear from persons living with disabilities or learn about how they continue to overcome challenges in our society, such as difficulty in accessing public buildings, commuting on public transportation or pursuing fulfilling careers.
Like others aired on TV in recent weeks as part of the Live and Let Live Campaign, the PSA harnesses the power of personal stories and our shared values as Belizeans to build public support and understanding for our neighbors who have, for too long been unable to fulfill their true potential simply because of their differing and diverse abilities.
Mirna Chavez, mother, wife and member of the Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities (BAPDA) who features in the PSA recently launched, reminds us that, “We should treat others the way you would want you and your family to be treated. I do everything that you do…just in a different way.”
“Our new PSA is a story about zest for life; about overcoming physical limitations and even psychological barriers instilled by others,” says Dr. Minerva Pinelo, Campaign Coordinator for Live and Let Live. “Too often we focus on a person’s disability first, without seeing beyond a wheelchair or a speech impairment. Instead we should be inspired by their enthusiasm for life, their determination and resilience.”
“And especially now more than ever, as our country thinks about resilience given the first confirmed case of COVID-19, let us not forget to draw from these lessons of how neighborly love, respect and support can make us less vulnerable as a society,” added Pinelo.
“Our Abilities are Greater than Our Disabilities is not only our motto, it is about how the world is to view us,” says Ms. Roxanne Marin, President of BAPDA. “BAPDA firmly believes that Belizeans must show respect to all members of our society. We should never underestimate the potential
and intelligence of a person with a disability. Our political leaders must consider reforms to include persons living differently and diversely able lives.”
We invite anyone who shares the belief that no Belizean should be treated differently because of who they are, to share their story with us on our website www.LiveAndLetLive.BZ and to follow us on social media.
Live and Let Live is a campaign rooted in Belizean values that aims to elevate the stories of real people who have faced discrimination – either personally or through the experience of their loved ones – and believe it’s time to spark a national conversation about the importance of treating all Belizeans with respect. This campaign will harness the power of personal stories and our shared values as Belizeans to build public support and understanding for our neighbors who have for too long been treated differently simply because of who they are.