“Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an Inclusive Society for all” is the theme of the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2013 – an event dedicated to celebrating the experience and capabilities of people with disabilities  to acknowledge and better their lives. With similar goals, the ACSA Disability Trade and Lifestyle Exhibition and Conference last month in Johannesburg showcased how people with disabilities can live independent and productive lives if they have access to the right resources.

“Careers for people with disabilities” was the overriding theme for the Expo. Designed to allow a full range of South African companies and organizations, including I Can!, to offer recruiting opportunity for people with disabilities as well as allowing suppliers to present and promote their products . There were more than a dozen fun activities and entertainment events including wheelchair tennis and basketball, curdling, wall climbing, archery and a pop concert.

This annual event attracts more than 2,000 visitors and is the only public showcase on the African continent where people with any kind of disability, their caregivers, families and friends can find the manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and service providers that offer products and services necessary to empower and improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

The conference objectives is to provide a platform for people with disabilities to engage with like-minded individuals, groups and stakeholders, express themselves and explore the enhancement of environments inside and outside the living and working spaces of people with disabilities.