A unique partnership between UK employment charity Shaw Trust and international sports technology business Ottobock, is calling for greater access to sport and assistive technology to achieve independence for disabled people.
Shaw Trust and Ottobock will be using the 23rd Rehabilitation International World Congress in Edinburgh this year as a platform to raise the awareness of the importance of sport in rehabilitation and an active lifestyle for people living with disabilities.
The World Congress takes place every four years and is a unique opportunity to build a stronger international movement aimed at promoting the social inclusion of disabled people. There will be more than 65 countries represented at the event and speakers include HRH The Princess Royal and First Minster for Scotland, the Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP.
Shaw Trust is the UK’s leading employment, learning and skills charity and has joined forces with Ottobock, a company committed to improving the mobility of people with disabilities through cutting-edge prosthetic technology including limbs and wheelchairs designed specifically for sport, as main sponsors of the event.
Roy O’Shaughnessy, Shaw Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “Disability sport transforms lives and allows everyone in society to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. At the Rehabilitation International World Congress we will be calling on the global community to offer greater access to sport and assistive technology so that disabled people can achieve greater independence. Shaw Trust and Ottobock are committed to delivering a more inclusive world through technology. We believe that a more mobile global community ensures that disabled people from all backgrounds have the chance to achieve their life ambitions.”
Ottobock was the Official Technical service supplier to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and has been a partner to the Paralympic Games since 1988. With their experience they understand how important it is to deliver functional and durable assistive technology to improve disabled people’s mobility and quality of life.
Innovation in disability sport is helping amateur and professional athletes to be more active and achieve more both on and off the field. For example, Ottobock has provided equipment to and work with successful athletes who competed at the recent Rio Paralympic Games. This includes their ambassadors, British gold medallists, paracyclist Megan Giglia and paratriathlete Andy Lewis, rising wheelchair racing star and British silver and bronze medallist Kare Adenegan, and the German gold medal sprinter, Heinrich Popow who will attend the World Congress to share his experience.
Dr. Berit Hamer, Head of International Cooperation at Ottobock, said: “We just experienced at the Paralympics in Rio how the athletes maximised their full potential trusting their strength regardless of any physical limitations. This passion, discipline and strong-minded performance keeps on impressing me and working for Ottobock I am proud to be able to contribute to realising their dreams by providing the adequate know-how, equipment and services. The Rehabilitation International World Congress will reinforce the message that inclusion of persons with disabilities affects all areas of social life and needs a strong commitment of society.”
This year is the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Shaw Trust and Ottobock are calling on the Member States of the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities to increase their efforts in implementing their signed commitment to improve access to mobility aids, assistive devices and technologies as a human rights obligation thus ensuring equality for all disabled people.
One of the key ways to achieve change and improve inclusion will be greater international collaboration, promoting state-of-the-art assistive technology and high quality services in developing countries where access to such advances is limited.
The partnership of Shaw Trust and Ottobock at the Rehabilitation International World Congress represents a step forward towards inclusion.