Award-winning para athlete, Deejay Manaleng, has called for a greater focus on visibility, equal access and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Speaking on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Manaleng said: “We represent 15% of the global population. May we (all of us) continue to fight for the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.”
3 December is International Day of Persons With Disability. We represent 15% of the global population. May we (all of us) continue to fight for the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. Highlight the importance of visibility, equal access and opportunities. pic.twitter.com/A5IvCtIQBs
— deejay manaleng (@deejaymanaleng) December 3, 2021
Manaleng says Covid-19 isn’t making things any easier.
“It has impacted access to medical equipment eg: A catheter – they are used by disabled persons who have bladder issues. Some had to be moved back home from facilities that took care of them meaning, they were moving back to a ‘hostile environment’”, she said.
Speaking about urgent assistance required for para athletes in particular, Manaleng said: “As for para-athletes they will always need financial assistance, equipment and most importantly therapy.
“And definitely better media coverage for all, and not just the same group of individuals. There are a truck-load of athletes who are unknown but are doing amazing things, and all they need is financial support and coverage.
Manaleng is a journalist with EWN Sport and an advocate for equal access and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
In July 2018, she was selected as one of the 100 Young Mandela’s of the future. Through her leadership, creativity, resilience, vision and compassion, Deejay has made incredible efforts to make a difference in the lives of others and shown persistence to achieve her dreams against all odds.
Shortly afterwards, she was honoured on the Momentum gsport Awards stage as a Ministerial Recognition of Excellence winner.
Congratulations to everyone involved in building and supporting women in sports. As an athlete, manager, supporter, parent, friend, lover, sponsor, club, media, you name it. It takes a village to create beautiful moments. #gsport13 https://t.co/SKLsFiL91T
— deejay manaleng (@deejaymanaleng) September 1, 2018
In 2019, Manaleng was named as one of 200 Young South Africans by Mail & Guardian, for using her platform to raise funds and awareness for the needs of persons with disabilities.
Photo Caption: Champion para athlete, Deejay Manaleng, calls for financial assistance and increased media coverage as the world marks International Day of Persons with Disability. #IDPWD2021 Photo: Deejay Manaleng (Twitter)