Flash mob to celebrate people with disability 

MANY disabled people say physical barriers to movement are the least of their problems.

As the Hunter marked the International Day of People with a Disability today, those who attended said community attitudes to disability were often the hardest obstacles to overcome.

A crowd estimated at more than 400 people turned celebrations into a rousing affirmation of confidence.

The Foreshore tram sheds venue attracted disabled people from all over the Hunter Region.

Disability Network Hunter secretary Karen Stace said the Hunter had a higher proportion of people needing care than anywhere else in NSW.

Ms Stace said the theme of this year’s event was to encourage everyone, particularly employers, to value disabled people and make it easier for them to contribute to society.

‘‘Physical barriers are always an issue,’’ Ms Stace said.

‘‘But one of the biggest issues is community attitudes towards disabled people and their social isolation.’’

Don’t DIS my ABILITY ambassador Melanie Schlaeger, 25, from Eleebana,  said it was ‘‘paramount’’ for the disabled to be seen to be contributing to society.

Today’s get together included a flash mob dance.

Flash mobs are spontaneous gatherings of people that usually end in a dance.

The Newcastle event was held jointly by Newcastle City Council and Lake Macquarie City Council.

The International Day of People with a Disability will be marked officially on December 3.

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