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May 2015: WeAreOpen @ Rehab Critical Mass

WeAreOpen joined Rehab Critical Mass, a parade that aims to celebrate the fact that “we’re all able in different ways”, and to raise awareness of the social exclusion of people living with disabilities. Below you can read the official press release of the organizers and here you can see photos that were shot at the parade.

Official press release of the Rehab Cricital Mass organizers:

Parade to call for an improvement in the quality of life of people living with disabilities
2nd Rehab Critical Mass – We’re all able in different ways

Those living with disabilities – people with impairments to their mobility, sight, hearing, speech or cognitive ability – and their friends, acquaintances and supporters will hold the second Rehab Critical Mass parade. The aim of the event is to celebrate the fact that “we’re all able in different ways”, and to raise awareness of the social exclusion of people living with disabilities and serious problems and failings that need to be tackled without delay. The participants will gather at 2 p.m. on Sunday, 17 May on Clark Ádám tér and then parade across Chain Bridge to Erzsébet tér at 3 p.m. Concerts and cultural and family entertainment will be put on at the venues. International companies and Hungarian businesses will take part in the event for the first time this year with the We’re Open initiative. For detailed information, please see the Facebook page of the event.

The initiative draws on recognition of the fact that people living with disabilities share the difficulty of asserting their interests. They lack equal opportunities to participate in day-to-day life, whether it be a question of studying, working or entertainment. Rehab Critical Mass is a grassroots event that sets out, among other things, to create a solidarity-based community that “able” members of society can also be part of, as an alternative to isolated, individual struggles. That can provide effective help to policy makers in creating a motivating environment and increasing social acceptance – with the involvement of those concerned.

Almost three thousand people celebrated and paraded cheerfully through the streets of the city centre at last year’s parade. So many people living with so many different kinds of disability had never gathered together in public before. The event succeeded in drawing attention to their social exclusion, and dialogue got underway with those concerned, their advocacy organisations and the social work profession. 

The participants (the organisers are expecting some 5000 people to attend) will gather at 2 p.m. on Sunday, 17 May 2015 on Clark Ádám tér for the 2nd Rehab Critical Mass and then parade across Chain Bridge together to Erzsébet tér at 3 p.m., where concerts and other entertainment will be put on. The performers will include Republic, Tilla, Dénes Pál, Söndörgő, Gentry Sultan, Bori Rutkai, Zoli Beck/30Y, Hősök, Eszterlánc, Kristóf Horváth “Actor Bob”, Imre Tunyogi, Nemadomfel and many more.

We’re all talented in something, regardless of whether we have a disability or not. By discovering the unique abilities of people living with disabilities (for instance, those with visual impairments have far more finely tuned hearing) we can personally experience the message behind the parade: “We’re all able in different ways”. The Rehab Critical Mass movement aims to integrate people living with disabilities into society and prevent them from being excluded.

The clips here and here provide insight into the everyday difficulties, struggles, desires and plans of people living with disabilities.

Internal companies and Hungarian businesses, including Prezi, espell, Google, Auchan, BP and IBM, will take part in the parade for the first time this year with the WeAreOpen initiative. They encourage other open companies to join the celebrations and raise awareness of the fact that “we’re all able in different ways”. By doing so they hope to inspire others too.

The organisers will provide marquees, barrier-free parking, barrier-free toilets and accompaniment for the duration of the event. The event itself and its communications will be barrier-free, child-friendly and family-friendly.

Those living with disabilities look forward to welcoming others in the same situation, as well as all those who would like to participate in order to draw the attention of policy makers to the serious problems faced by people living with disabilities.

All those who support the efforts of Rehab Critical Mass are also invited to sign the petition of the organisers.