Less than 25 years ago, a lot of disabled people were living in institutions, hidden 'in the forests'. The one opportunity they were allowed to go 'out', they received a Monday-afternoon free entry at fair time. Disabled men and women who were a little older, could do their Christmas-shopping on a (selected) weeknight at the local department store.
Since then, people with a disability no longer depend on charity. They strive after equal rights for people with and without a disability. This starting-point of equal rights even is laid down in the 'Standard Rules' of the United Nations. These Rules are endorsed by the city-council of Nijmegen; they were the first municipality in Europe to do so. The Rules are about equal rights in the fields of accessibility of premises and public space, work, mobility, education, living, et cetera.
Sports also are of great importance in the integration of the disabled in society. Especially when hiking, integration of people in a wheelchair is possible and easy.
The Working-group Integration of the Disabled (WIG), the national Dutch Council of the Disabled and the Netherlands Federation for Adapted Sports (NEBAS) have been pleading for years for the entry of wheelchairusers to the International Four Day Long Distance March in Nijmegen. People in a wheelchair want to participate for the exact same reason as those other 35.000 participants: the performance and the unique atmosphere. Wheelchairusers, we think, deserve to be equally rewarded for an equal performance. They deserve the Four Day March Medal, instead of a certificate. That's why we run this campaign:
'Of course (wheelchairusers also deserve) a medal'
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