This past Sunday, on July 14th 2019, in correspondance with New York's Disability Pride Parade, Rome served as the host city for the Disabled Italians Parade. The streets of the capital were filled with disabled Italians and their supporters, as they marched through the bustling cobblestoned streets, celebrating and making themselves known in an effort to celebrate their lives and push for better recognition from the Italian government and society.
Despite Italy being home to approximately 3.2 million disabled citizens (according to a 2017 Istat report), disabled persons are still struggling with being seen with prominent urgency in the Italian public eye, with groups such as those representing the deaf in Italy fighting for sign language to be recognized as an official language, as is the case in many other European states.
While the Roman infrastructure may make it more difficult than in other places to accommodate those who are disabled, Rome is one of the first cities taking steps in the right direction. Andrea Venuto, Rome’s newly-appointed municipal manager is set to improve the lives of Rome’s disabled citizens.
The Italian capital's steps toward becoming a more universally accessible environment is echoed by the Italian region of Tuscany, which is setting the example of being very aware of and responsive to the needs of its disabled citizens and their families. As rightfully stated by president of Habilia, a Florence-based association for disabled people, Vito D’Aloisio, “you can never stop fighting for your rights. It’s always go, go, go, because if you stop, you risk losing them.”