JANIS McDAVID speaks about making the impossible possible


Born without arms and legs, 25 year old Janis McDavid from Germany is an inspiring personality who travels across the world to motivate and inspire youth and persons with disability to reach their potential. Janis, an undergraduate in economics at Witten/Herdecke University in Western Germany lives in a disability friendly apartment and attends to his classes and other requirements in an automated wheelchair. But living with a disability has not been easy in the past and continues to hold its challenges for Janis. Living with a disability is a challenge foremost at the individual level where the person must accept his or her disability. Having a positive attitude is an important first step. Another crucial barrier is the attitude of family and society in accepting the individual with a disability and respecting his and her right to be independent. Not many countries in the world hold conducive legal, attitudinal and structural environments for persons with disabilities, and Germany is recognized as a country that is progressive in this respect. Having ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability in February of 2016, Sri Lanka is at a positive cross-road to introduce new legislation and progressive social protection schemes that can truly empower the capabilities of those with disabilities.

On Monday the 9th of January 2017, Janis will be speaking at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, to an audience comprising youth and persons with disabilities, rights advocates, disability service organizations, representatives from civil society organizations and government about his journey to date. It is an opportunity to understand the context in which Janis grew up, what assisted him to overcome his disability and to reach his potential; and what continues to inspire him to pursue his dreams.

(To participate please contact Lakmali at 112685085 / 112679745 or email lakmalices@gmail.com / nirmi.ices@gmail.com - International Centre for Ethnic Studies, No 02, Kynsey Terrace, Colombo 08)

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