8 October 2015 12:30

Happy Hand On Tour. To promote a new disability culture.

An important listed company like Immobiliare Grande Distribuzione (IGD), one of the main players in Italy’s retail property market, involved in the development and management of shopping centers throughout Italy: FISH (Federazione Italiana per il Superamento dell’Handicap – the Italian Federation for Overcoming Physical Challenges) which incorporates ten or so associations of the physically challenged and their families: CIP (Comitato Italiano Paralimpico – the Italian Special Olympics Committee), to which the many federations of physically challenged athletes belong: the WTKG (Willy the King Group) Association, which has been organizing the successful Bolognese event Happy Hand for years: COOP – these are the partners that will be launching the Happy Hand on Tour project over the coming months.

In reality IGD has already begun taking steps to enhance accessibility at its centers and with Happy Hand on Tour the company intends to continue to move in this direction, focusing on presenting disabilities in a positive light and furthering the cultural battle that FISH has been conducting for more than twenty years based, first and foremost, on the idea that a physical disability is not an addiction or a sickness, but is something that is tightly connected to the environment, culture and prejudice.  Under the right conditions, in fact, the physically challenged study, work, practice sports, go on vacation, have active social lives and create their own families.  We should never forget, either, that having a disability is not unusual as millions of individuals are impacted by physical challenges and anyone can encounter them at any time during their lives.

But how do you convey this new disability culture to other individuals and fellow citizens? Using high impact tools like sports, on the one hand, and creative-artistic expression, on the other, in order to raise the awareness, for example, of shopping center visitors through meetings with known athletes,with and without disabilities, as well as the chance to get involved directly in activities like sitting volley, wheelchair basketball and rugby, table tennis, bocce ball, handcycling, tennis, fencing and foosball. At the same time, concerts, theatrical events, exhibits, creative comic strip workshops, painting, videos and much more, will also be offered.

The initiative will be kicked off on 8 October in Livorno and will continue through early 2016.  A full schedule of events will be offered attwenty-six shopping centers in Lazio, in Piedmont, in Trentino Alto Adige, in Emilia Romagna, in Lombardy, in Veneto, in Campania, in Sicily, in Abruzzo and the Marche.