In February 2006 Darrell Purdy, the Founder and President of LifeDream International Foundation, was granted 501(c)(3) status to formally move the work of his life's dream of responding to the hopes, dreams and wishes of men, women and children living with disabilities.
A grass roots organization, LifeDream has been building its capacity to very soon be able to offer an innovative whole person support program that delivers premium services to those living with disabilities. The goal is to ensure that anyone needing and wanting the best available support purposed to greatly minimize if not completely eradicate the impact role disabilities can play on the human spirit and the body.
About 57 million in the United States, or 1 in 5 Americans, live with disabilities, and about 38 million or 1 in 10 has a severe disability. Within that demographic 22.5% live with significant disabilities. And according to the World Health Organization there are a billion people living with some form of disability in the world (15% of the world's population) of which 200 million live with significant disabilities.
People living with disabilities continue to represent the most marginalized groups in the world. People with disabilities, the world over, have poorer health outcomes, lower education achievements, less access to economic resources, and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. By the way, rates of disability are increasing, due to population ageing and the global increase in chronic health conditions. And what we are learning is that the functional impact(s) of disability is not the only challenge facing those living with disabilities and too often not even the most significant challenge. Too often and for much too long people living with disabilities have been more affected by the impact of societal bias then by the complexity of a disability functional impacts.
People with disabilities still lag somewhat or far behind people without disabilities on 12 of the 13 key measures of quality of life. (The indicators that were measured include Employment, Poverty, Financial Situation , Education, Access to Healthcare, Access to Mental Health Services, Transportation, Socializing, Going to Restaurants, Attendance at Religious Services, Political Participation, Life Satisfaction, Technology)
â€śAcross the world, people with disabilities have poorer health outcomes, lower education achievements, less economic participation and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is partly because people with disabilities experience barriers in accessing services that many of us have long taken for granted, including health, education, employment, and transport as well as information. These difficulties are exacerbated in less advantaged communities.â€ť
In the coming days, weeks, months and years LifeDream will be building its capacity to meet its mission of supporting each person's desire to fully embrace their hopes, dreams and wishes regardless of disability impacts.
To do this LifeDream is gathering a team of experts to support making the impossible possible and the possible remarkable. LifeDream is putting together a holistic approach that captures the hopes, dreams and wishes of those living with disabilities while responding to the more immediate needs of the spirit, body and soul.
The present is filled with possibilities for those living with disabilities but the future is even brighter. LifeDream is in the process of identifying a site for its international campus. It will be a place where people living with disabilities , their families, and friends will be welcomed with opened arms and offered our services regardless of the complexity of the condition ability to pay. If LifeDream has services that can help they will be made available.
The best and most advanced technologies and resources will be a part of the LifeDream International Campus. The campus will also serve as a retreat site and a teaching facility where care providers from all over the world can come for specialized training in not only the "medical sciences" but the "sciences of the heart" as well.
Make no mistake, the work that LifeDream has begun is a battle that will require every resource available and every person willing to partner with LifeDream as it moves forward the work of inclusion and accessibility so that in ways that create pathways that lead to the fulfillment of the hopes, dreams and wishes of those living with disabilities who LifeDream has the opportunity and privilege to serve. Itâ€™s about time, donâ€™t you agree?
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