The Department for Communities and Disability Sport NI today co-hosted an online event to celebrate the 29th United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The international day aims to highlight the benefits of including disabled people in every aspect of community life.
The event had an emphasis on showcasing the importance of disability sport on both an elite and non-elite basis.
Minister Hargey said:
"It has been another difficult year for everyone, but particularly for those with disabilities. COVID has continued to highlight the pre-existing inequalities in our society and highlighted the need to work together on creating inclusive, diverse and vibrant communities.
"I take great encouragement from the initiatives shared today that are being taken forward by my Department and Disability Sport NI. Sport provides one way for our community to come together, either through participating in sporting activities or through the communal enjoyment of spectating on our favourite sports and athletes."
"Deaf and disabled people make an important contribution to our communities and we must maintain our focus on protecting their rights. My Department is progressing work on the Executive's new Disability Strategy which will provide a focus to our collective efforts in promoting the equality of Deaf and disabled people."
Kevin O'Neill, Chief executive of Disability Sport NI said:
"We are delighted to partner with the Department of for Communities on this event which provided an overview of a series of inclusive sports and recreation projects which are enabling local disabled people to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle, contributing to a more inclusive Northern Ireland.
"It is crucial we continue to encourage and support disabled people to get involved in inclusive sports and recreation opportunities in their local area as we emerge from the COVID-19 Pandemic."
Details on the ongoing development of the Disability Strategy can be found here: Disability Strategy