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I wanted to become a journalist since childhood – By Simona Petaccia

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Given that I couldn’t attend a recognized School of Journalism, I graduated from the Literature and Foreign Language University summa cum laude, because (Dreaming just a bit!) I thought that this kind of specialization could have been eventually useful to interview international personality or to write for a foreign review.

This didn’t happen. But, I agree with Jim Rohn: ‘If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse’. So, after I graduated, I worked for a daily for two years in order to achieve the admission into the Journalist’ National Order. Therefore, in 1999, I acquired the entry to the bulletin board of Journalists. Since then I wrote for several newspapers and I offered professional advice to many public and private entities.

Furthermore, in 2008, I founded “Diritti Diretti” (www.dirittidiretti.it): no-profit association created to contrast biases and stereotypes towards people with special physical, psychological, economic, social or family needs. In fact, we want to encourage a general awareness of their professional skills and their capacity for an active participation in the society.

Thanks to my job as President of Diritti Diretti, now I’m an expert in Education and Communications Strategy related to Accessible Tourism: Travel and accommodation facilities allowing persons with disabilities to enjoy Culture, Art, Nature, Environment, Sport, Leisure, Information, and Communication etc. without impediments. Then, Diritti Diretti gives me the chance to work with great international professionals and learn a lot from each of them.

This allow me to explain public or private managers how many opportunities of a socio-economic development can the accessibility give in all the declinations it assumes through the “everyone” daily life: Tourism, Natural and Cultural Heritage, Food, Mobility, Sustainability, Communication, Cultural Integration etc.

Diritti Diretti acts for the socio-economic development linked to the requalification of urban areas and measures of environmental improvement. In this way, we want to let everyone: REACH (Public Transport, Cab etc.); SLEEP (Hotel, Bed and Breakfast etc.); EAT (Restaurant, Pizzeria etc.); DISCOVER (Cultural Heritage, Tradition, Monuments etc.); HAVE FUN (Sports, Events etc.); BUY THINGS (Market, Outlet etc.); HAVE SUPPORT (Hospital, Dialysis Centre etc.).

Our aim is to create a more comfortable society, safe and accessible for everyone: old persons; pregnant women; families with little babies; people with permanent or temporary disabilities; individuals who needs particular diets and/or have food allergy and intolerance etc.

That’s why each kind of project is studied, planned and realized by paying the greater attention. For this reason, I love them all. Anyway, if I should choose the beloved ones, I kindly remember both each training course with which we have shared our “Accessibility Virus” in students coming from all over Italy and the lovely people’s participation in our fundraising ideas for raising money to buy a swing for children with disabilities who are confined to wheelchairs the ability to enjoy one of childhood’s greatest joys – the act of swinging.

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You can link up with me on Facebook and LinkedIn (Simona Petaccia) or follow Diritti Diretti on Twitter (@DirittiDiretti).