International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today, December 3rd 2018, marks the 27th annual United Nations International Day of Personals with Disabilities (IDPD) – a day marked to acknowledge and empower those living with disabilities and to encourage countries around the world to work towards an environment that is truly inclusive for all.

The theme of this year’s IDPD is, “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. This theme focuses on the empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2030 Agenda, pledging to “leave no one behind,” is an ambitious plan of action of the international community towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where dignity of an individual person and equality among all is applied as the fundamental principle, cutting across the three pillars of the work of the United Nations: Development, Human Rights and Peace and Security. It is critical to ensure, in this regard, the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.”  To read the full update from the UN on IDPD 2018, click here

In addition to official events and discussions hosted by the United Nations, countless organizations across the world are working to spread the word and celebrate IDPD 2018. Below is a note from our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau on the efforts being made towards an inclusive and accessible Canada.

“Millions of Canadians live with a disability. They are our parents, spouses, children, colleagues, neighbours, and friends. They are entitled to the same rights and protections as everyone else. Yet, every day, many Canadians with disabilities face unacceptable barriers that hold them back and keep our country from becoming a truly equal place.

“While we have made progress towards a more accessible and inclusive society, much work remains to be done. Too many Canadians with disabilities continue to have to break down barriers and fight battles, seen and unseen, alone. Too many face stigma and exclusion where they should find acceptance and support. And too many find their potential limited because of stereotypes and closed minds.

“Over the last three years, the Government of Canada has taken steps to promote the rights of Canadians with disabilities and build a fairer, more accessible country for all. We met with and listened to thousands of Canadians with disabilities to draft Canada’s first national accessibility law – the Accessible Canada Act. The proposed Act, which passed in the House of Commons last week, would help remove and prevent barriers to accessibility across Canada, and promote equal opportunities for all people in Canada, no matter their disability.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I invite all Canadians to join me in marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments and contributions of people living with disabilities, and rededicate ourselves to building a barrier-free and better country for everyone.”

This statement can also be found here.