On 3 December the world marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a yearly awareness day launched by the UN in 1992. The aim of the day is to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
The day was marked all over the world in many different ways. It was observed with a full day event at UN Headquarters, where disability was discussed in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UN also arranges a yearly film festival – the United Nations Enable Film Festival – to highlight an emerging or overlooked disability issue or present a disability perspective in a larger societal context.
Here in the UK, Disability North arranged a day to celebrate the work being done in the North East to remove the barriers that disabled people face. Disability North also focused on arts and performing arts, with many of their speakers being artists. The day was observed all over UK by local councils and private companies alike.
In Australia, the focus was on sports, with Australian Paralympic athletes marking the day. as well as multi-sporting events being organised in various locations across the country.
The theme for the day was “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people for all abilities”. This day, marked in so many different ways, certainly fits the bill.