Saturday marks the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which reaffirms and draws attention to the rights of people who live with disabilities, whether they are physical, physiological or mental.
The event is marked around the world on 3rd December by various organisations and groups taking part in numerous activities, from sponsored lectures to charity bake sales; disability workshops to sporting events. Notable events are that of wheelchair basketball or art and film exhibitions showcasing disabled people’s work.
The day originates from the United Nations “Decade of Disabled Persons” campaign, which was held from 1983 to 1992. The decade enabled governments and organisations to implement measures to improve the lives of disabled people worldwide. When the decade drew to a close on October 14th 1992, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 3rd December as the “International Day of Disabled Persons”. This was amended to the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” in 2007, coming into force for the 2008 event.
Each year, a theme is assigned to the International Day with 2016’s being “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”. This theme reflects the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.
Previous year’s themes have been widely successful thanks to the support of organisations, groups and individuals to achieve these goals, such as 2007’s “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities” and 2012’s “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”.
This year’s objectives include the assessment of the current status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and SDGs, to create the foundations for a more inclusive future for persons with disabilities.
2016’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the CRPD, which is one of the most quickly and widely ratified international treaties put forward by the United Nations.
The past themes for International Day of Persons with Disabilities have prompted governments and organisations to construct legislation that has created jobs for disabled people. This legislation has gone a long way to improving the lives of many disabled people from around the world.
This has included the growing importance given to Disability Employee Networks within organisations, which specialise in providing support and advice for disabled employees, whilst also educating fellow employees on disability issues. This has given disabled individuals the resources, knowledge and support so they can actively make their workplaces more disability-friendly.
The 17 Sustainable Development goals theme for this year highlights how the continuing support of people with disabilities fits within the UNs model for 2030.
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.
We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.