The United Nations sanctioned day, is celebrated internationally on 03 December. The focus of IDPwD is to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from integrating people with disability in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
The theme this year is “The Future is Accessible”. Meaning that together, we must all look towards a future where barriers standing in people’s way do not exist. Envisage a future where people can access a building without stairs, accessing a ramp to the beach, getting a job without fear of discrimination, attending a mainstream classroom.
Call out barriers wherever you see them and help overcome them!
Everyone has different health impairments at different times in their lives. The difference is that most of the time, it doesn’t stop you from functioning or being included in activity or in your community.
IDPwD exists to ensure that the environmental barriers are identified and help everyone to collectively work together to overcome them.
It is estimated that over a billion people live with a form of chronic disability. This equates to 15% of the world’s population. This number is continuing to grow along with a global increase in chronic health conditions such as Cardiovascular Disease and mental health disorders. All these conditions influence the nature and prevalence of disability.
People with disabilities often:
* Have poorer health outcomes
* Have lower educational achievements
* Less economically active
* Experience higher rates of poverty
* Cannot always live independently or participate fully in community activities
Addressing and removing barriers should be of great importance. Removal of barriers such as negative attitudes, lack of provision of services, inaccessibility to infrastructure, lack of consultation and involvement will all work to decrease the disadvantages experienced by people with disabilities.
“A world that recognizes the rights of the disabled, ensures that people with disabilities can be productive members of their communities and nations, and provides an inclusive and accessible environment, is a world that will benefit all of us – with or without disabilities.”
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN (2013).