Limitations only go so far

“Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development”

Persons with disabilities make up an estimated 15 per cent of the world’s population. Almost one-fifth of the estimated global total of persons living with disabilities, or between 110-190 million, encounters significant difficulties. Furthermore, a quarter of the global population is directly affected by disability, as care-givers or family members.

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an occasion to re-affirm and draw attention to the rights of people who live with disabilities worldwide. It is held annually on December 3.

The United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons was held from 1983 to 1992 to enable governments and organizations to implement measures to improve the life of disabled persons all over the world. On October 14, 1992, the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 3 as the International Day of Disabled Persons. This day was first observed on December 3, 1992. On December 18, 2007, the assembly changed the observance’s name from the “International Day of Disabled Persons” to the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”. The new name was first used in 2008.

The basic purpose of this day is to increase the awareness of the achievements for everybody if disabled persons are combined into all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life and raising money for resources for persons with disabilities.

Many events are held on and around the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 each year. Many of these events aim to involve groups of people from all sections of society in upholding the rights of persons with disabilities and to celebrate the contributions by persons with disabilities to their communities. Many organizations Plan and organize performances everywhere to celebrate the contributions made by persons with disabilities as agents of change and development in the communities in which they live.

Other events take the form of protests to highlight the difficulties disabled people have in playing a full role in society. Examples of events include: disabled persons; public discussions; the presentation of information campaigns; forums with experts’ and exhibitions of art created by disabled people; social gatherings; and fundraising activities to raise money to support disabled people.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is coordinated by United Nations Enable, which works to support and promote the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The symbol of Enable is the blue UN symbol and the word “enable”. The UN symbol consists of an azimuthal equidistant projection of the globe centered on the North Pole surrounded by olive branches. The word “enable” is written entirely in lower case letters. The letter “e” is red and the other letters are blue.

“We, the ones who are challenged, need to be heard. To be seen not as a disability, but as a person who has, and will continue to bloom. To be seen not only as a handicap, but as a well intact human being” [By Robert M. Hensel]

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