International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Nothing about us without us.
This seems like a straightforward and common-sense approach to public policy and social change. Nothing that impacts a particular group should be decided without the input of that group. Disability activists have been saying this for years. As an organization founded by and for people with disabilities we’ve been at the forefront of this discussion for over 75 years. On this International Day of Persons with Disability this statement is even more poignant.
The annual observance of #IDPWD is designated by the UN in 1992 and aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. The theme for IDPD this year is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities. Programs and services that have long been recognized as being insufficient to support this community have encountered the greatest barrier to have hit our lifetime. What was put together with tape and string could no longer hold up against the pressure of a worldwide pandemic. As the world starts to survey the damage and turn its attention to rebuilding after the impact of COVID-19 people with disabilities need to be part of the discussion.
Approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability. Let us rebuild a better and more inclusive world that does not gloss over the issues faced by over one billion people in the world. Those issues that existed well before anyone every heard of COVID-19.