Since its inception in 1992, the UN's International Day of Persons with Disabilities has become an important annual event in the drive to improve standards for people living with disabilities.
As a care provider for people with disabilities, we were inspired - as we are every year - by many of the events arranged to mark the occasion on 3 December. So, we've decided to share these stories with you.
What is International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
According to the UN, the purpose of International Day of Persons with Disabilities is to "promote the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities".
It also aims to increase awareness of the challenges people with disabilities regularly have to overcome, with a view to making society more accessible and inclusive.
The theme for 2017 was 'Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all'. Speaking before this year's event, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated movingly:
"Let us remove physical and cultural barriers, build resilient societies and create opportunities that truly leave no one behind."
What took place on International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2017?
These were just some of the inspirational local and international events/initiatives this year:
- The EU reaffirmed its commitment to improving standards for disabled people in conjunction with the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and proposed European Accessibility Act
- Human Rights Watch compiled a series of testimony from people with disabilities in regions that are sadly going through severe humanitarian crises
- The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee held events in eight countries, including a festival, party, educational workshops, catering/craft events and a world tour of disabled musicians
- 81 life-changing assistive devices - including 24 wheelchairs, 13 positioning devices and 11 prosthetic limbs - were distributed by Freedom Trust and Rane Holdings in Tiruchi, India
- As part of its 'Ready, Willing and Able' campaign, London-based charity Motivation set out to raise £165,000 to support 250 wheelchair users in Kenya
- Havering Association for People with Disabilities organised a special Christmas-themed party for local disabled residents in recognition of the day
- In Tennessee, US, Borderless Arts marked the occasion with a concert and series of special presentations by experts in disability services
- A sponsored marathon and performance by the Royal Guard of Oman were arranged by Ooredoo to raise awareness and funds in the Gulf state
- Whangarei, New Zealand, held the Getting Out There Expo to mark the day, featuring mini-jeep rides, performances and a range of stalls
- Qatar University's Inclusion and Special Needs Support Center held an awareness-raising event for employers led by Prime Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani
- Opportunity International Savings and Loans - who has provided over 500 disabled people in Ghana with 'empowerment loans' - raised funds to repair a school for disabled people and donated food
We hope these events inspired you like they did us. Use this as a catalyst to strive to keep improving living standards for the people in your life with disabilities.
Find out how live-in care can help older people facing mobility challenges stay as independent, active and engaged as possible. Speak with the friendly team at The Good Care Group.