Posted by Ben Lees, Senior Associate
The world’s changed, but has its view on disabilities?
In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that the 3rd of December would be known as the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This year, it coincides with the UK Disability History Month, which is running from 22 November to 22 December.
Long before all of this however, the UN headed a global effort to help the planet’s growing population of disabled people. The emphasis was on equalisation of opportunity, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities. To provide a realistic time frame for Governments and organisations to implement these activities, the General Assembly proclaimed 1983-1992 the ‘Decade of Disabled Persons’.
Since then, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been celebrated internationally on 3rd December. The celebration of the IDPD aims to raise awareness and encourage people across the World to reflect on the daily challenges faced by disabled people, as well as mobilising support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
Each year, the IDPD adopts a different theme. This year, the chosen theme was “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”, relating to the recently adopted set of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Furthermore, this year’s IDPD coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and as such one of this year’s objectives has been to assess the current status of the Convention, reflect on the challenges that still remain and emphasise efforts towards its universal ratification.
Much has been achieved since the UN set that 10 year target. The world has changed, and the planet’s view on disability has come a huge way. But we don’t have to look far to see that there is still much to do. The good news is however there is still a conscious effort to confront and change perceptions.
Organisations and charities have been taking to social media through campaigns aimed at celebrating the IDPD. One such campaign was the ‘I CAN’ campaign, which was jointly run by the Limbless Association, LimbPower and the London Prosthetic Centre.
The ‘I CAN’ campaign successfully showcased the positive experiences of individuals with limb loss and limb difference by posting photos of people doing what they are able to do despite their limb loss. The campaign was hugely successful, and photos included people of all ages cycling, running, swimming, drawing and doing yoga amongst many others.
The ‘I CAN’ campaign was just one of many different campaigns spanning different social media platforms and aimed at tackling a huge range of issues, and through this celebration we are one step closer to building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.
At Royds Withy King we fully believe and support any initiative that enables disabled people around the world, whilst challenging negative stereotypes. We know that there is still much to do and although we have come on a long way in recent decades we will continue to lend our support until our societies can meet the collective ambition of ‘equalisation of opportunity, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities’ outlined all those years ago.
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