What is International Day of People with DisAbility?
In 1992 The United Nations General Assembly announced 3 December to be observed every year as the International Day of Disabled Persons.
The purpose of the day is to promote the achievements of people with disability, to create awareness of disability issues and the benefits gained by creating a fully inclusive society. An inclusive society is achieved when people with disability are involved in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
In 1997 Australian community representatives renamed the day International Day of People with a DisAbility to better reflect the principle of placing the individual before any real or perceived limitation. In 2000 the Australian campaign adopted the catchphrase "Celebration of Ability" and this has been the major theme of every subsequent year. This year the day has again been re-named, to International Day of People with DisAbility. It is a small but important change, as it reflects the shift in how we as a society define disability and how we see it affect our communities.
International Day of People with DisAbility is an opportunity to unite disability and community organisations, people with disabilities, businesses, all levels of government and the wider community to promote the positive message of inclusion.
Every year millions of people around the world commemorate this day in their own unique way and we invite you to participate in this celebration.
Why should you celebrate International Day of People with DisAbility?
- To celebrate the achievements and contributions people with disability make to their communities every day and in particular the people in your community.
- To highlight the needs of people with disability, their families and carers and recognise the organisations which are proactive in meeting and supporting those needs.
- To be part of a unique community awareness day. Your contribution does not require specific actions or activities. It does not require fundraising. It's simply a day for each of us to reflect upon the importance of every individual in our community, and to recognise that each of us can work towards creating a fully inclusive society.
- To be part of a strong voice delivering an important message to Australian society.
How can you celebrate International Day of People with DisAbility?
What makes International Day of People with DisAbility such a wonderful community day is that you can choose to celebrate the day the way that works best for you and your group.
You can organise a morning tea at your workplace, a trivia quiz on disability or perhaps a forum to discuss disability issues relevant to your community. Or a presentation dinner with awards recognising those in the community working towards an inclusive society. You could hold a dance party, a BBQ, a sports day or invite a Paralympian to be a guest speaker at your workplace or school. Or arrange a visit from one of the local disability organisations in your community to raise awareness about disability issues.
How you choose to celebrate International Day of People with DisAbility is limited only by your own imagination and the resources available to you. Luckily, Nican can help you with both!
Some interesting information about DisAbility...
What is a disability?
The United Nations tell us that there is no one universally accepted definition of disability. This is due to disagreement as to whether the disability is the actual impairment an individual has, or whether the disability is the restrictions placed on that individual as a result of their impairment. Definitions from the United Nations include;
- Any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function.
- Any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.
In Australia, the general consensus is to accept the above social perspective of disability. We acknowledge that the term disability captures a broad range of factors, from an underlying health condition or impairment to activity limitations, participation restrictions and other environmental factors (FaCS, 2003).
20% of people living in Australia have a disability. That is nearly four million Australians. Because the range of impairment is so diverse (like Australians generally), we are often surprised by the sheer number of people who are affected by disability every day.
A disability can be physical, intellectual, psychiatric or sensory and occur due to an accident, illness or genetic disorder. Some disabilities are not visible or obvious and are referred to as 'hidden' disabilities. Examples of hidden disabilities include hearing impairments and some psychiatric disabilities. Hidden disabilities make up a large proportion of all reported disabilities and remind us not to make assumptions or generalisations about others.