November 28, 2021
“The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by UN General Assembly resolution 47/3 (link). It aims to:
- promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and
- to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life”. (UN)
Why do we mark International Days?
International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilise political will and resources.
Accessible activities recognised on International Day of Persons with Disabilities
media release from the States of Guernsey
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the States of Guernsey is drawing attention to activities with improved accessibility.
Boccia has been played in local schools for a number of years but was introduced as a stand alone sport in 2020. It has grown in popularity across the island and islanders can now play this sport at both Beau Sejour and Styx Community Centre.
Dr Casey Osborough, the Disability and Para-Sport Lead for the Guernsey Sports Commission said:
“Boccia is a highly competitive, seated sport which can be played by anyone. The aim of this target sport is to get your ball closest to the jack. The advantage of this game is that it can be played anywhere with a flat surface, e.g. schools, nursing homes or even in your own home. It is hoped by next year we will have a competitive Guernsey team looking to host competitions and travel away.”
It was recently announced by Guernsey Water that a new accessible classroom has been created at St. Saviour’s reservoir. In addition to this, a number of changes have been made to a section of the Millennium Walk to make it more accessible, meaning more people can enjoy this tranquil and beautiful area. The entrance gate has been widened to accommodate wheelchair users, the paths have been improved and levelled where possible and additional seating has been created along the route providing resting points with wonderful views over the reservoir.
Steve Langlois, General Manager at Guernsey Water said:
“Being outside helps people develop an emotional connection with nature and we wanted more people to be able to do this at St. Saviour’s reservoir. Providing access to the Millennium Walk for people who previously may not have been able to enjoy it was one of the main things we set out to achieve through the recent improvements.”
What the UN says about IDPwD 2021
Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible, and sustainable post-COVID-19 world
‘Disability inclusion is an essential condition to upholding human rights, sustainable development, and peace and security. It is also central to the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind. The commitment to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future.
The global crisis of COVID-19 is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing the extent of exclusion and highlighting that work on disability inclusion is imperative. People with disabilities—one billion people— are one of the most excluded groups in our society and are among the hardest hit in this crisis in terms of fatalities.
Even under normal circumstances, persons with disabilities are less likely to access health care, education, employment and to participate in the community. An integrated approach is required to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind.
Disability inclusion will result in a COVID19 response and recovery that better serves everyone, more fully suppressing the virus, as well as building back better. It will provide for more agile systems capable of responding to complex situations, reaching the furthest behind first.’
IDPD on social media
Everyone can join on social media by using the hashtags #IDPD | #EveryoneIncluded | #CRPD and promoting this year’s theme on “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”