2012 marks the 20th International Day Of Person With Disabilities. Around 15% of worlds population, or one billion people, live with disabilities. People are often unaware of the great number of persons living with disabilities around the world and the challenges they face.
Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions.An impairment is a problem in body function or structure, an activity limitation in executing a proper function. Disability is thus not just a health problem.It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of persons body and features where person lives. To let these people live in society, the difficulty barriers are needed to overcome. People with disabilities have same health needs as a non-disabled person- for immunization, cancer screening etc. They also may experience a narrow margin of health, both because of poverty and social exclusion. Evidence and experience shows that when barriers to their inclusions are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to facilitate fully in social life, their entire community benefits. Barriers faced by persons with disabilities are therefore, a detriment to society as a whole, and accessibility is necessary to achieve progress and development for all.
How The Day May Be Observed:
The commemoration of International Day Of Disabilities provides an opportunity to address this exclusion by focusing on promoting accessibility and removing all types of barriers in society.Some of the ways are:
Observance of the day provides opportunities for participation by all stake holders-Governments, the UN system, civil society and organizations of persons with disabilities to focus on issues related to the removal of barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society that would benefit all.
Hold forums, public discussions and information campaigns to find innovative ways and measures by which barriers to the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families can be broken down.
Plan and organize performances everywhere to showcase and celebrate the contributions made by persons with disabilities as agents of change and development in the communities in which they live.
A major focus of the day is practical action that would help to remove barriers that limit accessibility and participation of disabled people in society.Highlight obstacles in creating accessible and inclusive society,as much as promote public awareness of existing barriers to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in their societies.