On December 3 we celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1992 to promote a better understanding of disability issues and support the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disabilities. This day is also meant to promote awareness of the benefits to society when people with disabilities are integrated into the community.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities provides us with an opportunity to speak out about issues facing the disability community. While people with disabilities are often more loyal and resourceful employees, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities remains higher than the unemployment rate for individuals without disabilities. This disparity is often due to misperceptions about people with disabilities.
While the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar state laws prohibit disability-based discrimination, such discrimination continues all too often. People with disabilities face discrimination in employment, public benefits, public accommodations, education, and the ability to make their own life decisions.
The ability of people with disabilities to live independently is also often under threat due to continuing efforts to reduce funding for home and community-based services.
You can speak out about your experience as a person with a disability and the issues that are important to you by going on social media and using the hashtags: #DisabilityDay and #IDPD. You can find more information about the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at: https://social.desa.un.org/issues/disability/events/2023-international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-idpd