3rd December is an International Day for Persons with Disabilities. It’s celebrated all over the world to show care and love to both adults and children with disabilities. It was declined in the year 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly and it aims to promote an understanding of disability issues. And mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. In addition, It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities. In every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life. Today the world population of over 7 billion people and more than one billion people or 15 percent of the world’s population live with some form of disability. And 80 percent live in developing countries.
The International Day for People with Disabilities is aimed at removing barriers, not just physical or health care access. And also social barriers like stigma are key targets. There are several disabilities found in people around the world today that are not visible. The reason why they’re on the rise is because of the improvements in methodologies used to diagnose. And measure disabilities and from an aging global population to the rapid spread of chronic disease.
These include mental health disorders, Chronic Pain and Fatigue, traumatic brain injuries, neurological disorders, and Intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Themes for the International Day for Persons with Disabilities have been changing over the years. Below are some of the themes as the years passed.
|1998||Arts, Culture and Independent Living|
|1999||Accessibility for all for the new Millennium|
|2000||Making information technologies work for all|
|2001||Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate the outcome|
|2002||Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods|
|2003||A Voice of our own|
|2004||Nothing about Us without Us|
|2005||Rights of Persons with disabilities|
|2007||Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities: Actions in Development|
|2008||Convection on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us|
|2009||Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world.|
|2010||Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals toward 2015 and beyond|
|2011||Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development|
|2012||Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all|
|2013||Break barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all|
|2014||Sustainable development: The Promise Of Technology|
|2015||Inclusion matters: access and empowerment of people of all disabilities|
|2016||Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want|
|2017||Transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all|
|2018||Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality|
|2019||Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda|
|2020||Building Back Better: toward a disability-|
Over the years themes have been created to address the issue of people with disabilities and the 2021 theme is to. “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”. The theme is to advocate for persons with disabilities to be involved in the leadership sits across the globe. It calls upon country leaders to create positions where persons with disabilities can join freely without discrimination.
Uganda today joins the world to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 and the domesticated theme is “Not All Disabilities Are Visible: A Call for a stronger post-COVID-19 Agenda.” This is selected to draw to the invisible disabilities. This theme is in line with the principle of “leaving no one behind as highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goals framework According to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
The theme is aimed at strengthening and amplifying awareness for invisible disabilities increasing mainstreaming of persons with invisible disabilities in all development planning processes, and empowering them to attain their full potential.
As I conclude, I wish to appreciate everyone who lays a hand out to help the Persons with Disabilities. As we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities let’s join efforts with Love Uganda Foundation, Volunteering in Uganda, and Tuyambe Org to provide basic needs to them. This can be done through volunteering, donations, and sponsorship. Let’s hail them as “differently-abled” and “not disabled”