RI Global Press Release: RI Celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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RI Global: Office of Communications

Contact: Adrian Brune, +1 347-759-9501

On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), Rehabilitation International organized and participated in various events to commemorate the day.

The main theme of this year’s IDPD was “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.” There were also three sub-themes: (a) Making cities inclusive and accessible for all; (b) Improving disability data and statistics; and (c) Including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development.

An opening session and a panel discussion on each of the three sub-themes were held at the official commemoration of the IDPD at United Nations Headquarters, organized by Rehabilitation International and UN-DESA.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon opened the session.

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the outcome of the General Assembly High Level Meeting on Disability and Development both emphasized the important role of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development,” Ban said.

“As the world has set out to implement the 2030 agenda, persons with disabilities must be recognized for what they are: effective agents of change whose contributions bring enormous benefits.” Watch Ban’s speech .

RI Secretary Venus Ilagan discussed accessible travel and universal design at a panel about making urban areas inclusive and accessible.

“Accessibility is a growing market, promising a handsome return on investment,” Ilagan said. “In order to realize the goal of access and inclusion, there is a need to approach projects from the outset using universal design. Access does not only benefit persons with disabilities or those with special needs, it benefits us all.”

“Accessibility has long been major challenge in sustainable urban development,” added Eric Zhang of UN-DESA. “We need disability-inclusive and responsive urban policy.”

Daniela Bas, Director of UN-DESA, congratulated Ilagan on her speech during the session.
I would like to thank Venus Ilagan, you gave us real examples of what mainstreaming means,” Bas said.

Other topics discussed at the UN event included disability data collection, disability inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals, progress of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and more. Watch.

RI ended this year’s IDPD at a reception held by the Permanent Missions of Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia, featuring Indonesia and Korean musicians with disabilities.

More information about IDPD events.

RI Infographic on IDPD 2015

RI Global: Founded in 1922, Rehabilitation International (RI Global) is a worldwide network promoting the rights and inclusions of persons with disabilities (PwDs) through advocacy, habilitation and rehabilitation to achieve an inclusive world in which all people can enjoy full human rights.

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