Friday, December 4, 2015

World Celebrates People with Disabilities


One diversity-related observances took place on December 3, which marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, an event celebrated each year around the world. This year's theme was “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in his message: "We mark this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities in the wake of the adoption of the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This global blueprint for action summons us to “leave no one behind”." - See more at:

In the United States, the country also observed on July 26 the 25th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act. On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services, and to commemorate the day, a special edition of Facts for Features (FFF) about persons with disabilities was issued by the Census Bureau.
Here are some facts and figures provided by the FFF, which according to the site, come from various Census Bureau censuses and surveys, covering differing periods of time:
56.7 million: number of people in the United States in 2010 with a disability, according to the Survey of Income and Program Participation;
15.7 million: number of people 65 and older - 39 percent of the population in this age group - with at least one disability, according to the American Community Survey from 2008 to 2012;
2,794: number of business establishments providing special needs transportation in 2012, up 19 percent from 2,347 in 2007;
25,899: number of business establishments providing services for the elderly and people with disabilities in 2012;
7,834: business establishments providing vocational rehabilitation services in 2012; these businesses employed 311,798 people and generated revenues of $12.5 billion.

Here is one, among the many editorials worldwide written in commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities that speaks of the universal imperative of encouraging, enabling individuals with disabilities:
Whichever type that is involved, it is worth noting that an individual with disability can function as effective as, even more effective or efficient than, able-bodied individuals if given the needed support or encouragement.
Against this backdrop, we are expected to always endeavour to do everything within our reach and humanly possible to ensure that persons living disabilities at our respective jurisdictions are duly given a sense of belonging starting from the classrooms to working places with a view to strengthening nation-building. - Read more at:

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