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Celebrating World Disability Day 2011

Two African men talking earnestly - one uses elbow crutches
© CBM/Hayduk
Deep discussion in the conference hall where the World Report on Disability was launched in Togo, November 29, 2011

On December 3, 2011, the United Nations and the world celebrated International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD).

The theme for 2011 was 'Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development', and CBM and our global partners recognised this day by organising and taking part in various events, meetings, exhibitions and seminars.

Read more about International Day of Persons with Disabilities here or scroll down to browse the list of events.

Australia - Art exhibition at CBM Australia, Melbourne

a drawing of a young african girl ©ADDC
An example of artwork from the exhibition
On 5 & 6 December 2011 CBM Australia will host an art exhibition from ADDC (the Australian Disability and Development Consortium).

The aim is to exhibit the work of artists who live in Australia and have a disability, to promote their 'abilities and opportunities'. These will be shown with case studies that reflect the different opportunities of people with disabilities who live in developing countries. The artists will be invited to present and tell the story of their work, and light refreshments will follow to mark the celebration.

Australia - 'End the Cycle' event in Sydney city centre

A wheelchair user with achondroplasia delivering a speech on a podium ©End The Cycle/CBM Australia
Dr Tom Shakespeare (Disability and Rehabilitation Team, World Health Organisation) speaking during the 'End the Cycle' Campaign event in Sydney, Australia
Updated 8th December
The 'End the Cycle' Campaign (of poverty and disability) had a very successful event in Sydney’s Martin Place on 2 December from 12-2pm. This public event celebrated people with disabilities and shared the message about disability in development.

Speakers included:  Sam Cawthorn (Young Australian of the Year TAS 2009), Dr Tom Shakespeare (Disability and Rehabilitation Team, World Health Organisation), a UNICEF delegate, Tim Harris (Triple J unearthed artist)

Plus: The 'End the Cycle' photo exhibition was on display and music was from 'Canos' (an eight piece folk band)

Read more and see the photos here

Bangladesh - At national level

20th International Disability Day 2011

Organised by: Social Welfare Ministry & NFOWD, with the support of INGOs/NGOs
Date: December 3, 2011
Venue: Osmani Memorial Hall, Dhaka Bangladesh

Organised by: National Forum of Organizations Working with the Disabled (NFOWD) with the assistance of INGOs/NGOs
Venue: In-font of the National Assembly Building, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Rally
  • Open Discussion and speech Delivery from Govt. and Non-Govt. officials
  • Cultural programme by persons with disabilities

Bangladesh - CBM partners' activities

Rally at sub-district level in coordination with GOs and NGOs
  • Seminar/Open Discussion
  • Cultural programme
  • Participation in the National Level programme

Bangladesh - Disability Symposium 2011

Organised by the National Forum of Organizations Working with the Disabled (NFOWD) with assistance of INGOs/NGOs, where CBM is a key stakeholder:

Period: December 7-8, 2011
Venue: BIAM Foundation, Eskaton, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Programmes have been designed to cover six issues:
  • Adolescents with disabilities
  • Autism
  • Children with disabilities
  • Deaf-blindness
  • ICT and disability
  • Psychosocial disability

Belgium - Dialogue: World Report on Disability in Brussels

a blind person's cane ©WHO
Invitation to the European launch event of the World Report on Disability
On 7th December CBM, together with the World Health Organisation and the World Bank, is planning the European launch event of the World Report on Disability to coincide with World Disability Day.

The event - Dialogue: World Report on Disability - will host a debate around the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. It will provide an opportunity for different stakeholders to discuss the inclusion of persons with disability in all development programmes and policies.

Belgium - Forum 'Promoting inclusive development' in Brussels

PHOS logo - green wheelchair drawing ©PHOS
On 6 December Belgian organisation PHOS (Platform Disability and Development Cooperation) is hosting a forum on a forum entitled 'Promoting inclusive development - Persons with disabilities in Belgian development cooperation'.

CBM's Director International Advocacy & Alliances Catherine Naughton will be speaking at the event, and there will be a welcome and introduction by Sabine de Bethune, Chairwoman of the Belgian Senate.

Belize - A week of events

Care Belize will commemorate 3rd December 2011 for a whole week, starting with a religious service at the St. Joseph Church in Belize City.

Activities will include public appearances in public spaces, schools and national TV, a spelling bee for deaf people, information display by governmental agencies, and a law enforcement torch run within the Special Olympics National Games.

Joining Care will be ten different national agencies, organisations and schools that have co-organised all events.

Bolivia - Conference on Inclusive Education, Santa Cruz

From 1st to 3rd December, Fé y Alegría, is organising the '1er Congreso nacional de educación inclusiva” (1st National Conference on Inclusive Education) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Bolivia - Workshops and advocacy


  • The Tarija Municipality Association will hold  a workshop to create the municipality plan
  • Network representatives will travel to Yacuiba city to develop proposals for people with disabilities to the Chaco regional statute, where they also will participate Yaciuba, Villamontes and Carapari Municipalities.
  • Advocacy in favour of the law project No.668 organising a meeting with Tarija Senators.
  • Advocacy in favour of the law project No.668 about Rights and Language Policy to strengthen the Bolivian Sign Language use in the country.
  • ANET, CBM’s partner, is reviewing law project  “Social Housing for Persons with Disabilities” created by Dr. Rene Valdez, Tarija Assemblymember
  • Workshop on Children with neurological damage and cerebral paralysis for professionals who have contact with people with disabilities and parents will be held on December 3th.

Canada - High school event with Facebook connection

On December 7th, CBM Canada hosted a high school event 'Ability for All' where the entire student body (1,300 students) was presented with the work of CBM and the need for inclusion.

Tracey Ferguson, 3-time Canadian Paralympic Gold Medalist in Wheelchair Basketball, and Silver Medalist at the 2011 Parapan American Games, shared her personal her challenges and inspired students to make a difference in their communities and overseas.  Students were challenged to carry on the message of disability inclusion through CBM Canada on Facebook

Canada - Outdoor ‘Speaker’s Corner’ event at Toronto City Hall

On December 3rd five disability related organisations, including CBM Canada, and disability activists organised an outdoor ‘Speaker’s Corner’ event at Toronto City Hall.

Individuals with different disabilities and their organisations spoke on their achievements and contributions.  Further public awareness resulted through a newspaper article on the event.  

Canada - Panel discussion and video, Toronto

On December 1st, CBM Canada in collaboration with Ryerson University (Toronto) and Centre for Independent Living held an event to bring awareness and celebrate the achievements of people with disabilities.

A panel discussion on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the World Report on Disability was presented followed by a video on public transportation accessibility in Ontario. 

Colombia - Various, including parade, Medellín

Invitation for 'International Day of People with Disabilities activities' organised by Medellín Municipality ©CBM
Invitation for 'International Day of People with Disabilities' activities
Fundación Multis will participate in International Day of People with Disabilities activities organised by Medellín Municipality.

Also, the parents of children participating in this CBM programme will attend the parade named 'Nothing for us without us' organised by associations of people with disabilities. 

Ecuador - A parade highlighting the rights of PwD

On 1st December Cuesta Holguín Foundation will participate in a parade organised by CONADIS and Ecuador Vice President on December 1st.  This parade will include Disabled Person's Organisations (DPOs), people with disability (PwD), and CBM and partner employees.

The objective is to highlight social presence and the importance of the rights of people with disabilities, and the Foundation will participate with banners with messages about equality, justice and work.

Ecuador - Fair and presentation, Riobamba and Chimborazo

FUIDE, located in Chimborazo, Ecuador will participate in a fair on December 2nd in Cajabamba Colta Coliseum, and CONADES in Riobamba, Ecuador. 
On December 3th they will present their 'RBC' project to CONPOCIIECH (Confederation of Peoples, Communities, Organizations and Indigenous Evangelical Churches Chimborazo)

Ecuador - Free medical services and reading glasses, Cuenca

From 5th to 9th December, Hogar de Ecuador Foundation will provide free medical services and free reading glasses to people with disabilities in the Medical Surgical Center, and Unison Family Center in Cuenca.

Ecuador - Parade and cinema visit, Esmeraldas

Instituto Católico de Educación Especial Juan Pablo II will participate in a parade organised by CONADIS, a government institution, on December 2nd.  At the afternoon they will attend cinema forum "RAIN MAN" organised by the Vice President and 'Casa de la Cultura' in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.

El Salvador - Public fora in Panchimalco and Santo Tomas

Around Dec 3rd HOPAC will celebrate public forums in Panchimalco and Santo Tomas municipalities, dedicated to scholar inclusion, joined by public and private institutions.

France - Launch of website www.cbm-france.org

Today, Dec 3rd, as part of the CBM celebrations for the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, I am delighted to announce the launch of the CBM International French web site - www.cbm-france.org 

This is a great day for all those who work hard to achieve this milestone. This is a first steps and many parts are still to be developed such as the online donation module. This will happen during the next few weeks.

This site is yours. Si do not hesitate to send us your comments, modifications, suggestions for improvement. These will always be welcome as our overarching aim is to ensure the cause of Persons with Disabilities is better known and to do our utmost to reach a world that becomes really inclusive of all.
PB Le Bas
VP-Fundraising & Communication
CBM International Office
Aujourd'hui, 3 décembre 2011, à l'occasion de la Journée Mondiale des personnes en situation de Handicap, j'ai la plaisir de vous annoncer le lancement du site de CBM International France - www.cbm-france.org.
C'est un grand moment pour tous ceux qui y ont travaillé. C'est une première étape à transformer. Il reste encore bien des choses à développer en particulier le module "dons en ligne", mais cela sera fait dans les semaines qui viennent.

Ce site est le vôtre. N'hésitez dons pas à nous communiquer vos remarques, vos corrections, vos améliorations. Elles seront toujours les bienvenues car notre objectif premier est de faire connaître la cause des personnes en situation de handicap et de tout faire pour un monde véritablement inclusif de tous.
PB Le Bas
VP-Fundraising & Communication
CBM International Office

Guatemala - Consciousness talk and testimony

Hospital de Ojos y Oidos Dr. Rodolfo Robles, with the Health and Social Assistance Public Minister, have organised a consciousness talk to celebrate the 3rd of December. They expect an attendance of more than 150 people who work in different health programs, divided by age groups and prevention of visual impairment and hearing impairment.

A blind person will give his testimony and with his music will make the event more enjoyable; after the talk they will carry out eye screenings.

Guatemala - Parade in San Juan la Laguna

A colourful parade in city streets ©CBM
Previous parade in Guatemala
Along with ten organisations that integrate the National Coordinator of Organizations of People with Disabilities in the Sololá Department, ADISA have organised a parade in San Juan la Laguna.

Authorities, schools and the whole community have been invited. There will be a band joining the parade, and balloons. The coordinator has engaged the National Council for Attention of People with Disabilities to magnify the impact of the parade.

Guatemala - Publications, walks and artistic events

For opening the week, 'FUNDAL' will publish an article in one of the main newspapers of the country, about deafblindness.

In October 24 they already made a walk through the Huehuetenango municipality, with workers and beneficiaries of the centre. Authorities and schools participated afterwards in different events with musical events, games, diplomas and lunch.

On December 3rd itself, another walk will have place, organised by the National Council for the Attention of People with Disabilities. This will also culminate with artistic events and a special homage to people with disabilities that participated in the Para-Panamerican Games, in Guadalajara 2011.

Haiti - Various, promoting theme 'Building a Haiti accessible for all'

To celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, CBM Haiti together with the Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (SEIPH) is organising a Commemorative Day at SEIPH Office (2nd, Friday 2011).

250 people are expected to attend this event including representatives from: the Haitian government, the United Nations (MINUSTAH), various NGOs and DPOs, and beneficiaries from civil society.

The main theme for the IDPD 2011 in Haiti is 'Building a Haiti accessible for all' (in Creole 'An nou bati yon Ayiti aksesib pou tout moun: handicape ou pa!'). This theme has been chosen by CBM together with DPOs and SEIPH and aims to promote the inclusion of PwDs into Haitian society and highlight the importance of accessibility within the reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

For this event, CBM and SEIPH have prepared a petition in order to promote accessibility. This petition has been signed by 40 DPOs and has been distributed during major events, such as the Forum for reconstruction (i.e. the Forum for planning a new city). In addition, one million text messages will be sent to cell phones in order to raise awareness and interest about the IDPD, the inclusion of PwDs, as well as the importance of accessibility. As part of the information campaign, 500 flyers, 2 banners, 500 leaflets. 3 radio spots and television ads have been prepared.

The program for the Commemorative Day includes:
  • Two classical music interpretations performed by a DPO (Foyer d’Amour)
  • A musical show performed by G13, a band of 13 PwDs (predominantly blind musicians)
  • Two speeches from representatives of the Haitian government (SEIPH and Ministry of Social Affairs)
  • A presentation of Accessibility Awards to a selection of companies and businesses who have implemented accessibility in their physical environments
  • Two testimonies + presentation of an awareness advertisement
  • One talent show performed by DPO members and PwDs + exhibition of artisan products made by Persons with Disabilities
Following the IDPD, CBM Haiti, through the accessibility programme, will continue to support SEIPH in by constructing new ramps in highly visible locations (i.e. schools, churches, and the National Stadium).

Honduras - Course on human rights of people with disabilities

Instituto Psicopedagógico 'Juana Leclerc' will host, for the third time, a course on human rights of people with disabilities.

Participants will have activities to increase their empathy towards people with disabilities. Previously, they participated in a contest of good practices for social and scholar inclusion of people with disabilities within their CBR project in Intibucá, which got the first place at a municipality level.

Juana Leclerc will present a petition pledge to the national government, with the participation of students, to demand human rights accomplishment and an increase in the budget for supporting activities for people with disabilities.

The Institute will also participate in multiple public events covered by the media.

Honduras - Low vision campaign in poor communities

CBM partner programmes Low Vision Clinic 'Luz y Esperanza' (project executed by INFRACNOVI and Centro de Salud Integral ZOE) will join forces with other local organisations to prepare activities to celebrate the 3rd of December.

As part of this celebration that day they will carry out a low vision campaign in El Hisopo Mountain, one of the poorest areas in Honduras.

Honduras - Successful lobbying of National Congress

As part of the celebration of the International Day of People with Disabilities, PREPACE organised lobbying activities with a demonstration in the National Congress building in October. (These had to be carried out in advance because the Congress' last day of work for 2011 was the 16th of November).

Persons with Disabilities (PwD) and their families were allowed to enter in the congress session and Gracia Maria - a 21 year old girl with cerebral palsy who studies law - gave a speech to the members of the parliament.

Gracia Maria said “Members of the Parliament, I speak in the name of the ones who have no voice. We are here to demand that rights for PwD are fulfilled and to say that we are also part of beautiful Honduras”.

Members of the Parliament stood up and applauded her. As a successful result of that activity the Congress increased the national budget for PwD for 2012.

PREPACE will also participate in activities organised by local organisations for people with disabilities and the Human Rights Commission in Honduras.

Honduras - TV interview, public discussion, demonstrations

Centro Intercomunitario de Atención a Personas con Discapacidad 'Solidaridad' will be involved in various activities around December 3rd.

The programme will start on November 25 with an interview in local TV.  Public talks and demonstrations will be the main activities in the three largest municipalities of the country, mainly on the issues of prevention of disability, human rights, and early detection, but other subjects like architectural barriers will also be addressed. All activities will have the presence of people with disabilities and their families.

Mexico - March and exhibition in Chihuahua

On December 3rd CEIAC (Centro de Estudios para Invidentes A.C.) will participate in a 5km march through Chihuahua's main streets, along with other fifteen organisations which integrate the Network for Integration of Disabilities and Development AC.

The march will lead to a concentration in the main square, where a meeting with authorities will have place. In this meeting the Network will present a petition pledge for
  • The installation of a medical unit for the attention of people with disabilities
  • Making adequacies to the main theatre in order for people with disabilities to attend
  • Approving the Law for Attention of People with Disabilities (which is consistent with the UN Convention and the Federal Law of Inclusion).

This day will also see the inauguration of 'Perceptions', an exhibition of different activities like walking in the dark through various environments to sensitise people the barriers that exists without sight. Within this exhibition, workshops of Braille writing-reading will be held for three to four months.

Mexico - Various events in Oaxaca

Piña-Palmera Center will participate in various events in Oaxaca on 3 December, along with the National Council for Preventing Discrimination, highlighting a workshop on Human Rights.

Nepal - Aosta’s ‘Woman of the Year’ award

Meena Paudel, project leader in CBM partner Nepal Disabled Women's Association, is joint winner of Aosta’s ‘Woman of the Year’ award

Nepal - International campaign, cultural programmes, drama and more

CBM parttner Nepal Disabled Women Association (NDWA) is a self help group lead by Women with Disabilities specially focused on the rights of women, empowerment, policy level advocacy, lobby, awareness, capacity building, income generation activities etc. since 1998.

NDWA is celebrating 16 days of International Campaign from 25th November to 10th December, 2011. NDWA is also orgnaising different cultural programmes, drama performances and other awareness campaigns to create more awareness for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Philippines - Inclusive adventure race

Tahanang Walang Hagdanan has spearheaded the first ever Philippine adventure race including Persons with Disability (PwD), dubbed Access 2020 Race to Success. It aims to put into action the promotion of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), Philippine Accessibility Law and care for the environment.

Ten teams - each with six members (including three PwD) will race around Metro Manila and adjacent provinces from December 3 to 5, 2011. The game will evolve around raising awareness on mainstreaming of PWD, health,
society, accessible tourism, and healthy environment.

Philippines - Advocacy, training and screening in Naga City

'HELP Learning Center' in Naga City is planning two events on Dec 3rd 2011
  • Epilepsy Caravan at the Julian Meliton Elementary School, with around 500 pupils and teachers in attendance. This an advocacy program promoting awareness to all about epilepsy and removing the discrimination for those  patients whose  lives are restricted because  of epilepsy. This activity aims to provide basic information on epilepsy and at the same time provide practical tips on how to prevent and manage epilepsy.
  • Eye and Ear Care Training and Screening at Pamukid Elementary School. Elementary pupils from Grade I to Grade VI will  be benefited by this activity, which aims to provide knowledge on the importance of proper eye and ear care and to provide knowledge in skills on the prevention, control and management of visual  and  hearing impairment.

Tanzania - Music, entertainment, exhibition, sport...

Poster giving details of CCBRT events on Dec 3rd 2011 ©CCBRT
Flyer for Dec 3rd events in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
On 3rd December, Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT), Federation of Persons with Disabilities (SHIVYAWATA), and other partners are organising celebrations in Dar es Salaam.

Events on the day will include:
  • Exhibition
  • HIV testing by CCBRT
  • Drama
  • Speech by SHIVYAWATA
  • Singing and performance
  • Speech by the Commissioner of MOHSW and Regional Commissioner
  • Speech by the Guest of Honour
  • Football games by persons with disabilities (Agepa, TAS and Special Olympics will be playing against each other)
  • Running competitions
  • Drumming sessions and traditional dances
  • Long Tennis (or alternative)
  • Zawadi

Thailand - Celebrations with music and refreshments

Three musicians (keyboard and two others) who have visual impairments or are blind ©Daughters of Charity
Live music
International Day of Persons with Disabilities was celebrated for the first time in Phu Luang District, Loei province on December 5th, 2011.

The event was arranged by Daughters of Charity with support from many sectors in the district.

Togo - Various events over two weeks in Lomé

fingers reading Braille ©CBM/Hayduk
Mr. Komivi Ayassou (President of Association of Persons with Disabilities in Togo) reading the World Report on Disability
In Togo, CBM and its local partners such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Action, FETAPH, the umbrella DPO of Togo, WHO and World Bank are celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disability.

The events will cover two weeks from 25th November to 9th December. Activities will start with the launching of the World Report on Disability on the 29 of November followed by a press conference. New (6 Dec): Full story of the event

Many other activities are also planned during the two weeks, including radio programmes, mini shows at the US embassy, football matches, a caravan and large meeting to close the event.

Read more about International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2011

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2011

CBM joins this United Nations initiative, highlighting the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities worldwide



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