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International Day for Persons with Disabilities 2015

5 year old Nirmal had very poor vision and was identified by CBR staff of CBM partner Biratnagar Eye Hospital in Nepal during an eye screening camp at his school. After a comprehensive assessment of his eyes he was provided with customized glasses.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), also known as World Disability Day is annually observed on 3 December each year. This Day aims to promote an awareness of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Theme for 2015

Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities
When spoken about in terms of disability, 'inclusion' means the concept of everybody - irrelevant of any kind of ability - being accepted into society without pity, restriction or limitation.

The estimated one billion people living with disabilities globally face many barriers to inclusion in key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society the same way others do. Transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation remain a distant dream.
The exclusion of any individual from society affects not only this person and their family, but also the economic and social development of their entire community - a significant reservoir of human potential has gone untapped.

CBM advocates for equal rights of persons with disabilities in society and seeks to support healthcare, educational, rehabilitative and income generation services designed to maximise their quality of life. CBM aims to promote inclusion and make comprehensive healthcare, education and rehabilitation services available and accessible to the estimated one billion people in the world experiencing disability.

Sub-themes for International Day for Persons with Disabilities 2015

1) Improving disability data and statistics

©CBM Australia
Fatuma, a fistula patient who was operated by CBM partner CCBRT in Tanzania, (R) shares a moment with head nurse, sister Emelda at in the fistula ward.

Why is collecting disaggregated data so important in disability issues? In this article Islay Mactaggart explains the reasons and informs on currents initiatives to increase the availability of data disaggregated by disability. In this article Mitchell Loeb talks about the Washington Group Questions regarding disability statistics.

2 Including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development

What do we mean by ‘persons with invisible disabilities’? Persons with invisible disabilities include those whose disabilities are not immediately obvious. It is estimated that worldwide, 1 in 4 persons will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives. Despite being extremely common, mental health conditions are some of the most untreated and most stigmatized around the world. People with psychosocial disabilities are amongst those forgotten and misunderstood because of the ‘invisible’ nature of mental illness, leading to human rights abuses. In this blog piece Heather Pearson explains more and highlights CBM’s work in Mental Health in Sierra Leone.

3) Making cities inclusive and accessible for all

Neha underwent surgery for trachoma at the Biratnagar Eye Hospital in Nepal
Barriers to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in urban environments encompass a range of interrelated physical, social, economic and attitudinal factors. They face considerable discrimination regarding mobility and accessing urban infrastructures and services (i.e. housing, clean water, education, employment, health services), which not only results in exclusion but fewer opportunities for employment, education or political participation, thus maintaining the status of poverty. In this article we talk about infrastructural and accessibility barriers faced by persons with disabilities and how to make cities inclusive for all. Furthermore have a look at the MapMyDay campaign which encourages people around the world to mark places in their neighborhoods and cities according to their wheelchair accessibility.

More reading

MapMyDay kicks off on December 3

MapMyDay is a campaign encouraging people around the world to mark places in their neighborhoods and cities according to their wheelchair accessibility


3rd December is the whole Year

Lars Bosselmann, who leads CBM’s IAA team reflects back on 2015 and looks forward to key areas for advocacy in 2016


Inclusive and Accessible Cities For All

This article talks about infrastructural and accessibility barriers faced by persons with disabilities and how to make cities inclusive for all


Importance of data in disability

Islay Mactaggart from ICED talks about the importance of data in disability


Advocacy Newsletter

Have a look at our December newsletter, which focuses on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities


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