This year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities explores how collaboration is needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The theme for the day emphasises that everyone, including those with visible or hidden disabilities, should actively participate in creating an inclusive and sustainable future.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed on 3 December, is more than just an annual event. It’s a powerful call to recognise the rights and contributions of people with disabilities. The theme for 2023, “United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with, and by persons with disabilities,” highlights the need for action to address global challenges.
So, what exactly are Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? SDGs, as defined by the United Nations, are a collection of 17 global objectives designed to create a better and more sustainable future for all. Learn more about the SDGs and their connection to rehabilitation and inclusion.
Incorporating the perspectives and experiences of persons with disabilities is important in all areas, from policy-making to implementation. Involving everyone ensures that the SDGs are not just inclusive in theory but also in practice. This is essential for achieving goals such as reducing inequalities, ensuring quality education, and promoting sustainable cities and communities.
The day serves as a reminder that persons with disabilities are integral to society’s progress. There are times when people with disabilities’ contributions are overlooked or dismissed. To build an inclusive and sustainable future, it’s necessary that everyone’s voice is heard and everyone’s needs considered. In the context of rehabilitation for example, this includes advocating for a world where physical activity and participation in society are accessible to all, and collaborating with people with disabilities in finding solutions for this. Today is a call to action for governments, organisations, and individuals to collaborate, ensuring that in the pursuit of global goals, no one, especially persons with disabilities, is left behind.
As we observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, this is an opportunity to work together for an inclusive environment where the voices and needs of persons with disabilities are heard and acted upon. It’s not just about acknowledging rights; it’s about actively working together to create a world where everyone, regardless of ability, can thrive and contribute to the future. By understanding and respecting the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we can take meaningful steps towards creating a more inclusive world.