This is a revised version of the blog I published a week too early due to my dyscognition!
Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2013. The theme for this year is “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”
This is what the United Nations Enable site has to say:
"It’s time to effectively implement the Outcome Document of the High Level Meeting and to break barriers and open doors: to realize an inclusive society and development for all!
The commemoration of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities provides an opportunity to further raise awareness of disability and accessibility as a cross cutting development issue and further the global efforts to promote accessibility, remove all types of barriers, and to realize the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society and shape the future of development for all!"
One might have thought that this would be an important and newsworthy event. Well if Google is anything to go by, it looks as if there has not been a single UK main-stream media news story about it in the last twenty-four hours. Though stories have appeared in inter alia Kuwait, Oman, India and New Zealand.
I have also ploughed through my feedly newsfeed for the past twenty-four hours. Not a hoot from the BBC nor ITN.
So maybe one might expect the UK Government's department, the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) [which incidently is run within the notorious DWP] specifically set up to look out for disabled people's interests to cover the day, even if it does not wish to celebrate disabled folk. Well, I first of all checked out their news page - [as at 10.42] it has not been updated since July 2013 - see the screen-shot below.
However, to give the ODI their due, I did find a link on their home-page. It reads:
21st International Day of Disabled People – 3 December 2013Every year the International Day of Disabled People is used to promote an understanding of disabled people and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.The United Nations chooses a different theme for the Day and in 2013 it’s going to be: ‘Break barriers and open doors: to realise an inclusive society for all”.We know that the barriers that disabled people face can take a variety of forms. They might relate to the physical environment or to information and communications technology (ICT) which are not accessible. They could result from legislation or policy. Or they might be the result of attitudes in society, or discrimination.The International Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of disabled people and their contribution to society. This year’s theme offers the opportunity to highlight barriers, and how they have been successfully challenged and overcome. This year on 3 December, ODI will be publishing the second edition of Aspire 2, the online magazine which aims to inspire young disabled people to get involved with disability issues. The magazine’s theme will be Attitudes and it will include articles by the Minister of State for Disabled People, Mike Penning; Channel 4 presenter Alex Brooker; and Paralympian Louise Hunt.Find more information about the International Day including how the United Nations encourages it to be commemorated, and the themes adopted in previous years.We are encouraging disabled people and their organisations to celebrate the Day. We want to help share information about what is going on, and think how we can collectively make an even bigger splash next year.So if you are planning an event, you can let us know by emailing ODI at:firstname.lastname@example.orgPlease head your email: International Day of Disabled People.
Interestingly, despite the glib spin, the ODI does not acknowledge its part nor it's parent department's huge influence in actually creating barriers to independent living. Nor do they confess to starving the disabled of funds to pay for the essentials of quotidian life: vital food, heating, medications, transport, education and jobs, due to the incompetence, negligence and in some cases deliberate actions inspired by their harmful ideological policies.
In the UK two hashtags are being used on Twitter. As far as I can tell the main ones are #IDPD and #IDPwD, but some are using #IDPD2013. The latter has a more international flavour.
I have been connected with the WoW Campaign for more than a year now. We are fighting for rights and in many cases the right to live. The WoWpetition has just nine days before it expires. It has already garned the 100,000 signatures needed to ensure the petition is considered for debate in the House of Commons (the elected part of the UK Parliament).
If you are a UK citizen resident at home or abroad, you are entitled to add your electronic monicker here:
Signing the petition might lead to governmental barriers to independent living being removed. Thanks. %)