United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities is annually held on December 3 to focus on issues that affect people with disabilities worldwide.
Guest Post by Robert Wemyss
The United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons was held from 1983 to 1992 to enable governments and organisations to implement measures to improve the life of disabled persons all over the world. On October 14, 1992, as this decade drew to a close, the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 3 as the International Day of Disabled Persons.
This day was first observed on December 3, 1992. On December 18, 2007, the assembly changed the observance’s name from the “International Day of Disabled Persons” to the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”. The new name was first used in 2008.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is coordinated by United Nations Enable, which works to support and promote the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The symbol of Enable is the blue UN symbol and the word “enable”. The UN symbol consists of an azimuthal equidistant projection of the globe centered on the North Pole surrounded by olive branches.
The word “enable” is written entirely in lower case letters. The letter “e” is red and the other letters are blue.
Each year the day focuses on a specific theme. This year the theme is Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology
Technology is an important area that we should focus and debate. Assistive Technology is a fantastic enabler for people to be able to access games, shopping and work.
Last week RUS attend the Occupational Therapy Show with one of our great suppliers Nuance. Jonathon Whitmore was on hand to demonstrate how Dragon Naturally Speaking can help anyone who cannot or does not want to use a mouse and who prefers voice activated commands.
The next generation of Dragon software is faster and much easier to use. At RUS we know that there is a huge range of assistive technology, ergonomically designed keyboards and intuitive smart phones all of which can make daily living a bit easier.
Technology can also help people who have a caring responsibility. Canary Care monitors activity and wellbeing – great for discrete elder care management.
However, not all people benefit from the advances of technology and the higher standards of living. This is mainly because not all people have access to new technologies and not all people can afford them. We need to raise awareness of the costs of these products and encourage the Government to do more on tax relief for products of this kind.
RUS is on a mission to collate all kinds of assistive technology into one place.
Today, there are over 1 billion people living in the world with some form of disability
Around the world disabled people not only face physical barriers but also social, economic and attitudinal barriers. Furthermore, disability is associated with twenty per cent of global poverty, of which the majority live in developing countries. We have to do more to make assistive technology available to more people.
Creating Enabling Work Environments
The right to work is a fundamental human right. Through the use of adaptive and assistive technologies, and other reasonable accommodation measures employment opportunities should be barrier free.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities can be used to draw attention to the available technologies and measures that can be adopted to create work environments that are open, inclusive and accessible to allow persons with disabilities to fully participate and contribute to the workforce.