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International Day for People With Disability

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Abled does not mean enabled. Disabled does not mean less abled.” ― Khang Kijarro Nguyen

To promote the rights and well being of people with disabilities in all spheres of society and development in order to increase awareness of people with disabilities in all aspects of life including: political, social, economic and cultural life.  The day was chosen by the United Nations in 1992. The U.N. has a strategy where the organizations of the United Nations system reaffirm that the full and complete realization of the human rights of all persons with disabilities is an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

A disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual of their group. The term is often used to refer to individual functioning, including physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, mental illness, and various types of chronic disease. This usage has been described by some disabled people as being associated with a medical model of disability. 

The Day for the People with Disabilities is December 3rd.  This year, 2020, the theme is “not all disabilities are visible.”  This year focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.

Persons with disabilities, “the world’s largest minority”, have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them (like information and communications technology (ICT), justice or transportation) and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. These obstacles can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment, or those resulting from legislation or policy, or from societal attitudes or discrimination.

People with disabilities are at much higher risk of violence:

  • Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled children.
  • Adults with some form or disability are 1.5 times more likely to be a victim of violence than those without a disability.
  • Adults with mental health conditions are at nearly four times the risk of experiencing violence.

Factors which place people with disabilities at higher risk of violence include stigma, discrimination, and ignorance about disability, as well as a lack of social support for those who care for them.

  • Over 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability, that’s 1 in 7
  • More than 100 million disabled persons are children
  • 80% of all people with disabilities live in a developing country
  • 50% of disabled persons cannot afford health care

Everyone can participate, the more understanding the more accessible we can be to create a world/community/school that is accessible for everyone.

You can celebrate at home, in your community and of course, at your school because each place has the opportunity to be more accessible.

There are many ways to celebrate such as: volunteer at organizations that work with people with disabilities, educate yourself and reflect on your beliefs/ideals around disability and/or try some of the fun activities from Trickster.

Event Days give you the ability to not only explore International Day for People with Disability, but also an opportunity to broaden that learning into experiential projects which can be shared. You can share them throughout your school, with other classes, and even more broadly if you choose. The ability for your students to not only have a project of their own, but to be able to see what other students were able to come up with, broadens the viewpoints and creates more dialogue surrounding the issues.

One size does not fit all

How you and your school decide to use the suggested activities, performances, and resources will depend completely on what you and your peers are comfortable with, and the time you have available to designate to the project(s). Trickster is also available to consult with if you would like extra help, resource connections, and/or coordination. You can go big, involving every class with different projects, performances and events throughout the school, or, you can go as small as just doing an activity listed in the materials for your own class which you believe will help them connect to the subject matter. 

Due to the circumstances of COVID19, not everything suggested will be possible, and many will need to be adjusted to suit your needs and comfort level. As we hope to carry this forward, and know that schools are looking to future projects much further down the road, we do want to plant the seeds for what those event days might look like too. There will be suggestions throughout on how you can modify activities for social distancing, but you are also able at any point to choose and modify activities and projects to achieve the level of safety your school is comfortable with.

Why Teachers Love It

Our residency was a unifying and motivating experience that we used as a way to begin our year long inquiry about children’s rights.

— Lisa McConnell, Teacher, North Haven School, Calgary

Past Students & Classes

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