International day of PWDs
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The annual observance of the International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
This year’s IDPWD stands by its conviction that a person is not inherently ‘disabled’ as disability is not a feature of a person. We say that people have health impairments: some of us need wheelchairs to mobilize; some of us need seeing-eye dogs; some of us need assistive technology – just like some of us need glasses to read; or medication to manage pain; or an inhaler to manage asthma.
All people have different health impairments at some time in our lives. That difference is most of the time your health impairment doesn’t stop you from functioning, being included, or participating in your community.
IDPWD exists to make sure that environmental and social barriers are identified, and to help everyone work together to overcome them. We will never eradicate health impairments, but by overcoming barriers, then we eradicate disablement.
IDPWD is a special time to celebrate the achievements and contributions as well as increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.
As we join the world in celebrating today’s International Day of People with Disabilities today, let us take a closer look at our communities and review our own perceptions of disability to ensure that we do not limit it to people in wheelchairs or assisted by seeing-eye dogs so we can build a society where all persons are treated equally and given the same opportunities to succeed, regardless of the severity of their health impairments.*