Theme for IDPD 2017: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all.

“Leave No One Behind”

“Persons with disabilities have a significant positive impact on society, and their contributions can be even greater if we remove barriers to their participation. With more than one billion of persons with disabilities in our world today, this is more important than ever.”

Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General, message on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2012

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly, resolution 47/3. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

The main program of the observance for International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Vegreville will be to celebrate the accomplishments that Persons with Disabilities have made in our community. The Vegreville IDPD committee have organized a PANCAKE BREAKFAST on December 1, 2017 at the Senior Citizen Sunshine Club, from 10:30 AM – 1:00PM. We will have a silver donation for the Vegreville Food Bank and Senior Citizen Sunshine Club. This celebration will recognize various businesses in Vegreville, who have hired Persons with Disabilities. These employers have made significant strides by creating an environment of inclusiveness, and at the same time providing an understanding that Persons with Disabilities have skills and talents that far exceed expectations.

As we progress in this vibrant community, this year’s theme – “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all.” – defines what we have been working towards for our community and all its residences. Vegreville is a very sustainable community; and all citizens that reside in our great community have shown outstanding resiliency with all the challenges that we have experienced.

Here are a few quick facts:

  • In Canada, “The unemployment rate for persons with disabilities is 26%, over five times higher than the 5% rate for persons without disabilities.”
  • According to the World Bank and the WHO, globally, there are over 1 billion, or around 15% of the world population, living with a disability.
  • Employing persons with disabilities: Fears and Realities – Persons with disabilities are frequently not considered potential members of the workforce. Perception, fear, myth, and prejudice continue to limit understanding and acceptance of disability in workplaces everywhere. Myths abound, including that persons with disabilities are unable to work and that accommodating a person with a disability in the workplace is expensive.  Contrary to these notions, many companies have found that persons with disabilities are more than capable.
  • An estimated 386 million of the world’s working age people are disabled. These people have the potential to make a valuable contribution in the workforce, as employees, entrepreneurs or employers of others. Some employers have started to tap this potential.
  • Many disabled people who are willing and able to work are unemployed – as many as 80 % in some countries. Frequently, this unemployment is because employers assume that people with disabilities are unable to work and are unwilling to give them the opportunity. Often, it is because these people have not had access to education or training in employable skills, or because the support services they require are not available, or because of unsupportive legislation and policies. Sometimes, it is because buildings or transportation are inaccessible to them. These and other obstacles stand in the way of disabled people finding a job which will enable them to earn their own living, support their families and contribute to the national economy. The resulting loss is felt at every level, not only by disabled people themselves and their families, but also by employers and the wider society.

So please join us on December 1st to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities for a PANCAKE BRUNCH on December 1, 2017 at the Senior Citizen Sunshine Club, 4630-49 St. from 10:30 AM – 1:00PM. A special guest from the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities will be attending, VegMin’s Readers Theatre will provide a little entertainment. This is free and open to the public. Awareness is not for just one day.

Derek Christensen, Employment Facilitator – EmployAbilities