The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) has been promoted by the United Nations since 1992. This 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 the benefits of integrating persons with disabilities into every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
More than 1.3 billion people experience significant disability today, or 16% of the global population. Many persons with disabilities die earlier, are at increased risk of developing a range of health conditions, and experience more limitations in everyday functioning than the rest of the population.
We call these poorer health outcomes “health inequities” because they’re largely avoidable and driven by unjust factors within and beyond the health sector. These factors include discrimination, inequitable policies, inequities in terms of the determinants of health (where we live, income, education level, etc.), lack of access to or poorer-quality health care, and possible misinformed or negative attitudes of health workers – to name just a few.
These inequities are a stark reminder that persons with disabilities are too often left behind, and that achieving good health and well-being for all requires the meaningful participation and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
Northern Health centres inclusion and accessibility as key pillars in our approach to IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility). Our principle “Nothing About Us, Without Us” comes from the world of disability activism, and the commitment that people who are affected by policies, strategies, and processes will play an active and engaged role in informing their own direction and outcomes.
Join us at Northern Health as we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities!