The now annual observance of the United Nation’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd was established by the International Year for Disabled Persons in 1981. The aim of the day is to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of disabled people in the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities. The theme this year is “Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond” and stems from concerns that while the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cannot be fully achieved without full inclusion, the current track toward their achievement may be increasing marginalization. There is also worry that the persistent and cumulative impact of multiple global crises threaten the progress made toward the achievement of the MDGs and that will have a disproportionate and negative impact on disabled people. Consequently, while the day celebrates the place of disability rights on international agendas it also acts as a renewal of commitment to continue the push for change.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted in December 2006 at the UN Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signature in March 2007. You can check whether your country has signed and ratified the convention and the optional protocol here.
…and don’t forget the DRF’s very own Where Else? section which lists loads of places to find more disability- related stuff.