Sunday, November 27, 2016

Achieving Goals for the Future We Want

Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been celebrated around the world annually on the 3rd day of December.

The theme for this year is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”. This theme notes the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.

"We mark this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities in the wake of the adoption of the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  This global blueprint for action summons us to “leave no one behind”." -Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Observance of this day provides opportunities for inclusive events in our local communities, as well as a time for political leaders, businesses, academic institutions, cultural centers and others to think about best practices and to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.

There are several events happening this week in our city to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. See the poster below, created by Empower: The Disability Resource Centre, The City of St. John's, and the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities NL.

The City of St. John's has also created a wonderful activity package that contains materials needed for children (and adults!) to complete a Disability Awareness Challenge. We have been busy working on ours! You can email to request your own package.

Disability is a natural part of the human experience. There have always been people with disabilities, and there always will be. And that's ok. It is perfectly natural for human beings to be diverse. It's what makes us strong and interesting and vital.

I know from having so many incredible little ones in my life that children with disabilities need to know they are loved just as they are, and that they will be supported to follow their dreams no matter how large or how small. The way to live those dreams might be different, but the dreams are the same as those of any other individual - happiness, health, growth, education, friends, family, love, home and belonging.

Let us work towards consciously increasing our thoughts, words, and actions to promote inclusion and belonging.

Achieving Goals for the Future We Want”. I want a future in a world that is better prepared for my son and for children like him. I want a future where everyone is included and accepted. My little boy has brought so much joy and love into my life, and I prepare for his future and join others in paving the road for all of our children by making efforts and creating awareness today. We are all in this together, and we need to work together towards the full integration of persons with disabilities in our communities, in every aspect of their lives, and on an equal basis with others.

For more information on the International Day of Persons With Disabilities, please visit

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