IDPD 2016 – Commemorations submitted from around the world

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Previous commemorations submitted from around the world: 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.

UN system

Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
Using #aday4all hashtag, people everywhere have shared stories, videos, information, photos or personal reflections about embracing disability as part of our human diversity. Each day, more people around the world embrace diversity, not only as a matter of rights, but also understanding diversity as one of  humanity’s biggest assets. In order to tap into our social potential, we must leave behind fears and historical negative perceptions towards disabilities, and welcome a culture of inclusion, instead. (About Aday4all, #ADay4All Facebook page, #aday4all hashtag on twitter and instagram ( 

World Health Organisation (WHO)
WHO is joining with other United Nations agencies and civil society organizations to celebrate “a day for all”, highlighting that disability is part of the human condition and a manifestation of diversity in our societies. To celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2016, colleagues at WHO headquarters will be collaborating with other United Nations agencies to hold an art exhibition at Palais Wilson in Geneva. The exhibition “I decide = I am” showcases the work of two Bulgarian artists, and explores issues around guardianship and legal capacity, for people with mental health concerns and intellectual disabilities. A reception marking the official opening of the exhibit will be held on Friday, 2 December. (

UN Women & Handicap Int’l
On 1st December UN Women and Handicap International will be holding a working session on the intersection of violence gender and disability. Through an interactive debate and the sharing of good practices on disability and GBV, this round table, titled “raising awareness on disability and gender-based violence: what does it take to leave no one behind?”, will offer participants the opportunity to learn about, and develop an understanding of, the intersection between gender, disability and violence, and what concrete steps can be taken to include women with disabilities in preventing, reducing and responding to violence against all women.  For more information visit or contact Luisa Fenu at

The Award Ceremony of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will be held at the UNESCO headquarters on December 2, coinciding with the celebrations of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. More at:

UNESCO, Latin America
UNESCO is working with countries in Central America and other partners to finalize a regional road map geared towards increasing the educational and job opportunities for people living with disabilities, through the use of and access to ICTs. Discussions on the 4-year plan began during the Regional Conference on ICTs for People Living with Disabilities in Central America which was organized with the Government of Costa Rica. The event held on 14-16 November in San Jose, Costa Rica brought together representatives from the ministries of education and technology from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and El Salvador, national councils responsible for coordinating disability policies, NGOs and international experts. The need to strengthen policies and initiatives to ensure equal access for women and girls and Indigenous peoples will be a key component in the final roadmap. The regional event is follow-up to the UNESCO global conference “From Exclusion to Empowerment: The Role of ICTs for Persons with Disabilities” organized in November 2014 in New Delhi, India. (Jamion Knight,

On Thursday, 1 December, UNDP will be hosting an innovation conversation as part of their efforts to commemorate the International Day on Persons with Disabilities. This will be an innovation conversation on advancing inclusion of people with disabilities in UNDP and the purpose is specifically to discuss how UNDP can increase accessibility, become a truly inclusive employer, and be more effective in engaging with people with disabilities in our programming.Venue: DC1 building on 1st Avenue, between 44th and 45th streets. The event will start at 9:30 and expect to finish at 11:00. A light breakfast will be served. (Contact Silje Holmboe,

International Labour Organisation (ILO)
On Friday, 2 December, the ILO launches the practical guide Promoting diversity and inclusion through workplace adjustments. Reasonable adjustments – also called accommodations –enable employees to bring their full professional potential to work and thereby contribute to business success. Reasonable accommodation is a concept that is applicable to all workers. However, specific groups of workers are more likely to be in need of reasonable accommodations, including persons with disabilities, people living with HIV or AIDS, pregnant workers and those with family responsibilities as well as employees who hold a particular religion or belief. Read the Publication on Promoting diversity and inclusion through workplace adjustments. 

ESCAP, Brunei Darussalam
ESCAP and the Asia Pacific Centre on Disability and Development (APCD) supported the Make the Right Real event held on 3 December by the Government of Brunei Darussalam. The event aimed at raising awareness and promoting actions by policy makers and persons with Disabilities on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(CRPD), Incheon Strategy and the SDGs particularly because the Government has just ratified the CRPD earlier this year. The establishment of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities, a federation of organizations of persons with disabilities officially announced as well. The government is planning on responding to the ESCAP’s survey on the Incheon Stratergy, through which the region’s database on disability- inclusive development will be established in 2017.

Global Commemorations

Leonard Cheshire Disability
The Cheshire Global Alliance, a network of 200 organisations supporting disabled persons in over 50 countries, has organised awareness-raising activities across the world. These will include an arts and trade showcase in in Adjumani, Uganda and a marathon in Bangalore, India. The events will highlight abilities and skills, but also negative experiences such as those faced by Paul Kawere, an unemployed university graduate struggling in Uganda. Paul said: “Employers say ‘disabled persons are not efficient, they take a lot of time to finish a task.’ This is not true and in fact we can sometimes perform more efficiently than non-disabled persons.”

Sign Bee
SignBee Contest is meant to make Sign language popular with key objectives to (a) Train School students on Sign Language so that they can help in communicating with hearing impaired (b) Lead to an inclusive society (c) Scale up the availability of manpower. The Sign Bee contest was a big success in its Inaugural Year (2015). This year, the SignBee Qualifiers contest was held in 3 cities viz. Trivandrum, Coimbatore & Bangalore. The Finals for the same is being held on World Disability Day at Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum, Bangalore. This event is organised by the IEEE (Special Interest Group on Communications Disability) with support of NISH, SRCISH, AIISH, CBE District Library & NDS. Visit

National and local commemorations

The Institute of Hazrat Mohammad SAW will be holding a Roundtable on December 3, 2016 at the Institute’s Board Room from 10:00AM to 1:00PM.  Titled “SDG Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all” the discussion will examine the legal rights of persons with disability and the initiatives taken by the government towards promoting a more inclusive society. To attend please contact Barrister Rizwana Yusuf, E: : More on the event:

1. The European Commission, through the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) will hold a roundtable on disability hate crime, which will include findings from ENIL’s hate crime survey, and will feature speakers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE – ODIHR), CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, the Croatian Disability Ombudsman and the Norwegian Civil Rights Foundation. The roundtable will take place on 30 November, from 15:00 – 18:00, at Mundo J, Rue de l’Industrie 10. To register, please e-mail Jamie Bolling at at your earliest convenience (please note that places are limited).
Download the agenda and background information.

2. The European Commission, through the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), and hosted by OHCHR, will hold a speed-dating event on Article 19 & Article 32 CRPD on 5 December. The speed-dating event on Article 19 & Article 32 of the UN CRPD is organised as part of the European Disability and Development Week, and aimed at anyone interested in independent living and development cooperation, and ways to build links between the two. Contestants from ENIL, the European Disability Forum, European Commission and the Togolese Federation of Associations of Disabled People will compete in three rounds for the title of the best ‘speed-date’. The event will take place on 5 December, from 12:00 – 14:30 (lunch included) at the European Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) at Rue Montoyer 14. To register, please e-mail Ines Bulic at by 30 November (please note that places are limited).
Download the agenda and background information.

1. EmployAbilities, of Vegreville, Alberta, is celebrating through a Vegreville Enable Photo, Art and Poetry Exhibition. Participants are asked to submit a photo, art piece, or a poem/essay (short) that helps raise awareness about disability issues in and around our great community of Vegreville. Participants are asked to think about how they perceive living with a disability, and send a photo, create some art, or write a poem/essay that shows accomplishments, achievements , or what accessibility means to them. This event will be held at the Vegreville Centennial Library from 12 Noon – 4PM. (Derek Christensen, E: Web:

2. The Accessibility Advisory Committees (AACs) of Perth County (Ontario, Canada) and the City of Stratford will be celebrating with a series of film screenings. The aim of this event is to promote a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities by celebrating the lives and accomplishments of people with disabilities. (Julia Opie, 519-271-0531 ext. 141, e: Web:

3. The Celebration of People Steering Committee. On December 1, a group of community partners in Ottawa, ON will be celebrating its 16th Celebration of People gala event. This annual event gives out 12 awards to local amazing role models with disabilities and organization / employers who practice inclusion and full community participation by citizens with disabilities.  (; Serge Falardeau,

4. The Accessibility Advisory Committee of Burlington, Ontario Canada in partnership with the Burlington Public Library will celebrate with a screening of Love Leads the Way: A True Story. This film for the whole family is about the first guide dog in the United States. Join for the movie and a visit from the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. Saturday, December 3 at 1:00 p.m. Central Branch, 2331 New Street, Burlington, Ontario. Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee 905-335-7600. (Contact Judi Lytle, Web:

5. The City of Quinte West Accessibility Advisory Committee invites you to join us as we celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This event is being held to recognize the amazing accomplishments and contributions that people with disabilities make to our society and promises to motivate and enlighten people to the unlimited possibilities of the human spirit.
Come hear the inspiring stories of our Guest Speakers Phil Kerr, Extreme Sports Enthusiast & Entrepreneur and Victoria Nolan, World Champion Rower & Paralympic Medalist. For more information, contact Anne-Marie Cunningham, City of Quinte West Accessibility Coordinator at 613-392-2841 x4462 or or visit and view our Accessibility webpage. ASL/English Interpreter provided.

6. ARES Staffing Solutions, a Canadian recruitment firm that wraps Diversity and Inclusion into their core business, is celebrating IDPD 2016 by inspiring their stakeholders to “not leave anyone behind.”  Weekly team meeting turned into a discussion forum on the IDPD 2016, and highlighted recruitment ‘best practices’ to ensure candidates and customers are accommodated within the recruitment process.  ARES committed communications and financial resources to create a radio and e-letter campaign to promote awareness of IDPD to encourage inclusion in their clients’ operations.  They trained their entire staff on accommodation and accessibility to ensure that it happens consistently and supportively, and they completed the Canadian Business SenseAbility’s Disability Inclusion Index to continue their work to become solidly ‘disability confident’ in every area.  For more information, contact Anita Sampson Binder at or visit

On December 3, the Federation of Ethiopian National Associations of Persons with Disabilities (FENAPD) plans to organize a public forum on IDPD global theme, conduct panel discussion for higher government officials and policy makers, organize TV Talk show and drama on disability, broadcast disability issues through different radio programs. The Federation has also organized a street walking with police march with an intent of promoting public awareness on persons with disabilities and blood donation in partnership with the National Blood Bank Service followed by an official closing of the ceremony. Previous forums have been conducted in partnership with ILO and OHCHR. (Contact: Alem Brook,

On 3 December, ‘Access in Museums in South Asia: Learning from the Commonwealth Association of Museums’ Regional Workshop 2016, in partnership with the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust’ will be released. Edited by Mrinalini Venkateswaran, Catherine C Cole and Giles Tillotson, the publication is the outcome of a collaborative workshop on ‘Access in Museums in South Asia’ that was held in the City Palace in Jaipur in March 2016, which brought together a variety of museum and heritage professionals to learn about access. The publication is supported by a special projects grant from the International Council of Museums (ICOM). It includes the ‘Jaipur Declaration on Access to Museums’ which was first issued at the end of the workshop, and practical advice and suggestions on how to become more inclusive as a museum professional and institution, and is intended as a resource for museums and professionals in the region to use as well as build upon. It can be downloaded for free here and here. (Contact Mrinalini Venkateswaran,

From November 1 to December 3, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology will hold a series of events on ICT training, competitions for youth with disabilities, and focus-group discussions in 34 provinces of Indonesia on ICT utilization for disabilities. (Contact: Fadhilah Mathar, E: More information)

1. Anffas Onlus – National Association of Families of people with intellectual disabilities – will celebrate the IDPD – with a two-day international convention (2-3 December) entitled: “Intellectual and  neurodevelopmental disabilities: “Human rights and quality of life”. International experts will explore and deepen  the theme: current situation and future prospects. (E:, website).

2. The Associazione Premio Eleanor Worthington together with the Urbino Local Authority are celebrating with eight local authorities (Borgo Pace, Fermignano, Mercatello sul Metauro, Montecalvo in Foglia, Peglio, Petriano, Sant’ Angelo in Vado, Urbania). Each local authority is hosting an activity, such as films, theatrical plays, exhibitions, conferences, special openings of museums and art galleries. Urbino celebrates the IDPD with two events: the  the Eleanor Worthington Prize on art and disability, an Anglo-Italian competition open to students of art schools at university level. In the evening, the film “Come saltano i pesci” will be screened at a local cinema, with a discussion with film director Alessandro Valori. (Contact Giuliana Parodi, E:

3. The “Consulta Comunale della disabilità” of Verona is organising an Open Day from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. in the main town square, Piazza Bra. The event will include exhibitions by non-profit organizations, inclusive for all persons, with Sport, Hobby, Culture, Cooking, etc. Michele Ferrarin, paralympic atlete and silver medal winner (Paralymics Rio 2016) will also be present. Contact Alessandra Corradi, FB page

4. Ufficio Stampa Asperger Pride will introduce the ‘Aspie Kit’ to the public and to the press. Aspie Kit was developed to raise awareness about the neurodiversity of people on the autism spectrum, teachers, and also family members and partners.Aspie Kit aims to introduce, through a gradual process, increased awareness of autism spectrum conditions and in those people who are in daily contact both in people with autism themselves. The event will be hosted at “Like a Tree”, Bistrot Social House and Museum of the look on disability, in Via Alessandria 159. Contact:

5. On Friday 2 December, Ca’ Foscari University in Venice will open the FifteenPercent a photo exhibition and  conference series about disability in the world. “QuindiciPercento” or “FifteenPercent” is a project by Christian Tasso, which started in 2015. Tasso aims to paint a picture of the lives of people living with disability across the world. The aim of this project is to raise awareness among the public of the lives and dignity of men and women living with disability in different social and cultural contexts. One of these pictures was selected for the UN enable photo exhibition of 2015. The exhibition will start on 2nd December and it will be hosted inside a University for this time. The exhibition and the conferences will go on until 16th of January. (Contact Federica Settimi,

1. Al Manarah is launching its public campaign titled ‘Close Your Eyes And Read’. The aim of this campaign is to highlight the importance of accessing information for person with disabilities. AlManarah is also hosting an internationally acclaimed expert on disability law and policy, Professor Michael Stein from Harvard University to discuss society’s responsibility toward persons with disabilities and raise awareness of the CRPD. (Abbass Abbass, Executive Director, E:, Madeline Roache, E: Website and Facebook).

2. Beit Issie Shapiro is marking IDPD with three separate events: a) the launch of the third round of the A3i accelerator – the first leading Assistive Technology Accelerator worldwide – in partnership with PresenTense, Beit Issie Shapiro, the Ruderman Family Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, ; b) the opening of a “Positive Exposure” photo exhibition at Tel Aviv University presenting the work of photographer Rick Guidotti celebrating the richness and  beauty of genetic diversity and challenging the stigmas associated with differences in appearance; c) a session with the Science and Technology Committee of Israel’s Knesset, the legislative branch of the Israeli government, on “Promoting Initiatives and Innovation in Assistive Technology” which will examine ways the Israeli Government can assist to promote entrepreneurship in the field of assistive technologies. Contact details: Sharon Yeheskel-Oron,, Website, Facebook 

In Garissa Country, the Lutheran World Federation will commemorate the day with celebration across the dadaab five camps; Hagadera, Kambios, Dagahaley, ifo 1 and ifo 2. LWF/WS will join more than 10,000 Persons with disabilities in marking the day with dances, poems, and speeches from various stakeholders. (Contact: Vitalis Koskei, e: Web:

Maldives Association of Physical Disabled are organising an Opportunity Walk to be held on 2nd December 2016, 4:30pm to 5:30pm at a Track Ground in Male’ Maldives, advocating for “Achieving of 17 Goals for the Future Want”. The current status of CRPD will also be assessed in line with the disability act of Maldives. (Contact Ahmed Mohamed, E:, web:

1. Dar ul sukun, an organization for children and people with disabilities, senior citizens, and socially displaced girls and boys in Pakistan, will hold an Inclusive Gathering in the city Karachi, where approximately 650 people will gather and acknowledge the success and inspiring stories of the Persons with Disabilities. There will also be a showcase of the activities conducted through Dar ul sukun to strengthen the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The speakers will talk discuss Disability Sensitization, “Importance of Inclusion”, “Power of Giving” and “Hope”. (Najam Leghari,; web:

2. International Office, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) Pakistan organized a seminar and an awareness walk titled “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want” on 8th December, 2016 in collaboration with Paraplegic Center Peshawar and Helping Hand for Relief and Development organisation. The purpose of this seminar was to create an awareness, ensuring the dignity of persons with disability and developing an inclusive societal environment for achieving sustainable development. (Contact: Arshad Salim Malik,

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation is holding and event on December 13th in Madrid, in order to commemorate the Human Rights Day, focusing on the tenth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This anniversary is an opportunity to assess the progress achieved and the real impact of the wide ratification of the Convention in the lives of persons with disabilities. The speakers at the event include members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a representative of the Spanish administration in charge of disability policies and a representative of the independent monitoring mechanism set up in Spain in compliance with article 33.2 of the Convention. (Contact: Ainara Gómez López, E:

United Arab Emirates
1. Al Najma Center for people with disabilities is organizing a public gathering to state that Love is inclusion, not exclusion. The International Disability Day will be celebrated with an outdoor event with fun filled games to include children with and without disabilities, in order to rejuvenate the mind as well as the body. The event includes some sports activities as well. (Contact numbers: 00971 06 5266477, 00971 50 4091789, 00971 50 9441537., Web: The video of the event can be found here:

2. The Austin Center for Speech and Behavior ( organized a public gathering and workshop, where more than 200 parents of children with disabilities, special educators, clinical psychologist and therapist from Dubai and other parts of UAE participated in this public event. As a part of this various competitions, quizzes and trainings where conducted. The workshop included topics such as: Unique apps for kids with disabilities? and Managing behavior at home, as well as various Government aids for children with disabilities. (

United Kingdom

1. The Independent Living in Scotland project (part of Inclusion Scotland) is hosting the 2nd Annual Disabled People’s Summit in Glasgow on 2nd December. This Summit brings together disabled people, Disabled People’s Organisations, service providers and strategic decision makers to look at housing for disabled people in Scotland. It also sees the launch of the Scottish Government’s Disability Action Plan on the UNCRPD by the Scottish Parliament’s Minister for Social Security. A report of the Summit will be used to influence changes and improvements in access to housing across all areas and tenures for  people with disabilities. (Heather Fiskin, Web:

United States of America
1. New York
The John Jay College Student Council, in partnership with the United Nations Association- City College of New York Chapter will present a panel discussion entitled: “Human Rights for All: Disability & The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”  The panel will feature internationally acclaimed experts on disability law and policy. Join us as we celebrate this day with good company and discuss ways that those passionate about disability advocacy can get involved in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals and its inclusive  agenda. ( RSVP is required. Contact Haris Melendez,

2. Boston
’31 Nights of Light Event’. At the Prudential Center in Boston, MA on December 3rd, between 4:30-7:30PM, NTI (helping Americans with Disabilities back into the workplace), will host an event showcasing the achievements of Individuals with Disabilities. With a focus on the UN’s 17 goals for the future we want, participants will interact with adaptive athletes, disability advocates, artists and musicians with disabilities, and encounter assistive technology demonstrations to showcase inclusion.  More details can be found at  (Email: Michael Sanders

3. Chicago
ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is the first of its kind program designed to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion of people with disabilities in the Chicago region. ADA 25 Advancing Leadership’s long-term vision is that Chicago’s vibrant civic life will include people with disabilities in proportion to the population by building a pipeline and network of leaders with disabilities who are deeply engaged in the civic life of the Chicago region, consistent with the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On December 1st, we will have our first convening of our growing network of over 60 leaders with disabilities. On this day, our membership base will be able to network with each other and celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. For more information about ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, visit (Contact: Robin Burnett, Email:

4. Los Angeles, California
To commemorate and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the CRPD and IDPD 2016, on Friday December 2nd, the WORLD Policy Analysis Center (WORLD) at UCLA is releasing new global data, maps, and factsheets to examine progress toward establishing equal rights for persons with disabilities worldwide.  To access these tools and learn more, please consult the WORLD website –  Additionally, on Friday December 2nd WORLD will be co-hosting a PBS NewsHour twitter chat to discuss their newly released findings from 10-11am PT (1-2pm ET). (Contact: Milad Pournik,

5. Florida
Dicapta Foundation is celebrating with a campaign for Accessible Television. It has created two video clips in Spanish and English, with captions and audio description, showing how easy is to make TV accessible for all. Dicapta Foundation is sharing these clips with several organizations and TV channels that will be passing them on to their audiences. For more information contact Olga Collazos, and visit the accessible web site:

The Research Unit Disability, Family and Society at the School of Social Work at the Central University of Venezuela is organising an event commemorating ten years of the CRPD on 28 and 29 November from 8.30am to 4.30pm, in the multipurpose room of the School of Social Work (UCV).. Its Open Forum is space used to lecture on relevant issues at the national level about quality of life for persons with disabilities.  (Contact: Alexander Albarran, E: Web:

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