Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, to be observed on 3 December:
This year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities focuses on the theme, “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology”.
Technology has changed the world, bringing knowledge within reach and expanding a range of opportunities. Persons with disabilities can benefit enormously from such advances, yet too many lack access to these essential tools.
As the international community works to develop an ambitious and inspiring post-2015 development agenda that leaves no one behind, we must harness the power of technology for development for all.
Through adaptive, assistive and inclusive technology, persons with disabilities can make the most of their potential in their communities and in the workplace. Employers can harness technology to create an enabling environment for persons with disabilities to find productive employment and fully use their skills and capacities.
Technology can also help persons with disabilities caught up in natural disasters by making sure that critical information reaches them. Equally important, technology can help us include the particular needs of persons with disabilities in disaster preparedness and response.
Let us spare no effort to ensure that policies, programmes, guidelines and twenty-first century technologies are accessible to persons with disabilities and sensitive to their perspectives and experiences. Together, let us work for a better future that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable for all.