Home » December 3 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is observed every year on December 3. Proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3, this annual observance aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. As an elevator and lift company in New York, we are fully aware of how disability inclusion is crucial to achieve an accessible future for all.
The theme for 2019 IDPD is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’. The focus of this theme is on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issues, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Twenty-eight years ago, the United States became the first country in the world to adopt national civil rights legislation banning discrimination against disabled people. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. This civil rights law forbids discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ADA in 2015, then Secretary of State John Kerry said:”The basic concept of disability rights is all about things you can see and touch and make a measurable difference for people living with disabilities – things like sidewalks with curb cuts; public buildings with accessible bathrooms; restaurants, stores, hotels and universities with ramps and elevator access; buses with lifts; and train platforms with tactile strips.”
ADA requires all public buildings and businesses to be handicap accessible. Elevators are generally not required in facilities under three stories or with fewer than 3,000 square feet per floor, unless the building is a shopping center or mall; the professional office of a health care provider; a terminal, depot, or other public transit station; or an airport passenger terminal. In fact, IDPD is the right time to draw attention to various types of accessibility equipment that has made daily living easier for people with mobility issues. In addition to elevators, these life-changing devices include stair lifts, handicap vans, specialty vehicles, wheelchair lifts, ramps, and more. These devices are designed to overcome accessibility barriers in homes and public settings, making users self-reliant and giving them a sense of independence.
International Day of People with Disabilities symbolizes the actions we should take every day in order to create diverse and accepting communities.
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