Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities
I feel so happy that the pandemic has not put a halt to IDPD celebrations. In fact, I am so delighted that the United Nations is taking a proactive stance and putting the disability community at the centre of the pandemic response. For the show today, I spoke to Minister Carla Qualtrough about the government’s response to the pandemic. I appreciated that the Minister acknowledged that there was more the government could do to support people with disabilities, even though she also talked about all the government had already done.
It’s a moment of crisis and how we respond to crises is an indication of political priorities.
I have had deep respect for the work of the Alliance of Equality of Blind Canadians. They have always been so active in the community, especially in Toronto where I live. I have gotten so busy over the last few years, that try as I might, I can’t get involved in one thing more. The AEBC has been a voice for the blind community- including me obviously, and I appreciate it more than can adequately be put in words.
I mention the AEBC in particular because of their upcoming conference which will take place later this afternoon. I will be anchoring the coverage of the conference on AMI-Audio. I hope you will tune in to the coverage on AMI-Audio and also join the Zoom meeting. You can write firstname.lastname@example.org for an invite.
The act of coming together as people with disabilities is crucial this year. IDPD is and has always been a celebration, but it is also a call to action. This year’s UN theme is “Building Back Better: Towards a Disability-Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post COVID-19 Future.”
The months, and years to come, will realize this slogan. It’s going to take leadership at all levels of government and civil society and not-for-profits coming together to work on disability issues in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Most importantly, it’s going to take all of us.
We, as people with disabilities, staying strong, holding the course and fighting to ensure we are not forgotten.
But it’s going to take a broader effort by everyone- regardless of ability, to ensure that disability issues are put on the map.