International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Over one billion people, or approximately 15% of the world's population, live with some form of disability. Persons with disabilities, "the world's largest minority", often face barriers to participation in all aspects of society. Barriers can be obvious in the physical environment, but also in the information and communications technology and taken for granted attitudes accepted in society.
The 2012 theme for 3rd December "International Day of Persons with Disabilities is "removing barriers to create an inclusive an accessible society for all."
Occupational therapists have long understood that the interaction between the person, the environment, and the demands of the occupation are what can create or reduce barriers to participation. We work to maximise personal abilities, adapt and advocate for supportive environments, and adjust ways of doing occupations so that everyone can participate with dignity.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides an international framework to progress the rights of persons with disabilities throughout the world. For some context in this contemporary Convention, see The United Nations and Disabled Persons - The First Fifty Years to trace important shifts in how disability has been understood.
Displacement and Disability in the news
The plight of a family in immigration detention with two severely disabled children. Australia's Lateline, 21/11/12
A Mandate for Reform. The Maltan Times, 19/11/12
The War Victims and Persons with Disabilities in Syria. Global Arab Network, 12/11/12
Still Struggling in a Safe Place: Wartime Refugees. CNN, 26/10/12
South Sudan Mental Health Care for Refugees. Medecins Sans Frontiers, 1/10/12
Disability and Displacement. Forced Migration Review 35, July 2010.
Working with Persons with Disabilities in Forced Displacement. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2011.
When Disability and Displacement Intersect; Asylum Seekers with Disabilities. Crock, M., McCallum, R., Ernst, C., 2011.
Disability in Contexts of Displacement. Karanja, M., 2009
Refugees with Disabilities. Women's Refugee Commission, 2009
Mainstreaming in Action: A case study form Sri Lanka, CBM, 2009