The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is celebrated globally on December 3rd to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, and to increase awareness of their situation in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
The 2019 United Nations theme is “Promoting the participation of people with disabilities and their leadership”. It has also been interpreted as “The Future is Accessible”. EARN celebrated IDPD by attending and participating in events held by our members.
The House of Commons Administration commemorated IDPD on November 27th and demonstrated its commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Public and private partners ran kiosks promoting accessibility resources available to employees. In addition, attendees enjoyed an address from Philippe Dufresne, champion of the House Administration’s Diversity Council, a comedy set from EARN member Michael Lifshitz, and a performance from all-abilities Dandelion Dance.
The event also showcased various accessibility services, including sign-language interpretation, closed captioning, and auditory amplification devices. We were proud to partner with the House Administration and to have a kiosk at this event to share our services with House employees.
Algonquin College hosted a Celebration of People reunion brunch on December 3rd to honour past award recipients. MC Timothy Andradé, introduced Keynote Speakers and Paralympians Emily Glossop and Todd Nicholson, as well as Honourary Speaker Jim Kyte, Dean of Algonquin’s School of Hospitality and Tourism. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and mingle following the presentations. EARN members were amongst the award recipients.
The City of Ottawa also observed IDPD on December 3rd: Mayor Watson gave a proclamation to the City’s Accessibility Advisory Committee. Presentations focused on municipal processes that help make public services and facilities accessible to everyone. EARN member Christine Malone spoke about the city’s engagement with EARN, and aligned with the UN theme, she stressed the importance of leadership from jobseekers in actively participating and providing feedback throughout their job search.