As the International Day of Persons with Disabilities approaches on December 3rd, consider these tips to create events and activities that mark the day and contribute to a positive cultural shift in your organization or community where disability is not just a problem to be solved.
- Intersectionality matters. Recognize the diverse challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, considering factors like race, gender, Indigenity, and socioeconomic status. Like all of us, people with disabilities all have a complex interplay of various identities.
- Disability work is justice work. Beyond education, the disability movement is a broader pursuit of justice. Address systemic inequalities, discrimination, and social barriers hindering the full participation and rights of people with disabilities. Think beyond the event, and embrace it as a movement for change.
- Build equal relationships. Encourage genuine connections by recognizing individuals with disabilities as equals. Value our abilities and contributions, steering away from defining us solely by disabilities. Fostering relationships based on mutual respect and understanding where we are full participants and not a topic of conversation.
- Prioritize mental health. Remember that mental health is an aspect of well-being for people with disabilities. When planning activities, ensure that mental health is a top priority, providing support and promoting an environment that nurtures overall well-being.