According to the United Nations, the world population is over eight billion people, and more than one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability; 80 percent live in developing countries.  In the United States, President Joe Biden has delivered a proclamation for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is recognized on December 3rd of each year.  Below is an excerpt of that decree:

“On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we recommit to building a world where disabled people everywhere are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and are afforded an equal shot at achieving their dreams.

Many Americans can still recall when — just over three decades ago — a person could legally be denied service in a restaurant and employers could refuse to hire them on the basis of their disability.  Since the beginning of my career, I have worked hard to change that.  One of my earliest acts as a United States Senator was co-sponsoring the Rehabilitation Act, which banned discrimination on the basis of disability by any entity funded by the Federal Government.  Years later, I was proud to co-sponsor the Americans with Disabilities Act — a landmark piece of legislation that banned discrimination against disabled people in workplaces, schools, public transit, and more.

Today, as we celebrate the dignity, resilience, and immense contributions of disabled people everywhere, we recognize that our progress is not just about protecting disability rights — it is about promoting disability pride.  For many of the over one billion disabled people around the world, disability is a source of identity and power — and it is our responsibility to ensure everyone has equal opportunities to reach their full potential.”

To celebrate this day, you can host a disability training session in your workplace which is a great way to ignite meaningful change in your workplace. You can post on your social media pages information about disabilities that you may have or others you love have to generate awareness and understanding.  It is important to remember that a any person with a disability is really just differently ABLED.  With education, accommodations and acceptance their abilities can shine.

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