On December 3 each year we celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities. In 1981 the United Nations proclaimed this as a recognised day for the celebration of the achievements of people living with disabilities across the world. It is also a day upon which we promote awareness of the challenges faced by over 1 billion people living with disabilities, and the role communities and societies play in accelerating the eradication of barriers to social inclusion, equity, participation and citizenship.
About 1 billion people around the world live with a disability – that’s roughly 15 per cent of our global population.
The 2018 Theme is Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality which
focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda pledges to “leave no one behind”. Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development and promote resilient society for all, including in the context of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action, and urban development. Governments, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, academic institutions and the private sector need to work as a “team” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In Nigeria many persons suffer and experience discrimination by the government and most members of the society in which they live. Majority of them have negative experiences with respect to employment, proper training, sustainable and dependable empowerment, exclusion from social interaction and participation in decision making on issues that affect their lives such as lack of access to public facilities. There is the need to change the negative attitude and perception of the public towards disabled persons into a positive one through education and enlightenment campaigns. There is Ability in Disability