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The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD) has been commemorated since 1992 to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development. The Day works to promote action to raise awareness about disability issues and draw attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all.

The theme for 2015 is Inclusion Matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.

The United Nation’s Secretary General message on this day summons us to “leave no one behind”.  The message emphasize “the importance to strengthen development policies and practices to ensure that accessibility is part of inclusive and sustainable development.”   In order for this to happen we need to to “improve our knowledge of the challenges facing all persons with disabilities – including through more robust, dis-aggregated data, and ensuring that they are empowered to create and use opportunities.

By promoting empowerment, real opportunities for people are created.

Another milestone reached yesterday was the publishing of the European Accessibility Act by the European Commission.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated worldwide, including in Malta.  This morning the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities organised a conference with the theme “Accessible Technology, better choices” which focused on the use of assistive technology to help persons with disability reach their goals and have better opportunities on a par with the rest of society.

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