Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons

Dec. 3 is International Day of Disabled Persons (09/12/03)

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Dec. 3, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Dec. 3 is observed every year as International Day of Disabled Persons. The United Nations General Assembly initially proclaimed that date to commemorate the anniversary of its adoption of the World Program of Action Concerning Persons with Disabilities.


The goal of International Day of Disabled Persons is to promote understanding about disability issues, and to increase awareness of the benefits to society that are possible through the inclusion of persons with disabilities in every aspect of our political, social, economic, and cultural lives.

"The Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons in New Brunswick supports the recognition of this day for those around the world who have disabilities," said Michelle Horncastle, chairperson of the council.

The slogan chosen this year by the United Nations is Making the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world.

"This year's slogan sends a powerful message to communities around the world that it is imperative that people with disabilities are fully included within all aspects of our society," said Horncastle.

The United Nations and the global community continue to work for persons with disabilities to be included in the mainstream of all aspects of society and development. Although many commitments have been made to include disability and persons with disabilities in development, the gap between policy and practice continues.

According to the General Assembly, ensuring that persons with disabilities are integrated into all development activities is essential in order to achieve internationally agreed development goals such as the MDGs, which can only be achieved if persons with disabilities and their family members are included. This in turn will ensure that people with disabilities and their families benefit from international development initiatives. Efforts to achieve the MDGs and implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

To mark International Day of Disabled Persons, the Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons released its Disability Action Plan Strategy Status Report #2 during an event today in Fredericton. The report contains a number of responses-to-date on the Recommendations from Disability Action Plan Strategy Report - The Path to Self-Sufficiency and Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities in New Brunswick.

"The release of the second status report on the recommendations of the Disability Action Plan Strategy ensures that provincial government departments are held accountable to implement the requested changes in hopes of closing the gaps to full citizenship and self-sufficiency for all persons with disabilities," said Christyne Allain, executive director of the council.

The full report is available online at


MEDIA CONTACT: Christyne Allain, executive director, Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons, 506-444-3000.