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Recognizing International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3 is recognized as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). It was first proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) in 1992, following the International Year of the Disabled Person in 1981 and the UN Decade of Disabled Persons, 1983-1992. The day was created to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, and to increase awareness of their experiences in all areas of society. Disabilities, which can be visible or invisible, are experienced differently by each person, and can intersect with other forms of identity. 

This year we can reflect on how the COVID-19 crisis has magnified pre-existing barriers to accessibility and has a disproportionate impact on persons with disabilities. The University of Toronto’s Statement of Commitment Regarding Persons with Disabilities affirms our shared commitment and responsibility to the creation of an equitable environment. It is important to learn about accessibility and inclusive design to proactively identifyremove barriers to accessibility, and to create opportunities for all persons. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Annual Report highlights some of the steps the University is taking to create an accessible and barrier free environment. 

Today, I invite you to attend The Intersections of Disability and Multiple Identities: Fighting Stigmas, Advancing Opportunities virtual event organized by the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office, the AODA Office, and AccessAbility Services, University of Toronto Scarborough. 

The following offices are available to all members of the U of T community for resources or support: 

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Office 

AccessAbility Services, UTSC 

Accessibility Services, UTM