International Day of Persons with Disabilities - Easter Seals Canada


DECEMBER 3, 2019


Logos of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Giving Tuesday

Message from Dave Starrett,
President & CEO, Easter Seals Canada

On December 3rd, Easter Seals Canada and Easter Seals provincial organizations will join various organizations across the country and worldwide to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).  This annual observance aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. The theme for IDPD 2019 is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’. The theme focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issues, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

While we have made progress towards a more accessible and inclusive society, much work remains to be done. People with disabilities still face barriers to inclusion in the workplace, in schools and in our society. Removing barriers for people living with disabilities empowers them to fully participate and contribute in society. Whether the person with a disability is a student, a co-worker, a community member, or a family member, we know that the entire community benefits when everyone contributes. We all have a valuable role to play to raise awareness, change attitudes, and embrace differences that will change negative assumptions and stereotypes, and recognize everyone’s abilities and potential.

Since 1922, Easter Seals Canada and its provincial member organizations have been working to create a more inclusive and accessible society that includes and honours the contributions and potential of Canadians of all abilities. With the support from our valued donors and partners like Friends of We Care, CENTURY 21, RBC, CIBC, and many others, Easter Seals have been able to respond to the needs and aspirations of Canadians living with disabilities by providing support programs and services that promote access, inclusion and opportunity.

Easter Seals Canada has also been active at the policy level: advocating for disability issues and priorities through its involvement in the federal ministerial dialogue on the new accessibility legislation (Bill C81), which led to the passing of the first federal accessibility legislation in Canada, the Accessible Canada Act. We are proud to have been involved in this historic piece of legislation which will transform the disability and accessibility landscape in Canada moving forward. We invite you to read more about this and our other activities in the past year in our 2019 Annual Report.

This year, Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) also falls on December 3rd, kicking off the holiday giving season.  In the spirit of this global day of charitable giving, Easter Seals is proud to announce that this year, we are partnering with Amway Canada to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Giving Tuesday on December 3, 2019. In honour of this double celebration and as a demonstration of its support for persons with disabilities and accessibility, Amway will match every dollar donated to Easter Seals Canada starting December 3 to December 31, 2019,up to a maximum of $10,000.  Celebrate these events and help support Canadians living with disabilities by making a donation to Easter Seals Canada today!


There’s no better time to give! I invite you to join us and help ensure thousands of children, youth and adults living with disabilities across Canada can access the tools and resources they need to be successful in life and active members of our community.  Encourage your family members, friends and colleagues to match your donation to Easter Seals to triple and even quadruple your impact!

Thank you,
Dave Starrett
President & CEO, Easter Seals Canada


International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD)

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is observed on December 3rd each year. This annual event was started by the United Nations in 1992 with a resolution passed by the General Assembly. According to the United Nations, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities “aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.”

Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. Read more about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities here.

An infographic poster explaining the various elements of the Accessible Canada ActThe Accessible Canada Act

After much community consultations and deliberations, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-81 or the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) in June 2019: Canada’s first federal accessibility legislation, which aims to create a “barrier-free Canada through the proactive identification, removal and prevention of barriers to accessibility wherever Canadians interact with areas under federal jurisdiction.” The ACA came into force on July 11, 2019, and also creates a Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO) which is tasked with implementing the Accessible Canada Act.

Read more about:

Logo for Giving Tuesday campaign

Giving Tuesday

The idea for Giving Tuesday was originally conceived in the United States in 2012 as the counterweight to the commercialism and consumerism of events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was transplanted in Canada by a group of organizations including, and now includes over 6,500 partners. Giving Tuesday is now a global movement that encourages people to give and volunteer in the post-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas season.

It is an annual reminder for charities, companies and community members to come together and rally for their favourite causes.

Learn more about Giving Tuesday here.


Easter Seals Canada is pleased to count the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons (CFPDP) as one of its long-time supporters and strategic partners.

“A Seat at the Table” is an initiative of the CFPDP which challenges corporate institutions in Canada to create a space at the boardroom table for persons with disabilities who posses the required competence, professional credentials, and proven business acumen that a corporate board requires. The CFPDP can provide interested corporations with a list of qualified candidates to help bring about this pioneering change and inclusion at the board level in corporate Canada. The CFPDP also welcomes enquiries from persons with disabilities who have the qualifications and interest to be included in this growing list of capable potential board members.

For more information about the “A Seat at the Table” initiative, visit the CFPDP website at

An image of several chairs around a long table for a meeting


Easter Seals programs and services across the country include the following. Availability of programs and services vary from province to province.

Programs & Services

Our Events

Red Shirt Day