DECEMBER 3, 2019
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!