Recognizing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3 marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), established by the United Nations in 1992. At UBC, we recognize the significance behind this day, and I invite your reflection on and engagement in its observance.

The purpose of IDPD is to “promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities”, to raise awareness of the diversity and intersectionality of lived experiences as well as to advocate for further accessibility and disability equity. 

Learn more about the history of IDPD.

Accessibility and disability equity are paramount in facilitating the success and wellbeing of disabled students, faculty and staff. As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, we must remain vigilant in fostering accessibility and disability equity as we embrace the future of hybrid working and learning environments. 

With the launch of UBC’s Accessibility Committee, the university is well-positioned to advance its commitments to addressing disablism and academic ableism, removing environmental and attitudinal barriers to accessibility, and to fostering accessibility and disability equity. The committee comprises disabled students, faculty and staff as well as campus service providers who will together play an integral role in shaping the development of UBC’s Accessibility Plan, expanding on the priorities in the Strategic Equity and Anti-Racism (StEAR) Framework and Roadmap for Change.

The work of the Accessibility Committee will build on the invaluable past and present organizing efforts of the Disability Affinity Group and the Disability United Collective – community-led faculty, staff, and student groups committed to holding space for and amplifying the voices of disabled UBC community members, identifying barriers to and opportunities for change, and promoting disability justice.  

I invite you to learn about the diverse experiences of persons with disabilities and proactively make efforts to advance accessibility and disability equity. The EIO’s StEAR Enhancement Funds provides a funding stream to support disability justice related initiatives. 

Explore learning opportunities and resources.

If you have feedback on accessibility planning or disability equity at UBC, I invite you to share them with the Accessibility Committee. If you have concerns around discrimination related to disability, please contact a human rights advisor for confidential consultation.