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International Day Of Persons with Disabilities

December 3rd is the United Nations’ nationally recognized holiday focusing on the issues affecting the disabled worldwide.  2016 is the event’s 25th anniversary, and it matters just as much now as ever. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) a striking 10% of the world’s population lives with a physical disability, with 20% of the world’s poor being disabled. Through this day, the UN hopes to inform about and help those with physical disabilities.

The main plans the UN currently has for benefiting those with disabilities include the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Community-based rehabilitation (CBR)

The (MDGs) are the goals the UN has for bettering the global community as a whole. The goals are as follows: eradicating hunger, achieving universal education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating common deadly diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and finally developing a global partnership for development. Although the goals do not specifically include disability, the UN states, “Considering the challenges that people with disabilities face it is vital that the global community works to mainstream disability across all development sectors.” Seeing as many of both America and the world’s disabled live in poverty, the UN believes the (MDG’s) will significantly help those who live physically disabled.

The other plan the UN has is CBR. While the MDG’s focus isn’t on disabilities, CBR’s is. It is an “effort to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families; meet their basic needs; and ensure their inclusion and participation.” While at first it was designed to provide rehabilitation centers in significantly impoverished areas, it is now multi-sectional, including helping the daily lives and and equalization in society of the disabled. It is established as a combined effort with both those who are and are not disabled. CBR was first initiated by WHO in 1978.

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Noelle Renee Hendrickson is a feminist, photographer, digital artist, and poet. She is writer on the Open Mormon Blog and Medium website.

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