TORONTO, Dec. 2 /CNW/ - Since 1992, the United Nations has declared December 3rd as International Day of Persons with Disabilities, in an effort to draw attention to the dignity, rights and well-being of people living with disabilities. The theme for this year is "Making the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world."
According to the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 15.5 percent of Ontario's population has a recognized disability. However, that number grows to 53% when you include immediate family members. As caregivers and supporters, they too experience the reality of disability. It is a group that is projected to grow, as Ontario's population ages. It is also a group that any one of us may become a member of as a result of illness, accident or age-related causes.
As the first Lieutenant Governor of Ontario with a physical disability, I have selected accessibility as the overarching theme of my mandate. I have defined accessibility as that which enables people to achieve their full potential. Without accessibility, people with disabilities cannot take part in the social, political and economic life of their communities.
In municipalities across Ontario, events to celebrate this important day will be taking place. I urge all Ontarians to take part, in order to become aware of the issues around disability, and to learn what your community is doing to increase accessibility for people with disabilities.
SOURCE Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
For further information: For further information: Ms. Nanda Casucci-Byrne, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, (416) 325-7780, www.lt.gov.on.ca