Twenty-five years on and the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) was celebrated again on 3 December.
The United Nations sanctioned day aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and to celebrate their achievements and contributions.
Individuals, schools and organisations nationwide supported IDPwD again this year.
Scope Australia’s General Manager Sam McOrist believes the occasion marks a very special time domestically and abroad.
“The day is significant in acknowledging the many amazing contributions people with disability bring to the world,” Mr McOrist says.
“International Day of People with Disability is also an important time for Australia to reflect on how we can improve our understanding of people with disability and how we can create a world that is fully inclusive and accessible.”
Scope is a not-for-profit organisation that supports people with physical, intellectual and multiple disabilities achieve their goals in life.
For the day, they brought together 40 key stakeholders from some of Victoria’s leading organisations to foster their understanding on disability, inclusion and access as well as other inclusive activities and events.
In November, a commemorative coin and envelope to celebrate IDPwD were welcomed by the Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack and Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services Jane Prentice.
Mr McCormack says the coin is a symbolic reminder of the substantial roles people with disabilities play in our society and the importance of providing support to those in need.
“The coin features an artistic extension of the International Day of People with Disability logo which is used globally to encourage recognition and inclusivity,” he says.
Mrs Prentice announced the 2017 National Disability Awards winners at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
“The Awards honour and recognise the hard work and achievements of everyday Australians that are making a real difference in their communities,” she says.
This year, the winners were Compass Group (Queensland), Catia Malaquias (Western Australia), AbilityMate (New South Wales), University of Sydney - Centre of Disability Studies and Sue Salthouse of Australian Capital Territory.
“These passionate and hardworking individuals and organisations have been commended for making Australia a more inclusive and accepting place,” Mrs Prentice says.
More than 140 nominations were received for the 2017 awards, from which 12 finalists and five winners were selected by an independent judging panel.