The United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) will be globally observed on Monday 3 December.
The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. This theme focuses on the empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.
The Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise 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.
Liverpool is celebrating IDPD with partners DaDaFest who are a cutting edge disability and Deaf arts organisation based in Liverpool who develop and celebrate talent and excellence in disability and Deaf arts.
DaDaFest’s work is influenced and built by artists and organisations from around the world and focuses on the lived experience of disability. The busy festival programme of over 50 events includes exhibitions, performances, talks and workshops by both emerging and established artists is themed Passing: What’s your legacy?
Cabinet member for Inclusive and Accessible City, Cllr Pam Thomas said; “I am delighted that we will be lighting up St George’s Hall and the Town Hall in turquoise and yellow, these are the colours used by disabled people’s campaigns for equality since the 1990’s. Sir Bert Massie was instrumental in these campaigns.
Celebrating IDPD with Sir Bert’s wife Lady Maureen and the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, will be an absolute privilege. Discussing Sir Bert’s achievements as the Director of the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation, Chairman of the Disability Rights Commission, founding Commissioner of its successor the Equality and Human Rights Commission and, governor of Motability and the impact he has had on the lives of disabled people across the world.”
Artistic Director of DaDaFest, Ruth Gould, MBE said; “IDPD is an opportunity to light the city turquoise and yellow to represent disabled people’s rights globally. At DaDaFest we aim to promote disability and DDeaf arts capturing the lived experience of disability.”
At St. George’s Hall there are two exhibitions taking place as part of DaDaFest International. Until the Last Breath I Breathed by Martin O’Brien is a world premiere of a video installation. His performance and video art uses physical endurance, long durations, and pain based practices in order to examine what it means to be born with a life shortening disease. Simon McKeown’s No Passengers which presents an exciting and surreal view of British Invalid Carriage vehicles.
The greatest example of the theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities is Sir Bert Massie who was a patron of DaDaFest and instrumental in abolishing the use of Invalid carriages and establishing Motability, the British car scheme for disabled people. His legacy has changed forever the rights of disabled people, for the better.