December 3rd, 2022, was International Day for Persons with a Disability (IDPD). Here are 5 things to know on IDPD.

  1. What is International Day for Persons with a Disability
    1. The United Nations first observed International Day of Persons with a Disability (IDPD) 30 years ago in 1992. IDPD aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of disabled people while celebrating our achievements and contributions to our communities and the world. According to the United Nations, IDPD promotes an understanding of disability issues, integration of disabled people into every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life, and equitable support for the dignity and wellbeing of disabled people.
  2. Accommodations are not privileges
    1. People do not have to “earn” or “prove” that they deserve access to accommodations. Accommodations are not privileges to be offered or withheld by other people, institutions etc. UVicBOUNCE and SSD believe students, faculty and staff all have the right to the accommodations and supports they need to be successful.
  3. Not all disabilities are visible
  4. Inclusion benefits everyone
    1. Equitable accommodations and changes made with disabled people in mind benefit everyone, not just those whose needs are being considered. The Access4All campaign started by disabled students at the SSD represents a group of students who are concerned by UVic’s insistence for solely face-to-face learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that adaptations to the delivery of education for the well-being, health, and safety of all students can be achieved when deemed “necessary.” Maintaining flexible in-person/online access to learning materials and coursework is necessary.
  5. Listen to & amplify disabled voices
    1. UVicBOUNCE and SSD strive to listen to and amplify the voices of disabled people by creating spaces for diverse conversations to invite students to be their authentic selves. We promote meaningful representation and strive to reduce barriers to access across all domains of student life.

Closing remarks: As said on UVicBOUNCE’s Waving, Not Drowning podcast, season 2 episode 6 with Delicia Marie Jacobs, we encourage those who may not have this lived experience to educate themselves regarding disability, neurodiversity and ableism. It is time for neurotypical society to lose the ableist assumptions and expectations and listen, acknowledge, and respect neurodiverse and disabled people about our needs.