City of Waterloo: International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Indigenous Disability Awareness Month

Press Release

November 28, 2023

The following statement was read during the November 27 Council meeting.

Today we recognize the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which takes place each year on December 3. We also recognize that Indigenous Disability Awareness Month comes to a close at the end of November. These observances promote the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities, as well as to celebrate the contributions of disabled people to political, social, economic and cultural life.

Disability is a broad term: there are many different types of disabilities, they can be visible or invisible, present from birth or acquired later in life. Each person’s experience of disability is unique, and impacted by other aspects of identity. It is all too universal though the ongoing experience of barriers that keep people with disabilities from participating fully at work, school, play and in civic life.

As policy makers and service providers, we must acknowledge, address and remove these barriers.  Including accessible features in our buildings, creating websites that work well with screen readers, and using plain language to describe our services are just a few of the things we can do to make our city more accessible.

We all have a role to play in creating a city that brings an end to ableism and increases inclusivity.  We encourage you to take in the resources and upcoming events offered by the Waterloo Public Library, follow disabled leaders and creators on social media and join the calls for change when needed. The imperative of incorporating accessible design and approaches into our day-to-day lives is clear when we consider that we are all temporarily able-bodied.

As a City, we-commit ourselves to the long-term work of confronting ableism and removing barriers in order to create a community where everyone can participate, contribute, belong and thrive.


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