Twenty-five years ago, the United Nations declared December 3 the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year's theme is "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all.”
December 3 is a day to renew our commitment to fighting for the rights, dignity and well-being of persons with disabilities. OPSEU, and the OPSEU Disability Rights Caucus, are committed to standing up for fairness and equity for all. In our communities, in our workplaces, and at bargaining tables across Ontario, we work every day to make our communities and workplaces more inclusive and accessible.
The challenges we face are significant. Approximately one in five people lives with a disability, and frequently, an individual with a disability also faces other forms of discrimination. People with disabilities face higher rates of unemployment and chronic poverty, particularly if they live with psychosocial or mental health disabilities. Experience shows that when barriers to their inclusion are removed and people with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life, the entire community benefits. But as governments continue to cut public services to pay for privatization and tax cuts, the barriers grow and the goal of a world where no one is left behind becomes more remote.
The Disability Rights Caucus of OPSEU is committed to networking, advocating, educating, and increasing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. We work in our communities and within our union to raise awareness, identify barriers, and remove those barriers so that all members can participate fully. We ask you to consider that workers with disabilities face many barriers to employment and we need their knowledge, experience and voices to continue our fight for fairness, equality, accessibility, and inclusion. We invite everyone to learn more, speak up, and act to ensure the dignity and well being of persons with disabilities.