About this day - started in 1992, after being proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3, the goal is to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with limited abilities. The observance of this day also hopes to increase awareness of "gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, socila, ecconomic and cultural life." (from the UN ENable website)
The theme for 2014 is one that may seem a bit disconnected from our mission and the needs of the families we serve - but technology has brought the community of families with hydranencephalic children so much more than is often recognized, just perhaps not in the area of focus for this year.
Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology
This theme has been working to explore the role of technological advances in disaster risk reduction/emergency response, enabling of efficient and inclusive work environments, and developmental goals that prove sustainable and inclusive to those with limited abilities.
Since 2009, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs has also organized a film festival as a part of the events at UN Headquarters to commemorate the Day. The United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF) includes short disabilty-related films selected on the basis of their content and message that can help raise awareness of disability issues and further promote the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society.
Take some time to reflect on how technology has helped improve the quality of life for your family, and specifically your child. Some things that come to mind that GHF has found of great value:
~*the ability to network families in to a greater family of support, guidance, and sharing of resources across the globe by way of the world wide web
~*empowering parent advocates to research the possibilities that exist for their child, despite being delivered a grim prognosis
~*medical technology & research possibilities that are too enormous to list in full
~*the extensive advancements in the world of communication and life-enhancing devices that are utilized by the children we represent, every day (iPads and other tablet devices, especially!)
In what ways has technology improved the quality of life for your child? For your family? Chime in within the comments below!
To learn more about this day and the goals of the United Nations Secretariat of Rights for People with Disabilities, visit the United Nations Enable website.