The 3rd of December marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly, and aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
The 2020 theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ also focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as sight or hearing impairments, mental illness, brain injuries, etc.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the lives and mental health of people with disabilities, including persons with deafblindness around the world, with disrupted routines, isolation and diminished services.
At WFDB, during 2020 we have focused greatly on:
- Strengthening our relations and partnerships a number of organizations, including IDA , leading to the successful recruitment of key staff members to support the work.
- Advocating for an inclusive COVID-19 response. We released recommendations on inclusive policies from the global deafblind community, as well as created a section our website on the topic
- Ensuring the perspective of persons with disabilities, more specifically persons with deafblindness is included in the SHAPES project, in which we are involved as a consortium partner
- Celebrating June 27th: A historic day to acknowledge the rights of persons with deafblindness
- Undertaking the first steps to start the process of drafting the second global report on deafblindness (building upon the findings of the first Global Report on Deafblindness developed in 2018) to be launched in 2022, presenting best practices on the issues identified in the first report.
- Preparing for a global campaign to advocate for the universal acknowledgement and recognition of deafblindness as a unique and distinct disability group.
In 2021 we aim to:
- Launch advocacy toolkits for persons with deafblindness.
- Progress with the second global report on deafblindness
- Launch the global campaign on the acknowledgement and recognition of deafblindness.
- Strengthen deafblind advocacy, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa with two fellowship positions supporting the WFDB, regional and national deafblind organizations.^