Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Record number of events for 2014 International Day of People with Disability

A record number of events are being held across Australia this week in celebration of the 2014 United Nations International Day of People with Disability, which takes place on 3 December every year.

International Day of People with Disability is an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the contributions made by people with disability to their communities across Australia.

Nearly 1,000 events have been registered, which is the highest number of events in the 22-year history of the celebration in Australia.

An incredibly diverse array of events will take place today – from a fundraising climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, an inclusive surfing event in Byron Bay, an Athletics Australia ‘Get Involved’ event for potential Paralympians in South Australia, an online disability employment forum in Canberra, a Monster Disco in Melbourne, wheelchair basketball in WA, and much more.

It’s been encouraging to see the business community get behind International Day of People with Disability this year, with a number of conferences, forums and workshops taking place.

We’ve also had great success with the first Lights Up for People with Disability initiative, which will see building and structures in most states and territories light up in the day’s colours of blue and orange.

The theme for 2014 is “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology”, and focuses on the role of technology as a way to break down barriers for people with disability.

The Government is working with the National Disability Insurance Agency to identify ways of incorporating assistive technology into the National Disability Insurance Scheme so that Australians with disability can access the benefits of assistive technology through their NDIS package.

I encourage everyone to join in the celebration today, and to consider what we can all do to ensure people with disability have the opportunity for full economic and social participation.