Celebration of the National and International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021
On December 4, 2021, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Education Laos, Humanity & Inclusion, and Lao Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) organized a virtual event to celebrate the National and International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 2021. This year’s theme is “Reaching for a better life”, which aims to celebrate human diversity including diversity in the ability to move, communicate, see and hear, as well as diversity in learning and well-being. The celebration of persons with disabilities focused on empathy, dignity, equity and non-discrimination particularly in terms of the situation of COVID-19, while at the same time raising awareness and building understanding in society about disability inclusive development.
This event was funded by USAID and organized in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, USAID Okard project, Lao Disabled People’s Association, Disability Service Center, Hands of Hope for hearing impairment, Association for Autism, Association for the Deaf, Women with Disabilities Association, Disability Mainstreaming Advisory Service Center, Asian Development with the Disabled Persons Japan, Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise, Quality of Life Association, and Association for Rural Mobilisation and Improvement.
“This celebration today also reminds us that we need to continue working together to ensure that the post-Covid-19 world is inclusive, accessible and sustainable for all including people with disabilities as mentioned in this year theme.” Said Dr. Peter M Haymond, the U.S. Ambassador to Lao PDR.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and restriction, this year marked the very first time in Laos that the celebration of the national and international day of persons with disabilities took place entirely as a virtual event. Joined by several disability inclusive development partners who promote and raise awareness of disability work in Laos, the virtual event also featured performances from persons with disabilities, panel discussions talking about the impact of COVID-19 for persons with disabilities, inspirational stories from persons with disabilities who work in different professions, such as athletes, business owners, development workers, and educators to share their experiences on how to overcome barriers in life. The virtual event was interactive with clips, questions and games with prizes to win for the audience at home.
“I have learnt a lot about the work to support persons with disabilities in Laos, also persons with disabilities can do a lot more than I thought and it really changes my perspective towards them and I am really amazed by their capacity and strong will” – audience at home.
To watch the virtual event, please click here.