It was the United Nations that originally set December 3 aside as the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, with a view to creating awareness, understanding and action for the legal and social rights of persons with disabilities. (International Day of Persons with Disabilities - 3 December 2009)
CUPE’s Persons with Disabilities National Working Group (PWDNWG) is active on many fronts promoting and defending the rights of persons with disabilities. We have produced luggage tags which say “Disability Rights Are Human Rights” and also a poster which explains that one of the biggest barriers faced by persons with disabilities is that of attitudes and stereotypes.
The working group has also been involved with Union Development in writing a new course on disability awareness and creating accommodation-friendly workplaces. The course will be piloted in the new year.
At the CUPE national convention in Montreal last October, the Disability Rights Activism Award was given to Sister Catherine Peters, who is from the Hospital Employees Union, a division of CUPE in B.C. Catherine’s involvement in the labour movement and the disability rights community is a true inspiration. (Listen to Catherine Peters speak on disability activism.)
You can find out more about these initiatives on our disability page. Increasing our awareness and knowledge about persons with disabilities is critical in order to build a union which is truly inclusive.