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Celebrating International Day of People with Disability

Celebrating International Day of People with Disability

International Day of People with Disability is celebrated each year on 3 December and aims to promote community awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.

Each year, the United Nations announces a theme to observe for International Day of People with Disability. The annual theme provides an overarching focus on how society can strive for inclusivity through the removal of physical, technological, and attitudinal barriers for people with disability.

This year’s theme was ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by persons with disabilities’. The SDGs are 17 things countries want to work on by the year 2030 to make the world better and fairer for everyone.

To commemorate the day, Sonder partnered with Purple Orange, an organisation specialising in policy analysis and advocacy for individuals living with disability. Facilitators Nick and Leanne from Purple Orange hosted an engaging seminar for staff across the organisation focused on cultivating more inclusive practices. The seminar explored an array of topics – from universal design and strategies to overcoming attitudinal bias to barriers to effective language and communications and fostering inclusive interactions.

In discussing strategies for collaborating and working with community, one key takeaway emphasised by Nick and Leanne was the significance of co-design over consultation, wherein community members with lived experience are actively involved as equal collaborators throughout a project’s entire lifecycle, ensuring a genuine representation of diverse perspectives.

Nick and Leanne also outlined some actionable steps to removing barriers to employment for people with disability, including the removal of unnecessary prerequisites like driver’s licenses, endorsing flexible working arrangements, providing documents in alternative formats, and openly encouraging applications from people with disability.

As an organisation working towards implementing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan, this event demonstrates Sonder’s commitment to building capacity, challenging attitudes, and improving practices to create an inclusive culture, where our people feel supported and valued.

Reflecting on the day, Sonder CEO Sageran Naidoo affirmed this commitment, stating,

“International Day of People with Disability serves as an important reminder for us to recognise and celebrate the diverse skills and experience of the people around us.”

“At Sonder, we firmly believe in the power of inclusion. By ensuring our spaces, services, work environments and programs are accessible, we open doors to opportunities, engagement, and growth for everyone,” he said.

As we move forward, Sonder remains resolute in its pursuit of an inclusive and equitable world, where diversity is celebrated and accessibility is a norm, not an exception.

Together, let’s continue to build a society where everyone is valued and empowered.