Arab News –  Saudi Arabia joined the world in observing International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) with activities spread over weeks supporting the cause in order to foster awareness among citizens and expatriates alike on development and human rights for all.
Started in 1992 by the United Nations, IDPD is commemorated annually on Dec. 3 to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues relating to the inclusion and development of persons with disabilities in society.
As IDPD works to promote action to raise awareness about disability issues and draw attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all, the Disabled Children’s Association (DCA), Riyadh, launched a number of scientific, cultural, awareness, sports and entertainment activities on Thursday to mark the occasion with programs to continue for weeks.
Moreover, a number of such associations working across the Kingdom also joined in observing IDPD.
This year the day is being observed worldwide under the theme “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.”
In the capital, the occasion observing IDPD began with a colorful ceremony attended by President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) Prince Sultan bin Salman, who is also the chairman of the DCA’s board of directors.
Speaking at the function to mark the significant occasion, Prince Sultan underlined that the work is well in progress giving equal opportunities to all as persons with disabilities must be able to fulfill their role in society and participate on an equal basis.
“The Kingdom is witnessing a qualitative leap in terms of cultural, awareness, prevention, legislation, care, services, rights and welfare programs for disabled persons, thus ensuring egalitarianism for all,” he said.
Moreover, Prince Sultan expressed his sincere appreciation to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman for all the support and care he is extending to people with disabilities across the Kingdom. Besides commending the government’s effort to support the great cause, he also applauded the important roles being played by associations and centers caring for the disabled in general, and offering services, programs and activities to ensure access and empowerment for people of all abilities.
Notably, governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector are encouraged by the United Nations to partner with organizations of persons with disabilities worldwide to arrange events and activities to commemorate IDPD and raise awareness to ensure equality for all.


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