Special Olympics Manitoba Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

International Day of Person with Disabilities coincides with 100-Days Out to 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria

Saturday, December 3rd, the United Nations will join people around the world to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Since 1992, the Day has been celebrated to promote the increased awareness and support related to the full social inclusion of people with disabilities worldwide.  The Day serves as an opportunity for development, government, corporate and civil society stakeholders alike to highlight the needs of individuals with disabilities and draw attention to the core benefits of creating fully inclusive strategies, policies and communities.  The United Nation’s theme for 2016 is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”. This theme notes the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.

This year, the day has a special significance to seven athletes from Special Olympics Manitoba.  In just 100 days these seven Manitobans will be joining 2,700 athletes from 107 nations to compete in snowshoeing and floor hockey at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

“We are very proud to have seven Manitoba athletes and three Manitoba coaches representing our country at the international level,” said Jennifer Campbell, Special Olympics Manitoba – President and CEO.

“People with intellectual disabilities are the most marginalized and underserved population in the world,” said Mary Davis, Special Olympics Chief Executive Officer.  “They are continually denied access to healthcare, social inclusion, education and socio-economic opportunities.  On this day, we not only celebrate inclusive rights for all, but we can get excited and look to the future of our Games where our athletes’ hard work, determination and skill will be showcased on a world stage, forever changing the perceptions that exist for our population.”