International Day of People with a Disability 2023

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International Day of People with a Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations international awareness day. It takes place on December 3 each year.

The theme for IDPwD 2023 is ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by persons with disabilities.’

The 2023 theme for IDPwD asks everyone to work together to make the world better and fairer for people with disability.

Brimbank Youth Services is encouraging everyone to dedicate some time on December 3 (or any other day you come across this blog post!), to centre the voices of people living with disabilities and to expand your knowledge on disability inclusion.

If you’re a young person living with a disability you’ll find some resources especially for you at the bottom of this post. Or you might like to take the opportunity to learn about a disability different from your own.


Things you can watch:

Chloe Hayden’s Compass Episode Chloe is best known for playing Quinni on Heatbreak High. She’s also a disability activist. This episode is such a brilliant watch, you’ll get a great insight into Chloe’s lived experience as an Autistic person.

Stella Young’s TED Talk: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much Stella Young was (Stella sadly passed away in 2014) an Australian comedian, journalist, and disability advocate. Her TED Talk will make you laugh or cry or both. It’s a great watch, particularly for those well-meaning folk who want to be better allies for people with disabilities.

Sinead Burke’s TED Talk: Why design should include everyone Watch for a greater understanding of the importance of accessibility, very eye-opening for those new to thinking about how the built environment disables people.


Things you can read

Growing Up Disabled in Australia An anthology (collection of short stories/essays by multiple authors), on the experience of growing up with disability in Australia. We love the local context, and the stories cover lots of different disabilities.

I’ll Let Myself In: Breaking down doors, claiming space and finding your wheels Another local book, this one is a memoir. Written by Hannah Diviney it explores her experience of living with Cerebral Palsy. A battle cry that calls for more representation of people living with disability in Australian media, literature, and reminding us that people with disabilities have the right to own their narrative.

Disability Visibility: First-person stories from the twenty-first century Another anthology, this time from the US. Read it for energising and powerful stories of Disability Pride and activism.

Brimbank Libraries – IDPwD Collection If the above titles don’t float your boat, you can check out Brimbank Libraries’ full IDPwD collection. All of these books are available at Brimbank Libraries; print, digital and audio formats are available for some titles.


Things you can listen to

WWDA Youth Podcast A 10-episode podcast series hosted by the Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Youth Network. Episodes feature interviews with local young advocates who are working hard to make change in our country.

Yarning Disability Podcast  In each episode, The Yarning Disability podcast showcases the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with a disability, their families and carers, and other disability industry professionals to highlight the lived experiences of First Nations people with a disability in Australia.

The Imperfects: Penny Moodie’s Episode on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)  This is a very moving episode, you may get emotional listening to it as Penny is very generous in what she shares about her experience living with OCD. However, it provides an incredible insight into an often misunderstood disability. You’ll hear Penny talk about how her symptoms developed from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood.

Included: The Disability Equity Podcast This podcast has more of an academic vibe. Produced by Johns Hopkins University (USA); It delves deep into issues of disability equity. Topics include voting and health care from personal, advocacy, and research perspectives.


Resources for learning

Disability Pride Flag (Article) This article explains the meaning behind the colours and overall design of the Disability Pride Flag. It also includes information on the Disability Rights Movement in Australia.

An Introduction to Disability Awareness (Free eLearning Course) Developed as part of an Australian government initiative; This unit will build your awareness of disabilities and the impact that societal attitudes, stigma, and discrimination have on the lives of those living with disability.

Human Rights Model of Disability (Free eLearning Course) This online course is produced by the Victorian Disability Advocacy Unit. In it, you’ll learn about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the differences between the four different models of disability.

Together: Building an Inclusive Youth Sector (Written resource) Produced by Victoria’s Youth Disability Advocacy Service; this resource was designed by disabled young people to build the capacity of people that work and support young people living with disability.


Resources for young people living with disability

Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) The Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) is an advocacy organisation that works with disabled young people living in Victoria who are aged 12 to 25.
Their mission is to make sure you can speak up and are being treated fairly. You can access their free advocacy service if you need advice or support. They also run a bunch of programs so that you can learn to speak up for yourself and others.

Training Resource: Map Your Future Created by YDAS, Map Your Furure is a free online program for disabled young people. It will help you set goals and get the right support to achieve your goals.

Local disability support services offered by Brimbank City Council Did you know that Council offers support for younger people living with disability?
Our services include recreational programs, personal care and respite (for those who care for young people), we also host community outings so you have a chance to meet other people.


Things to remember

  • Not all disabilities are visible. Don’t make assumptions.
  • People are the experts of their own experience, always ask and take their lead if you want to be a supportive ally.
  • Disabilities affect people differently. If you’ve met one person with a disability, you’ve met one person with a disability.


This resource was adapted from information produced by YACVic, YDAS, DARU, and IDPwD Australia.

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