A day for the disabled, to show support and awareness for those suffering with physical and mental setbacks. The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was celebrated once more on December 3rd; "Not All Disabilities are Visible'' was the theme for 2022. This theme was designed to include disabilities that are invisible to the common eye such as mental health disorders, chronic pain, fatigue, and much more. The other part of this year's theme was “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.” This 28-year-old holiday has had many themes in the past such as "Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities" (2021), "Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality" (2018), and "Removing Barriers to Create an Inclusive and Accessible Society for All" (2012).
One of the most common invisible disabilities is neurodiversity; according to the Diversity & Inclusion Speakers Agency, people with neurodiversity “uniquely view the world, as their brains are wired differently from their able-bodied counterparts." As these impairments are not seen as a more known disability such as paralysis, loss of limbs, and more, it is often mistaken for mental health issues instead. Examples of neurodiversity include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, dyslexia, Tourette syndrome, and multiple others.
Disability inclusion is an essential law to upholding human rights. On the United Nations (UN) website, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs wrote, "The commitment to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future." Along with this statement, the Secretary-General for the UN created The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy in June of 2019, providing the foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion. The Secretary-General also released a report last year in October 2021 on the steps taken by the UN system to implement the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy in 2020 and the coming years.
The observance of the International Day of Disabilities aims to promote an understanding and awareness of disability issues as well as to mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities, hidden or not. Here are some ways to help support others even after the holiday has passed:
Each year on December 1st, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks the body's immune system, and if left untreated, the disease could develop into Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). People around the world unite to show support for individuals living with HIV and to remember those who have passed from AIDS-related illnesses. Every year, the world is focused on an important topic. This year will be “Equalize.” Founded in 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO), World AIDS Day was the first-ever international day for global health. An article from UNAIDS mentioned, “Every year, United Nations agencies, governments, and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to HIV.”Campaigning for diseases such as AIDs promotes funding for research and rehabilitation, raises awareness and provides a sense of hope, and strengthens the local community.”
Over time, HIV weakens a person's immune system, making it difficult to fight off diseases. Most people experience short, flu-like symptoms in two to six weeks after contracting HIV, and after an average of two weeks, these symptoms disappear. If a person's symptoms do not seem to go away, and they worsen instead, a doctor should be notified about the problem. Whether or not an individual living with HIV experiences symptoms during the acute stage, the disease continues to wreak havoc on the immune system.. The three stages of HIV infection are acute HIV infection, chronic HIV infection, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). These illnesses are usually contracted via blood contamination, mother-to-infant transfer, sharing needles, and sexual contact. Since most individuals develop the disease(s) via sexual intercourse, abstinence and contraceptives are the primary methods to prevent and contain the disease according to stanfordheathcare.org. Under the direction of a licensed professional individuals may benefit from taking preventative and maintenance medications for HIV or AIDS.
World AIDS day is a solidarity for people around the world who are affected by AIDS. On this day, anyone can use their voices to share experiences or to support someone that has AIDS. Society has made progress in fighting these illnesses, but this disease remains a public health challenge. People can support this cause by wearing a red ribbon or red colors to support and show awareness on December 1st. “Let's Stop HIV Together” campaign resources on social media, or donate to a community that supports others with these diseases. Living a life with HIV or AIDS is not that easy. Having a friend or a relative with HIV or AIDS is extremely painful for them since no one knows if they are getting better or worse. World AIDS day was founded to support people that live in really intense conditions and to give them a chance to live in happiness, and not be disclosed or treated differently.