INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACCEPTANCE
On January 20th, the International Day of Acceptance encourages everyone to embrace those of all abilities. The day also supports those with disabilities to realize they are not living disabled. Instead, they are living.
Did you know that 15 percent of the world’s population has some form of disability? Up to 190 million people around the globe have a significant disability. In many places, they are often ostracized, live in poverty, and cannot get an education. In many instances, people with disabilities are seen for what they can’t do instead of what they can.
Thankfully, in some countries, this is changing. Society is recognizing the need to include those with all abilities. Society is also recognizing that those with disabilities have rights. Their voice matters. They have the power to make a difference in the world. Just look at this list of famous people who have gained acceptance and have become a powerful voice:
- Musician Andrea Boccelli who is visually impaired
- Actress Marlee Matlin who is deaf
- Actor Daniel Radcliffe who has dyspraxia
- Motivational speaker Nick Vujicic who was born without arms and legs
- Comedian Josh Blue who has cerebral palsy
- Dancer Sudha Chandran who has a prosthetic leg
Many other world-changers didn’t let their disability stop them. Some include Helen Keller, Ludwig van Beethoven, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Edison, and Rosa May Billinghurst.
Now is the time to fully embrace who you are. It’s time to celebrate abilities rather than disabilities, exceed the expectations that others have for you and that you have for yourself, and accept all people for who they are!
HOW TO OBSERVE #DayOfAcceptance
The day encourages those with disabilities to share their acceptance stories. Another way to celebrate this day is to display the International Symbol of Acceptance, the “wheelchair heart.” To participate:
- Learn ways to embrace and empower people of all abilities.
- Teach your children to be inclusive of those who might be different than them.
- Donate to an organization that protects the rights of those with disabilities.
- If you have a disability, share how acceptance from others makes you feel.
- Watch a movie, such as Crip Camp, or Including Samuel.
Spread awareness for this day on social media with #DayOfAcceptance.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACCEPTANCE HISTORY
In 2007, Annie Hopkins and her brother Stevie created a company called 3E Love. Annie and her brother both had disabilities. The goal of 3E Love was to spread this message: “Embrace diversity. Educate your community. Empower each other. Love life.” She developed a wheelchair heart logo as an International symbol of acceptance. Annie passed away unexpectedly on January 20th, 2009. To honor her legacy and continue the message of 3E Love, her family and friends created the International Day of Acceptance. The first event was held on January 20th, 2010.