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International Day of Disabled Persons celebrates "voice of our own"
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Dec. 2, 2003 --The United Nations set Dec. 3 as the "international Day of Disabled Persons." This year the Day's theme is "A Voice of Our Own." Tomorrow there'll be a celebration at the United Nations from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., moderated by Lex Frieden, president of Rehabilitation International, followed by the opening of an art exhibition. Groups organizing the event include Un Desa, Disabled Peoples' International, the Permanent Mission Of Ecuador To The United Nations, Rehabilitation International and VSA Arts.

Tomorrow as well, the National Film Board of Canada and the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres will present a special webcast screening and discussion of the film "Bearing Witness: Luke Melchior," directed by Dan Curtis and written by Jim Osborne. The film will be shown at 7:00 PM at the National Archives Auditorium in Ottawa, followed by a question-and-answer session with the director and Melchior. The live webcast will air at 7 p.m. EST -- for more information or to join the webcast, visit the Film Board website.

"'A Voice of Our Own' has been the inspirational phrase and passionate motto of the well-known global disability group Disabled People's International (DPI) which, for over the past two decades, has been advocating for the rights, dignity and empowerment of disabled people everywhere," writes disability columnist Anthony Sivabalan Thanasayan in the Malaysian newspaper The Star. Read column.

DPI is hosting a world summit in Winnipeg, Manitoba from September 8 through 10 2004 -- "to pursue the issues identified at the DPI 6th World Assembly in Sapporo, Japan, to address the issue of diversity, and to prepare for the next World Assembly in South Africa in 2006." For more information go to the DPI Summit website.

To keep abreast of international disability issues, visit DisabilityWorld, the international magazine of news and views published only on the web. The latest issue can be found at

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