International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Americas, Events, December 1 2017

Photo of 9 Members from The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments' Delegation at the Conference of State '10 at the UN Headquaters in New York.

Members of GAATES at the COSP 17

For the last month of this dynamic year we recognize, on Sunday December 3rd, the 25th anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). Along with the IDPD, the strides that have been made in disability rights with the global recognition of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is highly inspiring, which currently has been ratified by 175 countries. The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES) is pleased to be represented by our President and Mexico Country Representative, Dr. Victor Pineda and Janett Jimenez Santos, at the UNDESA organized events for IDPD at the UN Headquarters in New York. The events at the UNHQ today are surrounded on the theme of “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”, Watch the message from our president for IDPD, go to

GAATES has been dedicated to the implementation of the guiding principles and Article 9, on Accessibility, of the UNCRPD for over 10 years with the expansive network of accessibility experts that form part of the consortium through our board members and country representatives. This past year GAATES has directly been involved in advocating for and raising awareness on Urban Accessibility, Humanitarian Emergencies, Mobility and accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) at the Conference of States Parties ’10, UN Habitat Expert’s Meeting on the New Urban Agenda (NUA), Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’s (GIZ) conference on implementing the NUA, and within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of ICT. GAATES’ also recently launched the International Certification of Accessibility Consultants –Built Environment (ICAC-BE) Program, which is the first international-level certification program for experts in accessibility of the built environment.

Photo of individuals siting on the floor making at a Refugee Camp in Thessaloniki which GAATES visited in June 2017.

Refugee Camp in Thessaloniki

GAATES has also expanded the network of its partnerships this year to include the Disability Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) Network and the Inter Agency Standing Committee Task Team on Persons with Disabilities (IASC TT). These two networks create a platform to connect experts on Accessibility, Urban Development, Disability Rights and Humanitarian Action towards the implementation of globally recognized human rights frameworks and commitments. Through these networks, as well as our internal network, GAATES is looking towards comprehensive and inclusive approaches to ensure that universal design and accessibility are not forgotten in any environment.

Persons with disabilities and older persons are not living in silos, they are actively engaged and contribute in many areas of development and must not be excluded. As we think of the strides that have been made in the previous 25 years since the proclamation of the IDPD, we must continue to actively advocate for a barrier free environment that is inclusive of and accessible to all persons. GAATES will be actively engaged in the World Urban Forum 9, this February in Kuala Lumpur and would like to invite all stakeholders to participate with us, whether physically or virtually, in advocating for inclusive and accessible “Cities for All”.
Logo from promotion of the World Urban Forum 9.
For more information on GAATES’ engagements at the World Urban Forum, the DIAUD Network, IASC TT, GAATES’ Country Representative Program or GAATES’ ICAC-BE Program, please contact Federico Batista Poitier at:


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