“In 1992, the United Nations proclaimed The International Day of Disabled Persons, and in 2007 the UN renamed the day The International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This reflects a societal shift towards greater autonomy and broader inclusion for people with disabilities.
“Today, we acknowledge the more than six million Canadians living with one or more disabilities. We recognize the political, social, economic and cultural suppression historically imposed upon people with disabilities. And we avow our commitment to be an ally for their inclusion in education, employment and the community.
“The theme this year is ‘The future is accessible.’ It requires us to examine obstacles and find more inclusive alternatives. It is essential that appropriate supports are available so people with disabilities can participate, make decisions and contribute to society.
“I hope everyone will take time to consider the impacts of living in a world that enforces limitations upon you. Together, we can make a difference, and make our future accessible.”