People with Disabilities International Day 2005

Megan Kelly

People with Disabilities ACT Inc (PWD ACT) welcomed the disability community to celebrate the United Nations' International Day of People with a Disability Saturday 3 December 2005. This is the third year that we have been involved with this celebration of peoples' abilities and community inclusion and are delighted to work with so many partners to make the day a success.

As most of you are aware, PWD ACT is the major cross disability consumer organization in the ACT. Managed by a Board made up entirely of people with Disabilities, our organization provides systemic advocacy on behalf of ACT citizens who have disability.

PWD ACT would like to thank our partners in holding the days' event. ACT Department for Disability, Housing and Community Services (Disability ACT), Arts Recreation and Training, Arts Access Australia, Carers ACT, the Australian Government's Department for Family and community Services, ACTEWAGL, NICAN and Canberra Museum and Gallery for providing such a wonderful venue.

The Day started with "Gravy Tram" musical performance by Canberra's talented ability performers. The Minister for Disability Housing and Community Services then launched the book "Making the Journey: arts and disability in Australia". This book is a free publication from Arts Access Australia. "Making the Journey" presents examples of organisations from around Australia that have developed initiatives that increase participation in the arts for people with disabilities and illustrate the work of artists with disabilities. "Making the Journey" is a celebration of the leadership ability shown by artists, audience members and advocates with a disability to promote the arts and remove barriers to participation.

The celebrations continued with a cake cutting ceremony from Mr. Dennis Stabback (President of Disability ACT), more musical performances, clowns, magic and bubbles. The Canberra Museum and Gallery was the perfect setting for the sea of Purple and orange NICANS signature colours for International Day 2005. The balloons, posters and ribbons illustrated the excitement of our day.

We hope to see you all next year 03 December 2006!