International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

Statement by Acting Deputy Administrator John Barsa

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 3, 2020
Office of Press Relations

On this day, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) underscores our enduring commitment to disability-inclusive development across all sectors of our work. USAID is committed to promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, and affirms that nations that are inclusive of all of their diverse populations are more likely to be democratic, participatory, and equitable. As an Agency, we promote, respect, and support empowerment and equality for persons with disabilities, and their further inclusion in education, the economy, and society.

This year, the pandemic of COVID-19 and associated response efforts have proven challenging for all populations, but especially for groups—such as persons with disabilities—who already are experiencing pervasive societal inequality. However, USAID’s pre-pandemic programming to prioritize equal access for persons with disabilities has contributed to their survival and resiliency in the current environment. Additionally, USAID’s projects and implementing partners are assisting persons with disabilities to have access to timely, clear, and accurate information about the virus to protect themselves and their families. USAID will continue to empower persons with disabilities to play an active role in deciding how their communities build back better in a post-pandemic world.

By supporting organizations of persons with disabilities and committing to equal access, inclusion, and principles of universal design in our development work, we will assist persons with disabilities to thrive as we move into a post-pandemic world.