Poster - International Day of Persons with Disabilities


International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is celebrated annually on December 3rd. Every year, Manitoba joins people across the world in promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life, including political, social, economic, and cultural.

Read the IDPD Proclamation (PDF)

International Day of Persons with Disabilities Free Webinar Thursday, December 1st from 2 to 3:30 pm CST Registration and more information:

Join us on Thursday December 1, 2022 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme of this year’s online event is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Watch the IDPD webinar video

Read the webinar transcript (PDF)

About the Event:

Keynote Speaker: Steven Estey, Canadian expert on the CRPD, will provide an overview of the Convention.

Panelists: Diane Driedger, Justine Kiwanuka, Mary Lavigne, Carrie Pacey will explore the significance of the CRPD to Manitoba.

Accessibility Features: We will be using Zoom for this year’s event. ASL interpretation will be available for this event

Contact us by email: or by telephone: 204-945-7613 if there are additional accessibility features you may need to participate.


Steven Estey wearing a black suit

Steven Estey has worked with Disabled Peoples' Organizations, Human Rights Institutions, Governments, Intergovernmental Organizations and United Nations Agencies to advance disability rights for more than 30 years. Steven’s past positions include the National Coordinator of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the Human Rights Officer at Disabled Peoples’ International, which previously had headquarters in Winnipeg and works globally to advance the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Steven is a leading Canadian expert in matters related to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Steven is Late-Deafened.

Diane Driedger is an Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba. She has published 11 books, including her recent publication, Still Living the Edges: A Disabled Women’s Reader (Inanna, fall 2021). She is a poet and visual artist and her latest book of poems and art is: Red with Living (Inanna, 2016). Diane has been involved in the disability rights movement at the local, national and international levels for many years.

Justine Kiwanuka was born and raised in Uganda, where she acquired her disability. Shortly after immigrating to Canada in 1988, she found employment as the Coordinator of the Women’s Committee and as UN Liaison on the Equalization of Opportunities for Disabled Peoples International. Justine has also been involved in disability advocacy locally and nationally. Justine currently works as a Community Support worker for Winnipeg School Division 1.

Mary Lavigne is a Métis woman with disabilities. She joined the Manitoba public service in 2011, where she has worked as a human resource consultant and policy analyst. Mary has been a citizen member of the human rights committee of council for the City of Winnipeg since 2019, bringing her intersectional lens to issues on human rights, equity, diversity, peace, access and disability related issues, and emerging trends as they affect Winnipeg communities.

Carrie Pacey is a member of Esquimalt First Nation, located on Vancouver Island, and is a resident of Selkirk, Manitoba. Carrie often describes the differences between herself and her sister to express differences between visible appearance and invisible abilities, both physical and psychological. Although the sisters share the same parents and values, they have entirely different experiences, often based on other’s perceptions. Carrie uses personal stories to share those experiences in hopes of strengthening and embracing differences in a way that also strengthens relationships and understanding for all communities.

Today, the world population is over 7 billion people and more than one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world's population, live with some form of disability, with 80% living in developing countries.

Evidence and experience show that when barriers are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to participate, the whole community benefits. When societies put a priority on accessibility and inclusion, the result is progress for everyone.

For more information, please visit:


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Convention) was adopted in 2006.  Canada ratified the Convention four years later in 2010 and its Optional Protocol twelve years later, in 2018.  The Convention's 50 articles offer an action plan for people with disabilities to be guaranteed the rights set out in other United Nations human rights instruments.  

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes the role of barriers in limiting or preventing access and inclusion of people with disabilities in their societies. Rather than define "disability," the Convention states that it is an evolving concept that "results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others."

Accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities are fundamental rights recognized by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention seeks to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life and development.  Article 9 specifically addresses accessibility. It calls upon States Parties to take appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to all aspects of society, on an equal basis with others, as well as to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to accessibility.
For more information, please visit: 

See also Plain Language version of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol.

Past IDPD Events – Webinars, PowerPoints, & Transcripts