PRESS RELEASE: International Day of People with Disability

Sunday 3rd December 2017 is the annual celebration of the International Day of People with Disability (IPDP), started 25 years ago by the United Nations General Assembly. The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of disabled staff. It also seeks to increase awareness of the benefits of the integration of disabled people in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

This year the theme focuses on ‘transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all’ and we are being encouraged to notice the central importance of resilience. As a police support network, the Disabled Police Association is encouraging our local disability networks to strengthen the role of disabled people as agents of change.

As members of UK police forces, we live in times of great challenge, both economically and politically. It is sometimes difficult to be constant in your belief that it is possible to reach a tipping point in the recognition of talents of disabled people. It takes great strength and courage to believe disabled people, whether they are in work, or not, can transcend protracted periods of welfare reform, economic austerity and political uncertainty.

But as networks, we can! One of the ways we can encourage our police forces to do this is by learning directly from disabled people and celebrating and investing in our disability networks, and building our communities in the UK and across the globe.

The Disabled Police Association are encouraging all our local networks to mark this celebration to raise awareness of disability. Purple Space are championing Purple Light Up to celebrate the economic and leadership contribution of disabled employees.

Some facts about the economic contribution of disabled employees (Labour Force Survey 2016/Scope Economic Research):

  • Over 3 million people who identify as being disabled are in work: they are today’s senior managers or the managers of the future
  • Disabled employees contribute over £16.02 billion per annum in tax
  • 3.6% of businesses have one or more disabled owners, representing roughly 10,700 companies employing 78,000 people
  • 6.6 million people with a disability or health impairment are in work, making a huge wealth of skilled and committed disabled people in the UK who make a vital contribution to the economy
  • A 5% point increase in the disability employment rate would lead to an increase in GDP of £23bn by 2030

“Police Forces and their Disability Support Networks across the UK are looking forward to shining a purple light on disability on the 3rd December. A variety of awareness raising activities are planned with a focus on joining our private sector partners in celebrating the value of staff networks for disabled people.”

Rob Gurney
President, Disabled Police Association