Proclaimed in 1992, the annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons takes place on the 3rd of Decemmber.
The theme for 2011 is “Together for a better world for all:
Including persons with disabilities in development.”
We live in a society where laws and benefits fall far behind the needs of disable people and their families, and in many countries those laws are constantly disrespected without any sanction. Moreover there's a gap in terms of educating people in their relation with each other, especially between the so-called normal and those with disabilities - People with disabilities make up an estimated 15 per cent of the world’s population. Almost one-fifth of the estimated global total of people living with disabilities, or between 110-190 million, encounter significant difficulties. Furthermore, a quarter of the global population is directly affected by disability, as care-givers or family members.
One of the most successful methods of providing disabled people with personal development and social integration is through the arts, especially in the case of children.
Art enables dexterity development, a better perception of space (including negative space and relation), colour, form and many other things. It is also a great opportunity to end individual isolation, as art projects can be completed in group.
Several resources for those working with special needs students in the arts, can be found online or by contacting official and private institutions.
Several art projects for children can be found at Julie Voigt's blog Art for Small Hands.