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UNESCO calls for photos demonstrating leadership and participation of persons with disabilities

How often do you see persons with disabilities featured in visual content from the social media? What do they usually look like?
 
Photographs can be one of the most effective and powerful ways to communicate. Good photographs have the power to shape ideas, alter perceptions, evoke empathy and build community. As persons with disabilities are discriminated against in many spheres of society, they are often represented in pitiful and extremely undignified ways, thus reinforcing stereotypes and increasing societal barriers. Positive images have the potential to change societal perceptions of disability and support people with disabilities to achieve full and equal participation in society.
 
In celebrating this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, UNESCO and the UN Theme Group on Disability in China are calling for photos which celebrate the leadership and participation of persons with disabilities. Selected photos will be compiled into a Disability-Inclusive Photo Collection.  
Launched in 1992, the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on 3 December aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
 
The theme of IDPD 2021 is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.” An integrated approach is required to ensure that persons with disabilities can lead and participate in all spheres of society and development.
 
Disability inclusion is an essential condition to upholding human rights, sustainable development, and peace and security. It is also central to the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind. The commitment to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future.
 
The global crisis of COVID-19 is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing the extent of exclusion and highlighting that work on disability inclusion is imperative. People with disabilities—one billion people— are one of the most excluded groups in our society and are among the hardest hit in this crisis in terms of fatalities.
 
Who can participate?
Everyone. Participants do not need to be professional photographers.
 
When?
3-10 December, 2021
 
How to participate?
Post one or multiple photo(s) on Sina Weibo that authentically depicts individuals with disabilities in various spheres of society, showcasing their leadership and participation, with the hashtag #看见残障人# (Make Persons with Disability Visible) and #2021国际残障人日# (#2021International Day of Persons with Disabilities).
Each post should include a caption that describe the featured individual(s)/organization, location, date and the message it conveys. Photo credit should be duly indicated when necessary.
 
We are looking for photos that:
Tell an enabling and positive story, focusing on abilities of persons with disability and portraying their inclusion in society.
Convey persons with disabilities as active actors, focusing on the individual(s) and not on their particular functional or physical limitations.
Include positive images and representations that show persons with and without disabilities interacting on equal terms.
Portray people with disabilities as integral members of the community and not as set apart and segregated by their apparent difference.
Include persons with disabilities as those providing services, not just as receivers or users of services.
Avoid gender stereotypes and reflect diversity in the images such as sex/gender identity, type of disability, age group, ethnicity, rural/urban location, occupation.
 
Important:
To participate in the contest, the photographer must own the rights of the content she/he is posting and have the permission of the person featured in the photo for posting.
By participating in the contest, the photographer holds the copyright to the photo(s) posted, but UNESCO retains the right to use the photos for public information purposes such as in a Disability-Inclusive Photo Collection. UNESCO will only use photos for non-commercial purposes which include education and advocacy materials, website, brochures, reports, flyers, at no cost. Photo credits and copyrights will be duly indicated while using the photos.