International Day of Disabled Persons

10 December 2013

Around the world the International Day of Disabled Persons is celebrated on December 3rd, but in Cambodia this year, the observance was moved to December 10th, reportedly because of scheduling difficulties. The suspicion is that this day--the day for the observance of Human Rights Day--was chosen so that a large IDPD celebration could be held to overshadow a completely ignored Human Rights Day. The Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme sent a delegation of deaf people to the observance which was held in the huge Koh Pich Theater on Diamond Island.


The venue holds 3,000 persons and the organizers worked hard to fill the seats, a requirement when the Prime Minister is invited. Here PM Hun Sen gives his address to the assembled people with disabilities and leaders from NGOs in the disability sector. The large green backdrop is one huge projection screen.
IDPD celebration in Koh Pich Theater

In his speech, the prime minister mentioned sign language and the need to unify sign language within Cambodia. After his talk, he toured the various booths set up outside. Here he is at the DDP booth, looking at a sign language book we produced.
Prime Minister at the DDP booth

Our DDP manager, Lek Sin Rithy (r) spoke with the prime minister about sign language, especially since in his talk he had mentioned signing and encouraged developing a common sign language for Cambodia which is what DDP is doing.
Prime Minister and DDP Manager

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