On December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), Engineers Canada celebrates and takes action for the inclusion of people who live with a disability, whether that is visible or invisible. IDPD is an opportunity for us all to learn from the experiences of people living with a disability. The work of the engineering profession has a clear connection to persons with disabilities as engineers are involved in building spaces and infrastructures that must be accessible to all as well as designing solutions to assist those with disabilities.
This year’s IDPD theme, ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible,’ is a challenge to the engineering profession to eliminate unintended biases around invisible and visible disabilities in our projects, academic settings, and our workplaces. Mental health issues and chronic illness can also create barriers to participation, affecting people’s work, school, and day-to-day lives. We hope that in our work to make engineering a more diverse and inclusive profession, we are creating a welcoming profession for all, including persons with disabilities, as their contributions are important to making sure that the engineering profession serves everyone.