The first step toward change is awareness

Disability and Neurodiversity Awareness Days 2024

A NZ organisation guide to key campaigns and awareness days related to disability and inclusion.

Awareness days can help you promote a culture of inclusion and help you demonstrate your commitment to a workplace that is accessible and supports everyone to reach their full potential.

    World Braille Day celebrates the birth of Louis Braille, inventor of the reading and writing system used by millions of blind and partially sighted people all over the world. World Braille Day, celebrated since 2019, is observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.

    Key hashtags

    • #BrailleDay

    World Hearing Day - 3 March 2024: Ear and hearing care for all! Let's make it a reality

    World Hearing Day 2024 will highlight the importance of integrating ear and hearing care within primary care, as an essential component of universal health coverage

    Key messages

    • Ear and hearing problems are among the most common problems encountered in the community.
    • Over 60% of these can be identified and addressed at the primary level of care.
    • Integration of ear and hearing care into primary care services is possible through training and capacity building at this level.
    • Such integration will benefit people and help countries move towards the goal of universal health coverage.

    On this day, WHO will launch a new training manual - Primary ear and hearing care training manual. The manual will be accompanied with trainer’s handbook and other community resources

    Key hashtags

    • #WorldHearingDay
    • #HearingCare
    • #SafeListening

    Neurodiversity Celebration Week - 18-24 March 2024

    When it comes to inclusion, neurodiversity refers to a world where neurological differences are recognised and respected as all other human variations.

    Many people in our community use neurodiversity as an umbrella term used to describe alternative thinking styles such as Dyslexia, DCD (Dyspraxia), Dyscalculia, Autism and ADHD. But regardless of labels, neurodiversity is about recognising those who think differently. And no matter whether you are a school, university or organisation you can benefit from different thinkers!

    Approximately 15-20% of population has a neurological difference. Instead of labelling people with deficits or disorders, when we use the term neurodiversity, we take a balanced view of an individual’s unique strengths and challenges. Many ‘challenges’ neurodivergent people face are more to do with the environment and systems they are placed in, often designed by a majority population.

    Key hashtags

    • #NeurodiversityCelebrationWeek
    • #NeurodiversityWeek

    International Epilepsy Day (Purple Day) - 26 March

    Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. On March 26th annually, people in countries around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. Last year, people in more than 85 countries on all continents participated in Purple Day!

    Related links

    Key hashtags

    • #EpilepsyAwareness

    • #PurpleDay


    World Down Syndrome Day - 21 March 2024

    In December 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day. The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2012, to observe World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March each year. In order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome, the General Assembly invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner.

    Key hashtags

    • #WorldDownSyndromeDay
    • #LotsOfSocks

    World Autism Awareness Day - 2 April 2024

    World Autism Awareness Day was declared by the United Nations to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism and ensure their full and meaningful participation in society.

    Key hashtags

    • #WorldAutismAwarenessDay
    • #WorldAutismDay
    • #WAAD
    • #AuthenticallyAutistic

    World Health Day - 7 April 2024

    In 1948, countries of the world came together and founded WHO to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being.

    WHO encourages people look back at public health successes that have improved quality of life during the last seven decades. It is also an opportunity to motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today and tomorrow.

    Join WHO on a journey to achieve Health For All.

    Related links

    Key hashtags

    • #HealthForAll
    • #WHO75

    World Day for Safety and Health at Work - 28 April 2024

    The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It is held on 28 April and has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.

    NZ Sign Language Week - 9 to 15 May 2024

    NZSL is essential for Deaf people in education, health, workplaces and to be able to participate equally in society.

    This year’s New Zealand Sign Language Week is all about, coming together to all learn signing, whether we are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or hearing! Because together we can make New Zealand Sign Language thrive.

    Related links

    World ME Day - May 12 2024

    World ME Day brings awareness to ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). A long-term fluctuating disease with symptoms affecting the body's systems. World ME Day is aimed at raising awareness for sufferers of ME/CFS.

    Key hashtags

    • #LearnfromME
    • #MECFSAwareness

    Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) - 16 May 2024

    The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion and the more than one billion people worldwide with disabilities/impairments.

    Key hashtags

    • #GlobalAccessibilityAwarenessDay
    • #GAAD

    Pink Shirt Day - 17 May 2024

    Celebrated annually around the globe, Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In Aotearoa, Pink Shirt Day works to create schools, workplaces, communities and whānau where everyone feels safe, valued and respected.

    On Friday 17 May 2024, Aotearoa will become a sea of pink as schools, workplaces and communities join the Pink Shirt Day movement.

    By taking part you will be helping to stamp out bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting kindness and inclusion.

    Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying!

    Tourettes Syndrome (TS) Awareness Month - 15 May - 15 June 2024

    TS Awareness month runs, globally, from 15 May - 15 June. Tourettes Association NZ have a campaign planned and are asking for everyone to help them promote.

    Related links

    Cystic Fibrosis Street Appeal - 27-28 May 2024

    Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common life threatening genetic condition affecting New Zealand children. It is a genetically inherited condition some people are born with that mainly affects their lungs and digestive system.

    World Multiple Sclerosis Day - 30 May 2024

    The 2020-2024 World MS Day theme is ‘connections’. MS Connections is all about building community connection, self-connection and connections to quality care.

    The campaign tagline is ‘I Connect, We Connect’ MS Connections challenges social barriers that leave people affected by MS feeling lonely and socially isolated. It is an opportunity to advocate for better services, celebrate support networks and champion self-care.

    Key hashtags

    • #MSConnections

    Autistic Pride Day - 18 June 2024

    Every year, organisations from across the globe celebrate Autistic Pride Day on June 18 with a variety of events. The aim of this day is to raise awareness amongst those who are not on the autistic spectrum disorder so they do not see autistic people as requiring treatment, but as unique individuals.

    This annual event was first celebrated by Aspies for Freedom (AFF) in 2005 and they modelled Autistic Pride Day on the gay pride movement. One of the most significant aspects of the day is that it is not run by charities; it is run by autistic people themselves. Since its beginnings, Autistic Pride Day has been a community event and not a day for other organisations to promote themselves by stifling autistic people. It is now a global celebration that takes place predominantly online.

    International Day of Sign Languages - 23 September 2024

    The first International Day of Sign Languages was celebrated in 2018 as a part of the International Week of the Deaf. UN General Assembly has proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages in order to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realisation of the human rights of people who are deaf.

    Key hashtags

    • #IDSL2024
    • #IWD2024
    • #NZSL

    Mental Health Awareness Week - 23-29 September 2024

    Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual campaign from Mental Health Foundation New Zealand that helps Kiwis understand what boosts their wellbeing and improves mental health.

    Key hashtags

    • #MHAWNZ

    International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) - 28 September 2024

    Informed citizens can make informed decisions, for instance, when going to the polls. Only when citizens know how they are governed, can they hold their governments accountable for their decisions and actions. Information is power. Therefore, universal access to information is a cornerstone of healthy and inclusive knowledge societies.

    Key hashtags

    • #IDUAI
    • #AccessToInfoDay
    • #RightToKnow

    World Mental Health Day - 10 October 2024

    The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

    Key hashtags

    • #WorldMentalHealthDay
    • #MentalHealth

    World Sight Day - 10 October 2024

    World Sight Day, observed annually on the second Thursday of October, is a global event meant to draw attention on blindness and vision impairment.

    Key hashtags

    • #WorldSightDay
    • #HopeInSight

    Purple Tuesday - 12 November 2024

    Purple Tuesday is annual event dedicated to promoting accessibility and inclusivity for disabled consumers. This day serves as a reminder of the importance of making businesses and public spaces more accessible to disabled people.

    Key hashtags

    • #PurpleTuesday
    • #IAmYourCustomer

    International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPwD) - 3 December 2024

    International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations-sanctioned day celebrated internationally on 3 December. It increases awareness of the benefits of inclusion of people with disability in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

    IDPwD is the most important day of the year to celebrate the contribution that people with disability make in our community. It’s the ideal day for organisations to launch an Action Plan, a new commitment or a new policy. It’s a day to celebrate ‘nothing about us without us’, which is the global mantra for the empowerment of people with disability.

    Key hashtags

    • #IDPWD
    • #IDPD

    Human Rights Day - 10 December 2024

    Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person, including people with disability.

    Human rights are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to leave no one behind.

    Key hashtags

    • #HumanRightsDay
    • #GlobalGoals

    ILO Global Business and Disability Network

    The network is recognised by the UN’s International Labour Organisation’s Global Business and Disability Network as the key New Zealand body representing businesses in their disability inclusion and accessibility journey.

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    Home of the Accessibility Tick programme

    Members may choose to commit to continuously improving their current practices through our Accessibility Tick programme.

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