Stamp and Swap Supports the Rights of Disabled People Everywhere

The UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities is marked and celebrated around the world on 3 December. In the United Kingdom, the day remains little known outside of the disability sector.

This is about to change.

The UK’s First Ever Charity ‘Swapathon’

The UK’s first ever charity ‘swapathon’, called Stamp and Swap, will take place nationwide on Friday 3 December 2010 as part of the United Nations designated International Day of Disabled People/Persons. The day was specifically chosen to launch Stamp and Swap in support of disability rights.

Stamp and Swap is just one project that ADD International, a UK-based charity that works with disabled people in Africa and Asia is involved in in their effort to promote disabled people’s human rights. ADD International has invited not only individuals , but also businesses or other organizations to get involved by donating £5 to swap experiences.  

For those living in the UK who are interested in being part of this swapathon organised event, you will be able to either swap Skills online, called LifeSwap, or actual physical items, called SwapIt.

The aim of Stamp and Swap is to create a fun, interactive day whose goal is to support the rights of disabled people everywhere, but especially in Asia and Africa where they are some of  the most neglected and forgotten people in the world.

With the small donation of just £5 participants receive an official “stamp of support” on their “passport to swap.”



ADD International

ADD International, working in partnership with many businesses, notably RADAR and the National Centre for Independent Living, is excited about their launch of their fundraising and awareness raising campaign, Stamp and Swap AND WANT YOU INVOLVED!

A number of businesses have already stepped up to supported Stamp and Swap by holding SwapIt events along with several UK disability organizations.  Since this is a global issue,  ADD International is hoping that in future years, other countries will hold similar Stamp and Swap events while campaigning in support of disability rights. 

By engaging interviews with celebrity supporters the campaign has smartly ensured that their message will reach radio, television, and newspaper-reading audiences across the UK.

Although many businesses in the US do a variety of charitable good works I am not aware, at this point, of any business supporting similar Stamp and Swap events as in the UK. I recently was in Baltimore Maryland attending the 27th annual Food and Funds Drive that is hosted by the baseball team the Baltimore Orioles in partnership with Orioles Wives, Oriole Advocates, WJZ-TV and MASN personalities, Von Paris Moving and Storage and the Maryland Food Bank. I had been invited as a guest of the president of Von Paris Moving and Storage, whose company is probably rated #1 among Baltimore area movers. When clients have included Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, as well as royalty and celebrities, you know you have a company that is professional with high standards. It is considered one of North American Van Lines' five top agents in the country. while I was attending the Food and Funds Drive which was held at Oriole Park at Camden Yards during the series against the Boston Red Sox, I broached the subject of Stamp and Swap in conjunction with the observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I was told that it would be brought up with the head of the OriolesREACH program.

Tim Wainwright, ADD International’s CEO says: “Our campaign is designed to raise awareness of the inequalities faced by disabled people all over the world, every single day. A staggering 80 per cent of disabled people live below the poverty threshold worldwide. We want disabled people to have the same opportunities that most people take for granted – an education, a job, basic healthcare, family life and an equal role in society – and to be in a position to make decisions about their own lives.”

Some of Stamp and Swap celebrity support will come from ADD's goodwill ambassador Anne Wafula Strike, model Shannon Murray, actors David Proud and Julie Fernandez, Frank Bruno and to the delight of many, the actor Keith Chegwin , who was Mr Swap Shop himself on the beloved UK children's television program. Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, more commonly known simply as Swap ShopIt was broadcast on Saturday mornings on the BBC. There were 147 episodes shown  for six years between 1976 and 1982.




Find out more about the work of the United Nations for persons with disabilities:

International Day of Persons with Disabilities - 3 December

In 1992 via a resolution voted by the Assembly, 47/3,  the United Nations General proclaimed that there would be an annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons on the 3rd of December. The aim of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was to promote an understanding of disability issues while mobilizing support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.

It also seeks to increase awareness of the gains that can be derived when persons with disabilities are integrated into every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.


How the Day May Be Observed

Observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities provides opportunities for participation by all including Governments, businesses, and organizations of persons with disabilities with the focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs address extreme poverty in its many dimensions such as: hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, lack of income and exclusion.
These issues are particularly relevant for many disabled persons. 

Organize by holding forums, public discussions and information campaigns in support of the Day. Focus on disability issues and development to find innovative ways and means for further of persons with disabilities and their families into the development agenda.

Celebrate by planning and organizing performances everywhere to showcase the contributions made by persons with disabilities.

Take Action by highlighting not only the progress, but also the obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies> It is very important to promote public awareness of barriers to the full inclusion that persons with disabilities face every day.


International Day of Persons with Disabilities Themes for Previous  Years

2014: Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology
2013: Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all
2012: Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all
2011: Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development
2010: Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond
2009: Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world
2008: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us
2007: Decent work for persons with disabilities
2006: E-Accessibility
2005: Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development
2004: Nothing about Us without Us
2003: A voice of our own
2002: Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods
2001: Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome
2000: Making information technologies work for all
1999: Accessibility for all for the new Millennium
1998: Arts, Culture and Independent Living