A info graphic with the words "6.2 billion people have been reached by the coverage, almost 80% of the world's population

WeThe15 message reaches 80% of the world in 2021 – first campaigns for the 1.2 billion persons with disabilities to launch in early 2022  

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, industry research of the launch of WeThe15 has found that the campaigning body has made a strong start in its aspiration to be the biggest ever human rights campaign with and for the world’s 1.2 billion persons with disabilities. 

Launched ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in August, WeThe15 aims to end discrimination towards persons with disabilities and act as a global movement campaigning for disability visibility, accessibility, inclusion and equality of rights. A review of the launch activity in August and September found that:

  • The WeThe15 Campaign film has been viewed 0.75 billion times. 
  • The phrase #WeThe15 has had 2.5 billion impressions on Twitter. 
  • ‌‌225+ landmarks around the world turned purple on the 19 August. 
  • There has been over 3,000 pieces of global media coverage, including over 200 pieces of broadcast coverage 
  • 6.2 billion people have been reached by the media coverage, almost 80% of the world's population. 
  • Research from Nielsen found 41% global awareness of WeThe15 amongst Paralympic TV viewers and 21% of the general population.  
  • Strong engagement on social platforms: 876 million views on TikTok for #Disability Awareness and 9.5 million interactions with #WeThe15 content on Instagram and Facebook. 

WeThe15 brings together the biggest coalition ever of international organisations from the worlds of sport, human rights, policy, business, arts, and entertainment, including representative organisations of persons with disabilities. Together they will work with governments, businesses, and the public over the next decade to initiate change for the world’s largest marginalised group who make up 15% of the global population. 

Building on the launch, several founding partners of WeThe15 met in London in late November to map out the key objectives and ensure that it is a movement that can deliver campaigns and provoke conversation on disability rights over the next decade 

In February 2022, WeThe15 will publish its strategic direction through to 2030, laying out key campaigning areas and highlighting how anyone around the world can contribute towards the initiative. 

The founding partners in WeThe15 are the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and International Disability Alliance (IDA), Special Olympics, Invictus Games Foundation, the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (Deaflympics), UN Human Rights, UNESCO, the UN SDG Action Campaign, the European Commission, The Valuable 500, Global Citizen, Global Disability Innovation Hub, the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), International Disability and Development Consortium, C-Talent, Global Goals Advisory, ATscale – the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology, Zero Project, and the Global Alliance of Assistive Technology Organisations (GAATO). 

IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “WeThe15 has got off to the strongest possible start in terms of creating awareness that there are 1.2 billion persons on this planet with a disability. While it is encouraging that we reached 80 per cent of the world with our media coverage at launch, now the hard work starts. We know what we have to do, and we look forward to sharing our exciting campaign plans early next year. We will do all we can to make 15% of the global population more visible.” 

Vladimir Cuk, Executive Director of the International Disability Alliance said: “The Covid-19 global pandemic has led to blunt discrimination, revealing through times of hardship how disabled lives are considered of less value. We cannot continue to be ignored, deprioritised, or accommodated as an afterthought. Wethe15 will create a new and creative platform that rallies support from the media, sports, culture, cities, so that the world changes its narrative and attitudes towards persons with disabilities and really counts us in. Wethe15 aims to be an amplifier and an accelerator of the longstanding efforts from the disability rights movement, reaching out to the 85%." 

The objectives of WeThe15 are aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. WeThe15 over the next decade aims to change attitudes and create more opportunities by: 

  • Uniting the world’s 1.2 billion persons with disabilities behind a movement for change, with simple and powerful messages​ for inclusion 
  • Putting persons with disabilities and their representative organisations at the heart of the diversity and inclusion agenda. 
  • Breaking down societal and systemic barriers that are preventing persons with disabilities being included and active members of society. 
  • Ensuring greater awareness, visibility, and positive representation of persons with disabilities.  
  • Delivering campaigns and rallying the power and media outreach of sports and culture to amplify the voice of persons with disabilities towards governments, businesses and the public to deliver change