FleishmanHillard and Omnicom agencies support the International Paralympic Committee launch of #WeThe15

#WeThe15 logo

FleishmanHillard, Porter Novelli and Portland have teamed up with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and adam&eveDDB to launch a global integrated campaign that sets out to become the world’s biggest human rights movement for persons with disabilities.

The launch of #WeThe15 marks the start of a 10-year campaign to advance the lives of the 15% with disabilities and sees a coalition of twenty organisations unite behind the cause to put people with disabilities at the heart of the diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) agenda including UN Human Rights, UNESCO and the International Disability Alliance, The Valuable 500, Special Olympics.

The movement, #WeThe15, takes its name from the 15% of the global population who have a disability: the world’s largest marginalised group, forgotten by the inclusivity agenda.

For these 1.2 billion people, access to fundamental rights such as healthcare, education and employment is at best limited or non-existent, making it harder for people with disabilities to live, work, thrive or even survive.

The campaign sets out to shift the narrative around people with disabilities away from one in which they are either stereotyped as objects of pity or put on a pedestal – to emphasise that disability is not an “other” – it is humanity.

Created by adam&eveDDB, the IPC and International Disability Alliance, in partnership with Pentagram, Pulse Films, FleishmanHillard, Porter Novelli and Portland, #WeThe15 launches on Thursday 19 August, five days before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The coalition of Omnicom agencies is working with the IPC on a pro bono basis to support the campaign’s launch.

As part of FleishmanHillard’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, this campaign is a marquee part of the FH4Inclusion pro bono initiative with FleishmanHillard providing strategic counsel and global media relations support; underpinned by specialist DE&I, sports and cultural communications expertise.

The long-term narrative for the #WeThe15 campaign was developed by FleishmanHillard, nuanced by the communities across eight supporting international markets: Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, South Africa, UK and the U.S.

FleishmanHillard also helped secure iconic landmarks to light up purple, the international colour for disability, to promote #WeThe15, including the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, and Tokyo Skytree.

Photograph of the lastminute.com London Eye, illuminated in purple at night.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: The Lastminute.com London Eye is lit-up in purple to celebrate the launch of WeThe15, a new human rights movement to represent the worldÕs 1.2 billion persons with disabilities on August 09, 2021 in London, England. Launched ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, WeThe15 aims to end discrimination towards persons with disabilities and act as a global movement publicly campaigning for disability visibility, inclusion, and accessibility. It brings together the biggest coalition ever of international organisations from the worlds of sport, human rights, policy, business, arts, and entertainment. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson//Getty Images for International Paralympic Committee)

Craig Spence, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at the International Paralympic Committee, said: “At the IPC we believe that Change Starts with Sport, and through #WeThe15 we want to change the lives of the world’s 1.2 billion persons with disabilities.

By partnering with multiple international organisations to launch #WeThe15 ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, we want to use the platform of the world’s third-biggest sport event to spark a decade-long transformation for the world’s largest marginalised group.”

Jim Donaldson, CEO at FleishmanHillard UK, said: “This is a seminal moment for the IPC and all #WeThe15 partners, with the campaign promising to make a seismic and long overdue difference to the lives of many people around the world. FleishmanHillard could not be more excited to be triggering that change.

Often, we find ourselves asking, ‘what can I do to help?’. Registering your support for this movement, critical to advancing the rights of the global disability community, is a welcome start.

Change can only begin by communicating, and we encourage everyone to use their voice to support this incredible cause.”

Visit WeThe15.org for more information and ways you can support the 1.2 billion persons with disabilities.

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