The title “Abilympics” was coined from the phrase “Olympics of Abilities” and the 1st International Abilympics was held in Tokyo, Japan in 1981 to commemorate the United Nations’ International Year of Disabled Persons. It received the wide support of both governmental and non-governmental organizations. His Imperial Highness, the Crown Prince (Present Emperor of Japan) served as Patron of the 1st IA.
The Abilympics have helped to overturn traditional views in regard to the skills, potentials and abilities of disabled persons, resulting in increased employment opportunities and vocational stability.
The success of the 1st IA inspired Colombia to hold the 2nd IA in 1985. During this 2nd IA, it was proposed to establish an international organization in order to promote the IA and to hold it on a regular basis.
After many discussions held among people who had been involved in the IA, the International Abilympic Federation (IAF) was established during the 3rd IA held in Hong Kong. This was a big step forward in realizing the philosophy of the Abilympics.
The purpose of IA (as stipulated in the Fundamental Principles) is :-
a. To improve the skills and develop the potential ability of persons with disabilities;
b. To stimulate the desire of persons with disabilities to participate in the economic activities of society,
c. To increase public awareness of the capabilities of persons with disabilities,
d. To promote international friendship and exchange of knowledge and information and;
e. To ensure the involvement of governments and states in the issues of disabled persons.
Since then, the IA has been held in Perth, Australia (1995), Prague, Czech Republic (2000), Delhi, India (2003) and Shizuoka, Japan (2007). The IA in Shizuoka was held concurrently, for the first time, with the WorldSkills Competitions under the banner of International Skills Festival for All, Japan 2007.
The 8th International Abilympics (8th IA) were held in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 25th from 30th September 2011.
The IA has been and will continue to be organized by a host organization that is chosen by the IAF Assembly, and co-hosted by the IAF and Rehabilitation International.
The Malaysian Council for Rehabilitation accepted to be a member of IAF on 2002.
(retrieved from www.jeed.or.jp)