International Day of Persons with Disabilities

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities happens yearly on December 3. This day aims to bring attention to often overlooked issues and highlights the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. 

Likewise, It advocates for their rights, dignity, and overall well-being, calling for societies worldwide to embrace inclusion at every level. We can create a community supporting and advocating for them through this understanding. Read on to learn more about this awareness day.

Featured in: December - Awareness Months, Days & Observances.

History and Background of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly approved resolution 47/3, establishing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities1

This yearly global occurrence seeks to raise awareness about the challenges faced by those with disabilities, affirm their dignity, and advocate for their rights. 

A pivotal landmark in the fight for disability rights was reached in 2006 when the UN ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The convention was adopted with unprecedented speed, reflecting the world’s acknowledgment of the paramount importance of disability rights. 

Fast forward to 2015, the UN unveiled the groundbreaking 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This progressive policy acknowledged the interconnectedness of disability matters and, for the first time, explicitly included references to individuals with disabilities, reaffirming the UN's dedication to including everyone in its global development goals.

Today, the event has touched countless lives and shown progress in championing the rights of people with disabilities. A theme is chosen each year to guide discussions and actions related to disability. 

In 2023, the theme is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.”

Why the International Day of Persons with Disabilities Matters

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Disability tends to affect those who are less financially secure. This correlation is not coincidental; a vicious cycle exists between poverty and disability. 

In many cases, individuals affected by disability are denied access to fundamental services, healthcare, and opportunities. This lack of access perpetuates poverty and limits their quality of life.

Unfortunately, these individuals often suffer higher poverty rates and limited access to education and healthcare. Additionally, they may face exclusion from social and political activities.

We must discuss how these struggles pose humanitarian challenges to individuals with disabilities worldwide.

Read more: Poverty Facts and Statistics.

Efforts and Initiatives

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international treaty that views disability through a human rights lens. It aims to ensure equal rights, enhance respect for human dignity, and establish a framework for legislation for the disabled community.

The next global effort is the World Bank's Disability Inclusion and Accountability Framework2. It guides how to better include disability aspects in everything the World Bank does - from internal policies to external operations. It also boosts the bank's ability to support its clients in creating programs that include and benefit people with disabilities.

Meanwhile, Christchurch, New Zealand, rolled out the "Accessible City" program to redesign urban areas for people with physical disabilities. 

Similarly, Scope's "End the Awkward" campaign in the UK aimed to change societal views on disabilities.

These programs from the public and private sectors demonstrated the effectiveness of grassroots efforts in promoting inclusion through disability-inclusive development.

How to Support the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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  • Educate yourself on the lives of disabled people by reading a book, watching a documentary, or accessing online resources. This leads to understanding the diverse experiences of disabled persons, which helps us develop empathy and become influential allies.
  • Social media amplifies issues that individuals with disabilities face. Share personal stories and informative infographics and host live discussions or webinars. Likewise, your efforts should initiate respectful and enlightening dialogue, one post at a time.
  • Many non-profit organizations and advocacy groups also need volunteers to arrange events, lend support services, or donate to these legitimate groups.
  • Improve the accessibility of your homes or ask management from businesses and other public places to do the same.

Conclusion

Even if you do not have any disabilities, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities should be observed by everyone. This day reminds us of their courage and adaptability in making disability an ability, encouraging empathy and understanding. We must ensure equal rights for all individuals.

An inclusive world features attentive listening, valuing differences, and showing respect. So, let us collaboratively find innovative solutions to foster inclusivity whenever possible.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities FAQs

1. What is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities?

It is a United Nations observance held every December 3 to discuss and promote the well-being of people with disabilities.

2. Why is it important?

This day raises awareness about the complex and interconnected crises faced by individuals with disabilities and how we can mobilize support for their inclusion in all aspects of society.

3. What are some common disabilities?

Common disabilities include physical disabilities, visual impairments, hearing impairments, intellectual disabilities, and mental health conditions.

4. How can I support them?

You can promote accessibility, advocate for their rights, provide equal opportunities, and foster inclusivity in your community.

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1

Sabariego, C., Oberhauser, C., Posarac, A., Bickenbach, J., Kostanjsek, N., Chatterji, S., Officer, A., Coenen, M., Chhan, L., & Cieza, A. (2015). Measuring Disability: Comparing the Impact of Two Data Collection Approaches on Disability Rates. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(9), 10329–10351. 

2

Mcclain-NhlapoCharlotte, V. H. E. H. R. (n.d.). Disability inclusion and accountability framework. World Bank. 

Mike is a degree-qualified researcher and writer passionate about increasing global awareness about climate change and encouraging people to act collectively in resolving these issues.

Fact Checked By:
Isabela Sedano, BEng.

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