What is International Day of People with Disability?

Did you know that December 3 every year is the International Day of People with Disabilities?

First proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3, the day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

As 3 December nears, we’d like to draw your attention to why we believe IDPwD should be marked on every calendar, and how you can get involved.

Why was International Day of People with Disability established?

In the 1990s the United Nations recognised that people living with disability face barriers of a structural, social and cultural nature, all around the world. The occasion is intended to encourage advocacy on behalf of disabled persons, and draw attention to priorities related to their inclusion, support, care and wellbeing. 

IDPD also celebrates the achievements and contributions of people living with disabilities, reinforcing the value and meaning they bring to the global community. 

What does IDPD mean today?

Today, IDPD is part of a growing conversation about empowerment and inclusion. Each year the UN announces a theme, which provides focus for the efforts of organisations and individuals over the succeeding year to create a more inclusive environment, working towards unconditional acceptance.

What is the IDPD theme for 2020?

The theme for International Day of People with Disability 2020 is: Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World.

Disability inclusion is an essential condition to upholding human rights, sustainable development, and peace and security. It is also central to the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind. The commitment to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future.

The global crisis of COVID-19 is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing the extent of exclusion and highlighting that work on disability inclusion is imperative. People with disabilities—one billion people— are one of the most excluded groups in our society and are among the hardest hit in this crisis in terms of fatalities.

Even under normal circumstances, persons with disabilities are less likely to access health care, education, employment and to participate in the community. An integrated approach is required to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind.

Disability inclusion will result in a COVID19 response and recovery that better serves everyone, more fully suppressing the virus, as well as building back better. It will provide for more agile systems capable of responding to complex situations, reaching the furthest behind first.

This year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) falls on the same week as the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and will be observed throughout the week in conjunction with the 13th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD.

Source: VNA

Why advocate on behalf of and support children with disabilities this IDPD?

The cycle of social isolation begins in childhood, with many children living with disability facing exclusion. 

By supporting children with disabilities, we can create a climate of acceptance, empowerment and opportunity from childhood, which will produce resilient adults. In the right environment, living with disability should not prevent a child from participating in play, school and other facets of childhood like their peers. We just need to provide every child with the same opportunities. 

How can you get involved with IDPD?

Want to support children with disabilities this IDPD? There’s a number of ways you can get involved:

  • Fundraise for charity: Host a charity fundraiser and donate the proceeds to an organisation that supports children living with disability.
  • Reach out: Know someone living with disability? Reach out and see how they’re going, or perhaps arrange to spend some time with them. 
  • Be inclusive: Think about how you can be more inclusive in your school, organisation or in the wider community.
  • Make a donation: Want to support the cause without the hassle of a fundraiser? Simply make a donation online or over the phone and help children globally who are excluded because of their disability.

Tu Pham