International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). Created in 1992 by the United Nations, this day was to promote an understanding of disability, and to mobilize support for the rights, well-being and dignity of a person with a disability.

About 1 billion people around the world live with a disability which is 15% of the global population. Considered “the world’s largest minority“, many face difficulties when trying to be included in all aspects of society.

The discrimination and societal attitudes to the physical environment for people with disabilities result in unequal access to services or opportunities in society. This includes, political participation, justice, employment, transport, healthcare and education.

Every year the UN announces a theme for IDPD to remove the barriers of exclusion of people with disabilities.

This year’s theme is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.

The intent for this day is to empower people with disabilities for an equitable and inclusive development. This is one of the UN projects for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda is an ambitious plan of action by the international community pledging to “leave no one behind” by working towards a prosperous and peaceful world.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) disability should be recognised as a human rights issue, a global public health issue and a development priority.

To address the needs of people with disability and their families, WHO has been encouraging community-based rehabilitation (CBR) as a development strategy in over 90 countries.

The aim of CBR is to “provide rehabilitation, reduce poverty, equalize opportunities and promote the inclusion of disabled people in their communities. It focuses on four key development areas – health, education, livelihood and social – and promotes mainstreaming and empowerment.”

It is critical that the global community works to mainstream disability across all development sectors. Visit the IDPWD website to see how you can participate on this day.

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