International Day of People with Disability
International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is observed on 3rd December every year since 1992. Established by the United Nations (UN), the goal of IDPD is to promote the inclusion and equal participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of society.
The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of people with disabilities. It is a day to celebrate the achievements of people with disabilities and promote awareness, understanding, and acceptance in the community.
The theme for 2021 was ‘Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era’. In 2021, we were celebrating the challenges, opportunities, and overcoming of barriers for people who live with disabilities, in the context of life during a global pandemic.
In 1976, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons. It called for a plan of action at the national, regional, and international levels, with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation, and prevention of disabilities.
The theme of IYDP was “full participation and equality”, defined as the right of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and development of their societies, enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens, and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development.
It was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1992 marking the day of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in 1982.
To provide a time frame during which Governments and organizations could implement the activities recommended in the World Programme of Action, the General Assembly proclaimed 1983-1992 the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.
The day aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development and to increase awareness and support for persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
Not all disabilities are visible
The day aims to spread awareness and reduce stigma around all types of disabilities that can be seen and also some which cannot be seen. Someone may have a visible disability, such as relying on a walking aid for mobility, and also have a non-visible disability, such as a mental health condition.
Non-visible illnesses might include:
- brain injuries
- chronic pain or fatigue
- neurological disorders
- mental health conditions
- hearing loss
How you can celebrate IDPwD
To observe this day participate in forums, public discussions, and information campaigns in support of theme for the year to find innovative and promising ways in which technology can lead to greater inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities in the lives of their societies.
Take action to the inclusion and contribution of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. Highlight best practices, innovative technological solutions for the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in their societies.
The COVID pandemic has also increased awareness of invisible disabilities and mental health conditions. People with invisible disabilities or chronic conditions (diabetes, heart conditions, etc.) may be at increased risk of getting COVID or having worse outcomes. Our collective mental health has taken a hit, and for those with mental health issues, COVID has exacerbated those conditions.
Hope this pandemic leads to a better understanding of mental health and invisible disabilities as we push for more investment in those services.
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