What is International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD) is a day which promotes equality for people with disabilities in all areas of society.
This day was first announced by the UN in 1992 with the aim of advancing disability rights and protecting the wellbeing of people with disabilities.
According to the World Health Organisation, around 15% of the world’s population are considered to have some form of disability. But all too often, the needs of people with disabilities are not catered for by the society they live in.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is intended to break down barriers to inclusion and fight for the rights of individuals with disabilities.
When is International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an annual event, taking place this year on Friday the 3rd of December.
History of Disability Rights
Ever since the mid 20th century, those with disabilities have been campaigning for more recognition of disability as an aspect of identity, rather than the defining feature of a person. Here’s a brief overview of the timeline of the Disability Rights Movement:
- The 1950s – International movement from institutionalising people with disabilities to providing those individuals with community care
- The 1960s – The very first Paralympics Games is held, celebrating the sporting achievements of people with disabilities
- The 1980s-90s – Many countries introduce laws that make it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities
- The 2000s – The UN holds the Conventions on the Rights of People with Disabilities
- The 2010s – Steps were taken to increase the number of disabled people working and to decrease the disability employment gap
What is the theme for International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021?
This year’s theme is ‘Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era’, which celebrates the challenges, barriers and opportunities for people who live with disabilities, in the context of a global pandemic.
People with disabilities have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation and diminished services which have happened as a result.
The goal for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is to spread awareness of invisible disabilities as well as the impact that COVID-19 has had on mental health.