People with disabilities

World Down Syndrome Day

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is celebrated on 3 December each year. The day is promoted across the world by the United Nations to encourage better understanding of disability issues.

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.

Theme

The theme for 2015 is: "Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities”.

The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation. The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.

Persons with disabilities must be able to fulfil their role in society and participate on an equal basis with others. It is important to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual. By promoting empowerment, real opportunities for people are created. This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities. Empowerment involves investing in people - in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. 

Three sub-themes for IDPD 2015 are:

  • Making cities inclusive and accessible for all
  • Improving disability data and statistics
  • Including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development

How you can celebrate IDPD

Include: 

Observance of the Day provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development, both as beneficiaries and agents of change.

Organise: 

Hold forums, public discussions and information campaigns in support of the themes of IDPD to find innovative and promising ways in which technology can lead to a greater inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities in the lives of their societies.

Celebrate: 

Plan and organize performances everywhere to showcase – and celebrate – the contributions made by persons with disabilities as agents of change in the communities in which they live.

Take Action: 

A major focus of the Day is practical action to highlight how that years theme can impact 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.

Themes from previous years

  • 1998: "Arts, Culture and Independent Living"
  • 1999: "Accessibility for all for the new Millennium"
  • 2000: "Making information technologies work for all"
  • 2001: "Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome"
  • 2002: "Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods"
  • 2003: "A Voice of our Own"
  • 2004: "Nothing About Us Without Us"
  • 2005: "Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development"
  • 2006: "E-Accessibility"
  • 2007: "Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities"
  • 2008: "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us"
  • 2009: "Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world"
  • 2010: "Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond"
  • 2011: "Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development"
  • 2012: "Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all"
  • 2013: "Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all"
  • 2014: "Sustainable development: The promise of technology"

History

The International Year of Disabled Persons 1981

In 1976, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons.[2] 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.

United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons 1983-1992

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.

2015 IDPD Campaign

In celebration of the IDPD, and it's theme, 'Inclusion Matters', we are coordinating a number of activities. You can learn more about them here