International Day of People with Disabilities


When is International Day of People with Disabilities celebrated?

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) is an international observance. The United Nations promoted it since 1992. It has been observed with varying degrees of success around the planet.

Objective of International Day of People with Disablities

The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural, and political life.

It was originally called “International Day of Disabled Persons” until 2007. Each year the day focuses on a different issue.

History of International Day of People with Disabilities

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 that, it emphasized equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation, and prevention of disabilities.

The theme of the International Year of Disabled Persons 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.

Themes from the 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”
  • 2015: “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities”
  • 2016: “Achieving 17 Goals for the future we want”
  • 2017: “Transformation toward sustainable and resilient society for all”
  • 2018: “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”
  • 2019: “Promoting the participation of person with disability and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda”
  • 2020: “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world”
  • 2021: “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”

Leave a Comment