International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. It has been observed with varying degrees of success around the planet. It was originally called “International Day of Disabled Persons” until 2007.
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 life.
Each year the day focuses on a different issue. 2023’s theme is “United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with, and by persons with disabilities”. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), unfortunately, the world is facing hurdles in meeting the SDGs, especially for those with disabilities. Their call to action is crucial— and urges everyone to increase efforts to ensure that every individual is supported, respected, and included.
Key Messages for 2023
- Persons with disabilities can raise awareness of disability-inclusive practices in the training of health professionals
- Organizations of persons with disabilities can participate actively in health sector processes and decision-making
- Governments can consult with representative organizations of persons with disabilities to inform health policies and programmes
- Health service providers can include persons with disabilities to participate in the evaluation of service quality
- Health professionals can ask for training informed by the participation of persons with disabilities
- Health researchers can engage with persons with disabilities in the design and implementation of research projects
- Development organizations can guarantee inclusive international cooperation and programmatic work
- United Nations agencies can continue their efforts on the implementation of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy
The annual commemoration of the IDPD will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 1 December 2023. The discussion will be structured around five pillars of sustainable development – People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships.
Support Those with Disabilities!
- Join with champions around the world to increase awareness, understanding, acceptance, and accessibility for people with disabilities.
- Donate to a charity of your choice that supports funding for those with disabilities
- Do something special for a friend or loved one with a disability – take them to a special dinner, movie, show, or other event
Spread the Word!
Everyone can join on social media by promoting this year’s theme.