What is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is an annual international observance on December 3 that was started in 1992 by the United Nations (UN). According to the UN,
It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
Each year the day focuses on a different message or theme. The 2023 theme is “United in action to rescue and achieve the SDGs for, with and by persons with disabilities.
What are SDGs? SDGs are Sustainable Development Goals. According to the UN, SDGs are not on track to reach targets for the 2030 agenda, but there is a renewed commitment by world leaders to achieve shared prosperity and sustainable development for all.
Why is this Important?
When inclusion barriers exist for people with disabilities, our society is not progressing. IDPD aims to remove those barriers and empower individuals with disabilities. When everyone is able to participate, our communities, countries and world can benefit.
“On this important day, I call on the world to work side-by-side with persons with disabilities to design and deliver solutions based on equal rights in every country and community,” said UN Secretary General António Guterres.
How the NCHPAD Team is Celebrating and How You can Celebrate
Members of NCHPAD attended the 2nd Annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities Celebration on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on Friday, December 1. The event was hosted by NCHPAD’s own Dr. Robin Lanzi and her team at the Inclusive Well-Being Translational Science Collaborative.
A keynote address by Dr. Graham Sisson, Executive Director of the Alabama Governor’s Office on Disability, was followed by a panel discussion on disability health and well-being from several respected public health professionals.
“Health inequities occur because of a lack of information and lack of awareness. Today is about bringing awareness to that issue,” said Dr. Sisson. “Regulations and laws make a difference, but the real change occurs when we change attitudes.”
“Despite barriers and the need for improvement, there is still hope.”
There are many ways you can celebrate IDPD in your personal or professional life.
- Attend or host a disability awareness training session to embrace an inclusive culture.
- Donate to disability charities.
- Attend or host an event with a disability awareness speaker.
- Make a statement of support.
- Advocate for better accessibility at common public places or in the workplace.