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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The 3rd of December marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, set up in 1992 by the United Nations. The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. 

The key theme for 2022 is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.” In order to achieve this, they are encouraging conversations and actions around the following three topics:  


  • Innovation for disability-inclusive development in employment: this will look at the links between employment, knowledge and skills required to access employment in an innovative, rapidly changing technological landscape to all and how assistive technologies can increase accessibility to employment and be mainstreamed in the workplace. 


  • Innovation for disability-inclusive development in reducing inequality: this will look at innovations, practical tools and good practices to reduce inequalities in both the public and private sectors, which are disability-inclusive and interested in promoting diversity in the workplace. 


  • Innovation for disability-inclusive development: e.g. sport a sector where all of these aspects combine, sport as a good practice example and a site of innovation, employment and equity. 


Did you know?  

  • Of the one billion population of persons with disabilities, 80% live in developing countries. 
  • An estimated 46% of older people aged 60 years and over are people with disabilities. 
  • One in every five women is likely to experience a disability in her life, while one in every ten children is a child with a disability. 
  • Persons with disabilities in the world are among the hardest hit by COVID-19. 
  • 9% of disabilities are due to accidents  

How to participate and engage in International Day of Persons with Disabilities 

Engage with disability 

There are some amazing books out there that are being written by people with disabilities. 

Some good books written by persons with disabilities include “The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me,” by Keah Brown, “Solutions and Other Problems,” by Allie Brosh, and “Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability” by Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, Michael Northern. If you don’t like to read, there are plenty of films out there as well which you could watch.  

Spread awareness 

Join an event being organized around disability, it could be a conference, a social event, or even tuning into a local podcast on it. There are plenty of ways to get involved once you start to look around. Or even host an event yourself.  

Learn the language(s) of disability 

As disability is not merely limited to physical impairment a lot of disabilities can be hidden, it’s important to learn how to communicate better with people with various disabilities. From learning the sign language of your country to learning the correct terminology to use, there are multiple ways to better engage with a disability. Find out which one(s) may benefit people you know! 

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