International Day of Persons with Disabilities


What is International Day of Persons with Disabilities?

Disabled individuals face discrimination, prejudice, inequalities and barriers on a regular basis. It may occur in the form of microaggressions, hate speech, assault, institutional barriers, and physical obstructions. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, or IDPD, is celebrated each year on December 3.

The United Nations choose this day to promote disability rights and awareness. Able-bodied individuals often have difficulty understanding the hurdles of a disabled person. This may include the lack of ramps and automatic doors in public areas, others moving a mobility device, someone speaking for them, lack of resources to succeed in academic settings, etc. Awareness raised by IDPD is beneficial for inclusion, accessibility, equality and diversity for people with disabilities.

How to celebrate

IDPD is a day focused on disabled individuals. It presents an opportunity to have guest speakers, host workshops, or participate in events that enlighten others about the struggles of disabled individuals. Other ways to celebrate include promoting and supporting disabled-owned businesses, sharing disabled friends’ posts about their experiences, donating to disability-related charities, and seeking resources to expand knowledge and awareness of disabilities.

However, change only happens if people treat persons with disabilities with dignity and respect year round. Once inclusion and awareness are part of daily life, change can occur to ensure disabled individuals experience fairness in life.

Additional sources: United Nations, World Health Organization, and The U.S. Department of State