International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD) is a United Nations sanctioned day celebrated each year on 3 December. The day aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.
The theme for 2015 is: Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.
The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation.
The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.
By promoting empowerment, real opportunities for people are created. This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities. Empowerment involves investing in people – in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. When people are empowered they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change and can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities.
There are also three sub-themes this year:
- Making cities inclusive and accessible for all
- Improving disability data and statistics
- Including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development.
The annual theme provides a frame for considering how people with disability are excluded from society by promoting the removal of all types of barriers; including those relating to the physical environment, information and communications technology (ICT), or attitudinal barriers.
Disability organisations, businesses, governments and the community come together at various events held across the world to mark the occasion and celebrate the achievements of people with disability.
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