3rd December marks International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) and marks the 25th anniversary of the Day, which aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disability.

International Day of Persons with Disability Logo

The day was created by the United Nations in 1992 and has been observed around the planet since then. 

"Let us work together for the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in an inclusive and sustainable world that embraces humanity in all its diversity"

Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon


Each year hosts a theme, which provides an overarching focus on how society can strive for inclusivity through the removal of physical, technological and attitudinal barriers for people with disability.

The 2017 theme is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”. The principle of this theme is to ‘leave no one behind’ and empowers people with disability to be active contributors of society.

These themes and principles are based on the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. This global framework aims to strengthen the resilience of people with disability by providing full access to justice, health care services, infrastructure and accessible communities. It is focuses on inclusive education, lifelong learning, and sustainable economic growth through employment.

In Australia, the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 commits all governments to a nationwide approach aimed at improving the lives of people with disability, their families and carers. The Strategy’s ten-year national framework for reform focuses on better inclusion for people with disability and seeks to create a society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens.

In order for people with disability to participate as full and equal citizens, we must work together to build an inclusive and accessible society. A society in which people with disability can go anywhere and do anything that any other citizen can do. A socially inclusive and accessible society is one that is ‘sustainable and resilient’ for all, including people with disability.
Social inclusion agendas have been developed by the South Australian, Victorian and ACT governments. In 2014 the NSW government passed the NSW Inclusion act. Legislation which aims to transform societal norms to encompass inclusion, sustainability and resilience.

Social inclusion aims to create an equal opportunity society where people with disability and other marginalised groups can interact and participate in social and economic endeavours freely and without limits.

To celebrate IDPwD you can host your own event, whether in a club, school, community group, workplace, business or organisation.

Some event ideas include:

  • Hold an art class in your school or club by painting with restricted senses, e.g. without using your hands or wear a blindfold
  • Host a breakfast or lunch at your place or work to mark the day
  • Help out a charity organisation associated with providing services and support for people with disability and undertake a funding drive or identify a volunteering opportunity.
  • Run a sports game like seated volleyball, wheelchair basketball, goalball, treasure hunt relay (in a wheelchair), wheelchair dancing, bushwalk with blindfolds, or navigate the playground.

There are a number of resources on the IDPwD website to show your support: http://www.idpwd.com.au/

For a full list of IDPwD events, visit the Events page on the IDEAS website: http://www.ideas.org.au/event/map?type=upcoming

Information sourced from IDPwD website