International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022: History, Significance and Theme

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is annually observed on 3rd December. The observance of the day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. 

It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. 

The day doesn’t discriminate between mental and physical disabilities, and the spirit of the day is to ensure that all people in the world have equal opportunities for work, play, health, and success. People with disabilities can be and very often are contributing and valued members of society, and this day is all about appreciating them. 

Event International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Date December 3, 2022
Day Saturday
Significance The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
Observed by World wide

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities History: 

Contemporary understandings of disability derive from concepts that arose during the scientific Enlightenment in the west; prior to the Enlightenment, physical differences were viewed through a different lens. There is evidence of humans during prehistory that looked after people with disabilities. At the Windover Archeological Site, one of the skeletons that was found was a male about 15 years old, who had spina bifida. The condition meant that the boy, probably paralyzed below the waist, was taken care of in a hunter-gatherer community. 

Disability was not viewed as a means of divine punishment and therefore disabled individuals were neither exterminated nor discriminated against for their impairments. Many were instead employed in different levels of Mesopotamian society including working in religious temples as servants of the gods. In Ancient Egypt, staffs were frequently used in society. A common usage for them was for older persons with disabilities to help them walk. Similar views existed for a long time in all parts of our world among different cultures and societies. 

In the early 1970s, disability activists began to challenge how society treated disabled people and the medical approach to disability. Due to this work, physical barriers to access were identified. These conditions functionally disabled them, and what is now known as the social model of disability emerged. Coined by Mike Oliver in 1983, this phrase distinguishes between the medical model of disability under which an impairment needs to be fixed and the social model of disability under which the society that limits a person needs to be fixed. 

In 1976, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons. It called for a plan of action at the National, regional and International levels, with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities. International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. It has been observed with varying degrees of success around the planet. It was originally called “International Day of Disabled Persons” until 2007. Each year the day focuses on a different issue. 

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities Significance: 

An individual’s disability can play a major role in his/her life: whether it’s positive or negative. But overcoming the challenges and developing confidence is vital and admirable. As a society, it is our utmost duty to allow people with disabilities to experience a life they deserve. The importance of disability awareness has been given prominence over the recent decades. Disability awareness helps in subsiding the stereotypical mindset of the society, hence providing vast opportunities for everyone to get involved in creating a positive, inclusive society for all.

According to The World Bank: “One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, and disability prevalence is higher for developing countries. One-fifth of the estimated global total, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities”. It is also stated that people with disabilities are more likely to experience a discriminatory attitude in the prevailing fields of education, health, social economy, employment and justice. 

Furthermore, disability awareness signifies in educating the society regarding disability and how we as an individual can bring about the necessary changes. Learning acceptance is the fundamental of having an understanding approach to the disability awareness which hence can take place anywhere such as at home, school, workplace, health institutes, etc. However, we often see discrimination towards the people with disabilities and that can lead to the undesirable outcomes for communities as a whole. 

Therefore, for a better future, we must try to minimize and ultimately eliminate the discriminating culture and promote disability awareness through platforms for each and every individual, so that the foundations of empathy originates and helps in breaking social barriers. That’s why this day becomes very important as it aims for the same mission as well. This day encourages people to always make the disabled persons feel part of the society instead of discriminating against them for their differences and also to support them. 

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities Theme: 

The theme for International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022 is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.” 

Disability inclusion is an essential condition to upholding human rights, sustainable development, and peace and security. It is also central to the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind. The commitment to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future. 

Most often, in moments of crisis, people in vulnerable situations such as persons with disabilities are the most excluded and left behind. In line with the central premise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “leave no one behind”, it is crucial for governments, public and private sectors to collaboratively find innovative solutions for and with persons with disabilities to make the world a more accessible and equitable place. 

Most Searched FAQs on International Day of Persons with Disabilities: 

1. When is International Day of Persons with Disabilities observed? 

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is annually observed on 3rd December. 

2. Why is International Day of Persons with Disabilities observed? 

The day is about promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities at every level of society and development, and to raise awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life. 

3. What is the theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities? 

The theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022 is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.” 

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