International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The right to participate in activities is a human right for all. The International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote opportunity for everyone. 

Since 1992 the 3rd of December has marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This year the WHO joined with other United Nations agencies to celebrate “a day for all”, highlighting that disability is part of the human condition and a manifestation of diversity in our societies.

Over a billion people in the world – 1 in 7 – experience disability. While they have the same general health care needs as others, they are twice as likely to find the skills of health care providers and health care facilities inadequate for meeting their needs. In addition half of all people with disability cannot afford health care, and they are 50% more likely than others to suffer catastrophic health expenditure. In such cases, out-of-pocket health care payments can push their families into poverty.

The main theme for IDPD this year was “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”. This theme notes the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities. This year’s objectives include assessing the current status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and SDGs and laying the foundation for a future of greater inclusion for persons with disabilities.

As physiotherapists we have a major part to play in the lives of individuals with disability.  International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a day for us to celebrate the work that we do and the people that we work with, highlighting the importance and availability of physiotherapy for individuals with disability.