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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

About IDPD

Theme for 2020:
“Building Back Better: Toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID World”

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD or IDPwD) was established in 1992 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to increase understanding and awareness of disability issues and the abilities of people with disabilities; promote the full and effective participation in society for the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disabilities; and celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disabilities. It is observed worldwide on December 3 each year.

Over one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world's population, live with some form of disability and face barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society.

Around the world, physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers prevent people with disabilities face from participating fully and effectively as equal members of society. They are disproportionately represented among the world's poorest individuals. People with disabilities lack equal access to basic resources, such as education, employment, healthcare and social and legal support systems. They also have a higher rate of mortality. Yet disability as a whole has remained largely invisible in the mainstream development agenda and its processes.

News & Events

What can you do to celebrate IDPD?

INCLUDE: Observance of the day provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders - governments, the United Nations system, civil society, and organizations of persons with disabilities - to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development, both as beneficiaries and agents.

ORGANIZE: Hold forums, discussions and information campaigns in support of the theme to find innovative ways and means by which persons with disabilities can play a lead role including the arrangements of special programs and licensing mechanism.

CELEBRATE: Plan or participate in public events to show the contributions made by people with disabilities as agents of change and development in the communities in which they live.

TAKE ACTION: A major focus of the Day is practical action to mainstream disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. Highlight progress and obstacles in implementing policies that facilitate the full participation of people with disabilities, as well as promote public awareness of barriers to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in their societies.


United Nations


Social Media

Outreach Materials & Planning


Download and print: IDPD poster - English [JPG, 57 KB]
French [JPG, 58 KB] Spanish [JPG, 58 KB]

Description of IDPD poster:

  • 3 December
    International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • take action, disability-inclusion, women with disabilities, understanding disability, mobilize action, promote dignity, plan events, mainstream disability, organize forums, ensure equality, develop social policies, employment, inclusive education, social integration, advocate human rights, children with disabilities, empowerment, accessible healthcare, data collection, awareness-raising, end stigma and stereotyping
  • Be informed! Get involved!
  • Accessible United Nations
  • Logo for United Nations

Archive Materials

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Disclaimer: Accessibility cannot be guaranteed for external websites. We provide these links as a courtesy and do not endorse, take responsibility, or exercise control of the organization nor vouch for the accuracy of the contents of the destination link. The Southeast ADA Center in the ADA National Network and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University provides information, materials, and technical assistance to individuals and entities that are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We are funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) (grant #90DP0090-01-00) within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. You should be aware that NIDILRR is not responsible for enforcement of the ADA. The information, materials, and/or technical assistance provided by the Southeast ADA Center are intended solely as informal guidance, and are neither a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities under the ADA, nor binding on any agency with enforcement responsibility under the ADA.