International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. This day is observed every year on 3rd December. 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 inclusion of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life.

Around 15% of the world’s population, or one billion people, live with disabilities. People are often unaware of the great number of persons living with disabilities around the world and the challenges they face. The United Nations along with the World Health Organization (WHO) has started a mission to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities through national, regional and global efforts and to raise awareness about the magnitude and consequences.

Since 2009, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs organizes a film festival as a part of the events at UN Headquarters to commemorate the Day. The United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF) includes short disability-related films selected on the basis of their content and message that can help raise awareness of disability issues and further promote the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society.

IDPD Standard Logo






Every year a theme is dedicated to this Day and then efforts are made to implement these themes. "Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality" is the theme for the year 2018.

Here is a list of IDPD themes from previous Years:

2016: Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want
Inclusion matters: access and empowerment of people of all abilities
Sustainable development: the promise of technology
Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all.
2012: Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all
: Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development
2010: Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond
2009: Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world
2008: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us
2007: Decent work for persons with disabilities
2006: E-Accessibility
2005: Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development
2004: Nothing about Us without Us
2003: A voice of our own
2002: Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods
2001: Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome
2000: Making information technologies work for all
1999: Accessibility for all for the new Millennium
1998: Arts, Culture and Independent Living

Based on the main theme of IDPD 2013, sub-themes can be selected to cover all aspects of society and development, including removing barriers to education, employment, transportation, travel and tourism or sports.

In India

India has had full participation in the observance of "International Day of Persons with Disabilities" with various Government Organizations and NGO s taking it as a platform to spread awareness amongst the people about the disability issues. A "Walk to Freedom" is organized every year on 3rd December in every State and Union Territories of India symbolizing the distance that disabled people still have to cover to achieve true freedom – freedom which can come with self-reliance and economic independence. The first Walk to Freedom was organized in Delhi on 3rd December, 1997 from India Gate to Vijay Chowk. In 2012, along with the Walk to Freedom, an event will be held at the National Institute of Technology (Calicut) for school children entitled "Role of technology in improving the quality life of people with Disabilities".


(Source : UN- Enable & WHO )

To read this article in Hindi click here


#1 Abayneh 2018-09-11 20:49
We are waiting for International disability day celebration December 3, 2018 theme.

When we will find the theme of 2018 celebration.

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