The future is accessible

A day - and strategy - for action

Over 1 billion people in the world experience disability - that's one in seven of us.

December 3 is International Day of Disabled Persons, which aims to:

  • Promote the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development
  • Increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, has further advanced the rights and wellbeing of those with disabilities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international development frameworks.

2019’s theme is "the future is accessible" - promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda. The day focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as anticipated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to leave no one behind and recognises disability as a cross-cutting issues, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What is disability?

The World Health Organization recognises disability as a global public health issue, a human rights issue and a development priority. WHO recognises "disability" as “an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions, denoting the negative aspects of the interaction between an individual (with a health condition) and that individual’s contextual (environmental and personal) factors. Disability is neither simply a biological nor a social phenomenon.”

Earlier this year, the UN’s Disability Inclusion Strategy was launched, providing a foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion through all pillars of the UN’s work: peace and security, human rights, and development.

Find out more about the Disability Inclusion Strategy.

Watch the video