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.
The theme of IYDP was “full participation and equality”, defined as the right of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and development of their societies, enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens, and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development.
United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons 1983-1992
To provide a time frame during which Governments and organizations could implement the activities recommended in the World Programme of Action, the General Assembly proclaimed 1983-1992 the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.
Themes from previous years
- 1998: “Arts, Culture and Independent Living”
- 1999: “Accessibility for all for the new Millennium”
- 2000: “Making information technologies work for all”
- 2001: “Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome”
- 2002: “Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods”
- 2003: “A Voice of our Own”
- 2004: “Nothing about Us, Without Us”
- 2005: “Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development”
- 2006: “E-Accessibility”
- 2007: “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities”
- 2008: “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us”
- 2009: “Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world”
- 2010: “Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond”
- 2011: “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development”
- 2012: “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”
International Day of People with Disability (December 3) is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. It has been celebrated with varying degrees of success around the planet. 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. It was originally called “International Day of Disabled Persons”. Each year the day focuses on a different issue.