World Disability Day - International Day of Disabled Persons

Did you know that an estimated 1.3 billion people of over 7 billion (1 in 6 people) worldwide have a significant disability? Of these 1.3 billion disabled people, 80% live in developing countries. People with disabilities have poorer health, die earlier, and experience health inequalities. The health inequalities that arise from discrimination, stigma, and poverty limit the everyday functioning of disabled persons as compared to the rest of the population. 

It is unfortunate how persons with disabilities must face stereotypes in society. However, it is possible to subside this stereotypical mindset by spreading awareness about disability. One such opportunity for disability awareness is World Disability Day or the International Day of Disabled Persons. But what is world disabled day, and how is it celebrated? Read on to find out.

What is World Disabled Day?

The International Day of People with Disabilities or IDPD is observed on 3rd December every year. Annually, this day aims to promote understanding of disability issues and promote the rights, well-being, and dignity of disabled persons. Furthermore, World Disability Day strives to increase awareness about the benefits derived from integrating people with disabilities in all aspects of social, political, cultural, and economic life. 

History of International Disability Day

  1. The first step towards the inclusivity of disabled people took place in 1976 when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 1981 the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP).
  2. The period of five years between the making of the decision and the implementation of the Year of Disabled Persons was spent examining the difficulties faced by the disabled, how disabled people can take part in community life, how the government can equalise opportunities, and how they can enjoy the same benefits and rights as the non-disabled people. 
  3. Furthermore, the UNGA declared 1983-1992 as the decade for disabled persons. During this time, the concepts created earlier were implemented to improve the lives of disabled people worldwide. 
  4. On 4th October 1992, UNGA adopted 3rd December as the International Day of People with Disabilities during their 37th plenary meeting. 
  5. Launched in 1992, 2022 celebrated 30 years of disability day, marking three successful decades of meaningful change for disabled people. 

The Theme of World Disability Day 2022

Every year, International Disability Day is celebrated by emphasising a new aspect that aims at improving the lives of people with disabilities. For example, the theme in 2007 was “Decent work for persons with disabilities”, reminding people that every person deserves an opportunity for productive employment in conditions of equity, freedom, and human dignity. 

The theme of International Day of Persons with Disability in 2022 is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.” The celebration of world disability day in 2022 focuses on the need for innovative solutions that help create an inclusive developmental model for people with disability. Furthermore, it aims to find solutions for building a more resilient and sustainable world for future generations.

World Disability Day Quotes

Disability awareness quotes are inspiring sayings that motivate people with disabilities. Some world disability day quotes to observe the day are as follows:

  1. “Part of the problem is that we tend to think that equality is treating everyone the same when it’s not. It’s about fairness. It’s about equity of access.” - Judith Heumann.
  2. “My effort in the whole thing was the basic determination, the burning desire in me to prove to this world that a physically handicapped girl is in no way inferior.” - Sudha Chandran.
  3. “The world worries about disability more than disabled people do.” - Warwick Davis.
  4. “I am different, not less.” - Dr Temple Grandin. 
  5. “Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes does not mean he lacks vision.” - Stevie Wonder.
  6. “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” - Stephen Hawking. 

How to Celebrate World Disability Day?

The day of persons with disabilities is celebrated by holding campaigns, discussions, and forums related to disability. Since 1992, various events have been held in several countries every year on 3rd December. The events range from a musical to a play, and disabled people are encouraged to participate in these activities. 

The goal of these activities is to make non-disabled people realise that a person with a disability can be an equal and lively part of society as them. It helps eliminate stereotypes and lets disabled people enjoy life without discrimination and hardships. The benefit of these events for disabled people is to boost their confidence and self-esteem by proving to themselves that they can do several things, despite their disabilities.

What Can You Do on International Day of Persons with Disability?

There are several ways to observe World Disability Day and contribute to the well-being of disabled people, some of which include:

  1. Become an advocate for disabled people: The most basic thing you can do to promote disability day is to check if accommodations for disabled people are in place. If they are not, ask the concerned authority to install them. 
  2. Show empathy and compassion: When you are tired or in a rush, do not take it out on people slowing you down because they could be people with a disability. A warm and friendly smile can go a long way in showing empathy and compassion towards them.
  3. Offer a helping hand: If you know any disabled person who might need assistance, help them. Sometimes, simple tasks like picking up groceries or delivering medicines can relieve their burden and improve their day. 

Celebration of World Disability Day in India

On 3rd December every year, i.e., the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment presents National awards to individuals, organisations, institutions, and state/districts for their extraordinary work and achievements towards the empowerment of disabled people. 


Now that you know when and why world disabled day is celebrated, you should make a dedicated effort to make more and more people aware of the challenges of disability. It is high time that people let go of their biases and stereotypes about people with disabilities and make them feel like a part of society. 

People with disabilities may not be heroes, but they are also not victims. They seek an equal place in the community. So let’s join hands and promote world disability day to build a more inclusive world where disabled people have the same rights and dignity as non-disabled people. 

Lastly, lend a helping hand to anyone who could use some assistance. Disabilities can affect an individual’s confidence. However, the experts at HexaHealth are well-equipped to deal with such situations and offer valuable input. If your loved ones are suffering from any disability, connect with a HexaHealth expert and take the next steps with expert guidance! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is World disabled day?

World disability day is a United Nations day celebrated on 3rd December every year. The day is observed annually to promote the rights and well-being of disabled people at each level of society and development. Furthermore, it aims to raise awareness of the situation and hardships of people with disabilities in all social, political, cultural, and economic aspects of life. 

What is the theme for International Day of Disabled Persons 2022?

The theme for International Day of Disabled Persons 2022 is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.” The theme focused on the need for innovative solutions to create a development model that includes disabled people and provides them with equitable and accessible rights. 

Why is world disability day celebrated?

World disability day is celebrated annually to promote an understanding and awareness of disability issues and support the rights, well-being, and dignity of specially-abled people. 

How do we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities?

To celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, WHO organises an annual event on 3rd December to educate the public, raise awareness, advocate for resources, and celebrate WHO’s achievements. In India, the day is celebrated by presenting national awards to individuals and institutions who have done extraordinary work to empower disabled people. 

Who created the International Day of Persons with Disabilities?

The International Day of People with Disabilities was introduced by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1992. Earlier, UNGA declared 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons and 1983-1992 as the decade of disabled persons. 

What are the human rights of Disabled Persons?

The human rights of disabled persons include the right to: respect their human dignity; economic and social security and a decent level of living; secure and retain employment and join trade unions; medical, psychological and functional treatment; education, vocational training, counselling, placement, and other services that develop their capabilities and skills and; have special needs taken into consideration at all stages of social and economic planning.

What is the greatest challenge that persons with disabilities face?

Some of the greatest challenges that people with disabilities face include an inaccessible physical environment; negative attitudes, including stereotypes, stigma, and discrimination, of people towards disability; lack of relevant assistive technology and poor implementation of policies and schemes.

What do people with disabilities need?

Some needs of disabled people include the same skills and opportunities as those without disabilities to become financially independent; strategies for education for people with special needs; safety measures like road safety, public transport system, residential areas, etc. and health equipment, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, walking aids, vision aids, artificial limbs, and communication aids.

What is the most important cause of disability?

Musculoskeletal disorders are the primary cause of disabilities. These disorders include back pain, arthritis, fibromyositis, etc. Other causes of disabilities include injuries due to violence, occupational injury, road traffic accidents, and falls. Mental health problems, such as mental health retardation and mental illness, can cause mental disability. 

Is mental illness a disability?

 Yes, mental illness is considered a disability under Section 2 (i) of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. Under Section 2(q) of the Act, “mental illness” is defined as any mental disorder other than mental retardation.

How is disability prevented?

The prevention of disability is divided into three levels:

  1. Primary prevention: It includes preventing the risk factors that cause disability. If prevention at this level succeeds, it could eliminate the possibility of the occurrence of the disability. 
  2. Secondary prevention: This stage targets existing risk factors and includes actions to reduce or remove them. The interventions at this stage include early diagnosis and prompt treatment. 
  3. Tertiary prevention: All measures taken during this stage limit disabilities and minimise sufferings caused by existing disabilities. Also called rehabilitation, this phase involves physical and psychosocial measures to restore a near-normal condition. 

What makes a disabled person happy?

Relationships, valuable social roles, and choice and independence can make a disabled person happy. Things that you can do to make a disabled person feel comfortable include:

  1. Stay natural
  2. Offer your help, do not impose it
  3. Ask questions
  4. Do not take offence if some things or behaviours seem strange to you

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