International Day of Persons with Disabilities: 3 December 2021
Friday, 3 December 2021 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).
First proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3, the day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
The theme for IDPD 2021 is “Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities Toward an Inclusive, Accessible, and Sustainable post-COVID-19 World.”
The International Communication Project (ICP) marks the day because it advocates for people with communication disabilities, seeks to raise the profile of communication disabilities, and seeks to have them recognised accordingly.
What is disability?
The World Health Organization (WHO) 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.” (WHO Global Disability Action Plan 2014–2021.)
Although communication is a basic human right, communication difficulties and disorders are not recognised as disabilities in many parts of the world. The ICP joins organisations from around the world advocating for people with communication disorders and raising the profile of communication disabilities.
Approximately one billion people globally experience disability. However, people with communication disabilities are probably not included in that total, even though they encounter significant difficulties in their daily lives.
What does the theme for IDPD mean?
The theme for 2021 International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “ Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities Toward an Inclusive, Accessible, and Sustainable post-COVID-19 World.” The theme highlights the additional challenges faced by persons with disability during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the aim, once the virus is under control, of ensuring that the future is inclusive, accessible, and sustainable for all.
This is why the International Communication Project strives to ensure that communication difficulties and disorders are recognised as disabilities.
What is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?
The 2030 Agenda pledges to “leave no one behind”. Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development and promote resilient society for all, including in the context of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action, and urban development. It is envisaged that governments, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, academic institutions and the private sector will work as a “team” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“People with Disabilities” or “disability” are specifically mentioned 11 times in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Disability is included in goals 4, 8, 10, 11 and 17:
- Goal 4: Guaranteeing equal and accessible education by building inclusive learning environments and providing the needed assistance for persons with disabilities.
- Goal 8: Promoting inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment allowing persons with disabilities to fully access the job market.
- Goal 10: Emphasizing the social, economic and political inclusion of persons with disabilities.
- Goal 11: Creating accessible cities and water resources, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems, providing universal access to safe, inclusive, accessible and green public spaces.
- Goal 17: Underlining the importance of data collection and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals, emphasis on disability disaggregated data.
The International Communication Project is specifically working to ensure that communication difficulties and disorders are recognised disabilities. Because communication is a basic human right.
Learn more: The World’s Largest Lesson
What can you do on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
Communication is a basic human right. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world communication difficulties and disorders are not recognised as a disability. By signing the Universal Declaration of Communication Rights, you will help bring attention and professional care to persons with communication disorders. And to assist you, we will keep you up-to-date with information about what’s being done by the ICP and others to ensure that communication is a basic human right and that communication difficulties and disorders receive appropriate recognition. Sign the ICP pledge today!