International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3

"Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all"

December 3, 2013

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD or IDPwD) is observed worldwide on December 3 each year. This year’s theme is: "Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all." This day was established in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly to promote awareness of disability issues and the abilities of people with disabilities and celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disabilities.

Over one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability!

Around the world, persons with disabilities face physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that exclude them from participating fully and effectively as equal members of society. They are disproportionately represented among the world’s poorest, and lack equal access to basic resources, such as education, employment, healthcare and social and legal support systems, as well as have a higher rate of mortality. In spite of this situation, disability has remained largely invisible in the mainstream development agenda and its processes.

What can you do to observe IDPD?

INCLUDE: Observance of the day provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders - governments, the United Nations system, civil society, and organizations of persons with disabilities - to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development, both as beneficiaries and agents.

ORGANIZE: Hold forums, discussions and information campaigns in support of the theme to find innovative ways and means by which persons with disabilities can play a lead role including the arrangements of special programs and licensing mechanism.

CELEBRATE: Plan or participate in public events to show the contributions made by people with disabilities as agents of change and development in the communities in which they live.

TAKE ACTION: A major focus of the Day is practical action to mainstream disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. Highlight progress and obstacles in implementing policies that facilitate the full participation of people with disabilities, as well as promote public awareness of barriers to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in their societies.

SU Events

To show our support for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Syracuse University's Disability Law Society is encouraging faculty and students at the Syracuse University College of Law to leave all interior doors open for the entire day. As a way to "Break Barriers, Open Doors: For an Inclusive Society for All," the students at the College of Law are literally opening doors for access for all at the law school. On each door a sign will be posted explaining why the doors should be left open and explaining the importance of spreading awareness about disability rights.

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