International Day of Persons with Disabilities

What is International Day of Persons with Disabilities?

The United Nations established the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which is celebrated every year on December 3rd, with the aim of raising awareness about the various challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of life. This day serves as a platform to advocate for change and the rights of people with disabilities, ensuring their successful integration into society.

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The International Day of Persons with Disabilities emphasizes the significance of inclusivity, accessibility, and equal opportunities, while also celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of these individuals in society.

As someone living with a disability, this day holds significance for me as it shines a light on the barriers that people with disabilities encounter and serves as a starting point for discussing ways to advocate for change. There is a lack of knowledge about disabilities among both disabled and non-disabled individuals, possibly stemming from the absence of disability history education in schools. This lack of education often leads to people falling for the misconceptions and stereotypes about people with disabilities, which perpetuates discrimination. That’s why bringing awareness is crucial, so people unlearn those misconceptions in order to create an inclusive environment in society for those living with a disability. Additionally, it is important for people to be aware of issues that face the disability community to understand that they not only impact this community but also have implications for other communities.

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Ways to Contribute on International Day of Persons with Disabilities:

Although the notable advancements made for the disability community over time, there remains a substantial amount of work to be done in countering ableism, particularly the systemic kind that restricts individuals with disabilities from accessing resources and opportunities that will help us successfully thrive in society.

Here are various ways in which everyone, with or without a disability, can contribute to International Day of Persons with Disabilities or advocate for the rights of the disability community on any given day:

  • Advocacy: To ensure people with disabilities have equal access to opportunities and services, advocate for accessibility in education, workplace, transportation, and in the general public.


  • Education: To make change, you must educate yourself or be willing to educate others about issues that are affecting the community. It’s great to plan and coordinate awareness events to promote understanding of issues affecting people with disabilities and find ways to promote inclusion.


  • Sharing: One of the best ways to bring awareness is sharing personal stories or experiences of people with disabilities. This is very effective when using social media because you’re able to reach more people while sharing your or someone’s experiences which increases awareness.


  • Volunteer: Doing volunteer work is one the best and effective way to bring awareness about the issues that individuals face in the disability community and work towards making society more inclusive to people with disabilities.


  • Honoring and Celebrating: While it’s important to advocate for change but let’s not forget about the work and contributions many people have made so far in the disability community. It’s great to take a moment to acknowledge and honor the contributions of individuals with disabilities have made in the community.


About the Author - Nila Morton

My name is Nila Morton. I’m a 23-year-old woman in a wheelchair. I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology and hope to become a Clinical Psychologist one day. I love being around my family and friends. I have a dog named Chloe, who is the light of my life. My favorite things to do are shopping, traveling, trying new restaurants, writing, and reading. I hope that every day I inspire other disabled people to not be ashamed of their disability and to live their life to the fullest. Instagram/TikTok: @nilanmorton

Nila Morton

The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $10,000,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.