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History of National Disabilities Day

Posted by May Recreation Content Team on Dec 2, 2020 5:30:00 AM

Making up the world’s largest minority, some 1 billion people worldwide currently live with a disability. This number means one in every seven people on earth is impacted by a disability. This number means one in every seven people on earth is impacted by a disability. The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was created to raise awareness of the social, economic, political and cultural aspects of disabilities and how they affect the lives of billions of people worldwide.

What is a Disability?

A disability is most simply defined as any function or condition that is considered significantly impaired. These include disabilities such as:

  • Chronic disease
  • Mental illness
  • Intellectual impairment
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Sensory impairment
  • Physical impairment

This Year’s International Disabilities Day or International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD)

This year, the theme for the observance of IDPD December 3rd event will be “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”

The History of the International Day of Persons With Disabilities Day

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to observe such a day, May Rec Image 2promoting disability awareness in 1992. However, this wasn’t the first time the United Nations sought to highlight this all-important issue. Previously, in 1981, they declared the entire year as the International Year of Disabled Persons. This observance emphasized rehabilitation, equal opportunities and the prevention of disabilities. This was followed up with a decade-long observance from the year 1983 to 1993 that was labeled the International Decade of Disabled Persons. Before the end of this decade-long observance, the aforementioned declaration was made that there should be a day that continues to highlight the need for disability awareness and advancements on an annual basis. It was then, in 1992 that December 3rd was named the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. 

How to Observe the Special Day

Many organizations observe the December 3rd day of awareness as a way to promote fundraising endeavors, benefiting disabled individuals in various ways. Some even feature fun competitions that are inclusive in nature, that allow organizations to recognize the many achievements of those with disabilities. Still others take the opportunity to share inspirational stories and welcome guest speakers at events held in honor of National Disabilities Day. Above all, the day is a reminder that many people are living and working around the world who do so with a disability and these people have value and worth. To participate or observe the day, consider the following ideas: 

  • Teach others how to treat individuals with disabilities or promote educational opportunities for others through donations or speaking events.
  • Donate to various organizations that support persons with disabilities. 
  • Offer discounts when applicable to those living with disabilities and/or their caregivers and family members.
  • Consider donating to improve current equipment at playgrounds and other recreational areas to turn them into inclusive play areas that include children with disabilities.

Why it Matters

The National Disabilities Day is not a day set aside merely to remind the general population that there are individuals who live daily with a disability. Instead, it promotes awareness for those who seek to live as normal of a life as possible, despite their disability. Many prefer labeling disabled people as differently-abled instead of disabled. This terminology better explains the truth many experience when living with a disability. They aren’t unable to do common everyday tasks altogether in most cases. Instead, they just have to approach them differently. In some cases, these differences can even be superior in the end. Therefore, it’s wise to always celebrate the differences among us with observances like the National Disabilities Day. 

May Recreation Equipment & Design is a top supplier of playground equipment, inclusive playground equipment, shelters, playground safety surfacing, splash pads, site amenities, and related products in East Texas. With our extensive experience in public and private projects, we know how to bring your project in on time, on budget, and beyond your expectations. Contact us for a full consultation on your next project.

Topics: Custom Capabilities, Inclusive Playground, Inclusive