International Day For People With Disabilities 2023

By: Sinead Kane

International Day For People With Disabilities is Sunday 3rd of December 2023 (IDPWD).

As a person with a disability I am proud to celebrate the day. Within society there is still a lot of discrimination towards people with disabiliites – in sport, employment, health care, housing, socially, politically, and economically.  Example the European Forum for Disability published a report last April saying Ireland were the worst EU member state for employing people with disabilities. This is worrying given that Ireland promotes itself as being at full employment. It also does not meet the standards under the UNCRPD.

Some important points to note:

  • Over the years we have moved from the Medical Model of Disability to the Social Model of Disability to the Human Rights Model of Disability.
  • International Day of People with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992, by the UN.
  • Theme 2023 - The theme for 2023 is "United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by persons with disabilities".
  • Purple is the official colour for disability.
  • The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues re the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
  • It also seeks to increase awareness of the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Regarding this year’s theme – why do we need to rescue and achieve the SDG’s?

The SDGs were launched in 2015 by the UN and apply to all UN members. The central aim is to leave no one behind and reach the furthest behind first. They aim to reduce poverty and inequality by 2030.

There are 17 SDGs with 169 targets for meeting them. 2023 marks the mid-way point of the SDGs.

Progress on the SDGs is off track. Hence, why we need to get them moving again.

In order to bring about sustainable change, achieve the SDGs and create a more equal world, global decision-makers cannot continue to ignore the 16% of the global population who have disabilities. We must act now to rescue the SDGs and truly leave no one behind.