IDPWD: fighting for rights in the post-COVID era

As December beings, the world is marking a key event in the disabled community’s calendar: International Day of People with Disabilities.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the needs of disabled people, their carers, families and others that support them have been brought to light. With people around the globe facing isolation and restricted access to services, an insight was given into just a few of the barriers disabled people often face on a daily basis.

On 3 December, disability and the impact of an inaccessible society are brought to light as people around the globe mark International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD).

Barriers

Every year IDPWD highlights the importance of removing the barriers that exist for all people living with a disability around the world. The day encompasses both visible and hidden disabilities and impairments.

Raising awareness of the importance of inclusion and access in building sustainable societies, it brings to light issues in areas like joining the workforce, finding support and challenging bias.

As restrictions around the pandemic begin to ease, the day is especially important. It is expected that it will highlight the ways in which the disabled community have felt greater isolation and exclusion during this time due to reduced or stopped services, digital exclusion and the need to shield or self-isolate to stay safe. These ongoing issues can only be solved with greater awareness of disabled people’s needs.

Purpose

Last year, the day shone a light on hidden disabilities and the impact of the coronavirus on isolation and mental health. Each year the theme for the day encompass the objectives that it is based on.

These centre around: educating people within the community around barriers to inclusion; providing opportunities for education and training for disabled people; providing social and personal support; increasing provision of transport services to support participation in the community; providing enterprise grants to support the creation of social trading businesses.

Stigma and discrimination around disability are still prevalent, with more awareness needed to break down barriers for the disability community as a whole, but IDPwD is a chance for celebration, learning, optimism and action.

For 2021 the theme is fighting for rights in the post-COVID era. The theme highlights the challenges, barriers and opportunities for people living with a disability, in the context of a global pandemic.

Get involved

You can help spread awareness of the barriers for the disabled community on IDPwD via online platforms. Using social media, you can share your experiences and how you want to see the world change for the disabled community.

Different charities, along with the United Nations who created the day, will also run events both virtually and in person on the day.

More information on the day and information on support is available from www.idpwd.org

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