Not All Disabilities are Visible

International Day of Disabled Persons is the 3rd of December 2021. First launched in 1992, the event is in its 29th year of celebration, marking nearly three decades of meaningful change for the disabled community.  

Some disabilities, like mental health disorders, chronic pain and fatigue, are invisible – but that does not make them any less devastating to someone’s quality of life.  


  • Of the one billion population of persons with disabilities, 80% live in developing countries.
  • An estimated 46% of older people aged 60 years and over are people with disabilities.
  • One in every five women is likely to experience disability in her life, while one in every ten children is a child with a disability.
  • Persons with disabilities in the world are among the hardest hit by COVID-19 19 pandemic and the isolation and diminished services which have happened as a result. 
  • The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD) is a day which promotes equality for people with disabilities in all areas of society.
  • The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is intended to break down barriers to inclusion and fight for the rights of individuals with disabilities. 
  • According to the World Health Organisation, around 15% of the world’s population are considered to have some form of disability. But all too often, the needs of people with disabilities are not catered for by the society they live in.
  • Ever since the mid 20th century, those with disabilities have been campaigning for more recognition of disability as an aspect of identity, rather than the defining feature of a person. Here’s a brief overview of the timeline of the Disability Rights Movement:
  • The 1950s – International movement from institutionalizing people with disabilities to providing those individuals with community care
  • The 1960s – The very first Paralympics Games is held, celebrating the sporting achievements of people with disabilities
  • The 1980s-90s – Many countries introduce laws that make it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities
  • The 2000s – The UN holds the Conventions on the Rights of People with Disabilities 
  • The 2010s – Steps were taken t0 increase the number of disabled people working and to decrease the disability employment gap, and we are still struggling with this.