International Day of Persons with Disabilities takes place annually on December 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. It was originally called “International Day of Disabled Persons” until 2007.
In 1976, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons. It called for a plan of action at the national, regional and international levels, with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities. The theme of IYDP was “full participation and equality”, defined as the right of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and development of their societies, enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens, and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development
On the 2012 International Day of People with Disability, the United Kingdom government introduced mandatory work for disabled people who received welfare benefits in order to “Improve disabled peoples chances of getting work by mandatory employment”. The founder of the Susan Archibald Centre stated that the mandatory employment of people with disabilities is a breach of article 27/2 of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Guardian noted that from this United Nations appointed day onwards people with disabilities and illnesses ranging from cancer to paralysis to mental health may be forced by the U.K government to work for free or else they can risk being stripped of up to 70% of their welfare benefits. A program is also launched on 3 December in India to serve the differently-able community of the country as an initiative called Accessible India Campaign under the Article 9 of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Each year the day focuses on a different issue such as Arts, Culture and Independent Living”, Accessibility for all, Making information technologies work for all, Full participation and equality for all, Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods, Nothing About Us Without Us, Rights for persons with disabilities, E-Accessibility, Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us, Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium, Empowerment of persons with disabilities, Including persons with disabilities in development, Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all,