According to U.N., an estimated 650 million people live with disabilities around the world. Efforts were needed to enhance the quality of life, and promote and protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities through local, national and global efforts. United Nations played a vital role in supporting and promoting this cause. To initiate an action on the cause, the year 1981 was proclaimed the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP) by the United Nations. It called for a plan of action with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities. Also, United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons was held from 1983 to 1992 to enable governments and organizations to implement measures to improve the life of disabled persons all over the world. On October 14, 1992, as this decade drew to a close, the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 3 as the International Day of Disabled Persons. This day was first observed on December 3, 1992. Since then UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities is annually held on December 3. This day aims to increase the understanding of the issues around disabilities and attention to the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also aims to increase the awareness of the gains for everybody if disabled persons are integrated into all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life and raising money for resources for persons with disabilities. On December 18, 2007, the assembly changed the observance's name from the "International Day of Disabled Persons" to the "International Day of Persons with Disabilities". The new name was first used in 2008.
Many events are held on and around the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 each year. Many of these events aim to involve groups of people from all sections of society in upholding the rights of persons with disabilities and to celebrate the contributions by persons with disabilities to their communities. Other events take the form of protests to highlight the difficulties disabled people have in playing a full role in society. Examples of events include: forums with experts and disabled persons; public discussions; the presentation of information campaigns; exhibitions of art created by disabled people; social gatherings; and fund raising activities to raise money to support disabled people.
Themes - Just like most of the U.N. supported events, International Day of Persons with Disabilities too has had various Themes associated with it. Previous year's Themes have been - Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us" - 2008, "Decent work for persons with disabilities" - 2007 and "E-Accessibility" - 2006
Symbols - The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is coordinated by United Nations Enable, which works to support and promote the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The symbol of Enable is the blue UN symbol and the word "enable". The UN symbol consists of an azimuthal equidistant projection of the globe centred on the North Pole surrounded by olive branches. The word "enable" is written entirely in lower case letters. The letter "e" is red and the other letters are blue.
Alternate Names - United Nation's (U.N.) International Day of Persons with Disabilities, International Day of Disabled Persons.