The International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPD or IDPwD) was established in 1992 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to increase understanding and awareness of disability issues and the abilities of people with disabilities; promote the full and effective participation in society for the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disabilities; and celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disabilities. It is observed worldwide on December 3 each year.
This year, during the annual celebration of people with disabilities, the 2020 theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ also focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.
According to the WHO World Report on Disability, 15 percent of the world’s population, or more than 1 billion people, are living with disability. Of this number, it’s estimated 450 million are living with a mental or neurological condition— and two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical help, largely due to stigma, discrimination and neglect.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disconnect, disrupted routines and diminished services have greatly impacted the lives and mental well-being of people with disabilities right around the world. Spreading awareness of invisible disabilities, as well as these potentially detrimental— and not always immediately apparent— impacts to mental health, is crucial as the world continues to fight against the virus.
Around the world, physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers prevent people with disabilities face from participating fully and effectively as equal members of society. They are disproportionately represented among the world’s poorest individuals. People with disabilities lack equal access to basic resources, such as education, employment, healthcare and social and legal support systems. They also have a higher rate of mortality. Yet disability as a whole has remained largely invisible in the mainstream development agenda and its processes.
St. Clair County Community College is firmly committed to making higher education accessible to students with disabilities by removing barriers and providing programs and support services necessary for them to benefit from the instruction and resources of the College. SC4 Disability Services provides support and resources for students with or without a documented disability. Students do not need to have documentation of a disability to discuss strategies for college success. For more information, visit our Disability Services website.
Information obtained from IDPWD.org.