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3rd December 2018

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The day was established in 1992 to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development. The day works to promote action to raise awareness about disability issues and draw attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all.

There is an estimated 1 billion people worldwide living with a disability, which is 15% of the world population. In the UK there is 13 million.

The 2011 World Health Survey analysis of employment rates amongst people with disabilities from 51 countries found:

  • 52.8% of males with a disability were employed compared to 64.9% of non-disabled males.
  • 19.6% of females with a disability were employed compared to 29.9% of non-disabled females.
  • 41.2% of people with disabilities aged 18-49 were employed compared to 57.6% of non-disabled people.

Some of the biggest barriers to employment for people with disabilities is:

  • Lack of awareness and understanding, impacting the societal image, based on bias and discrimination
  • Young people lacking access to formal education and learning to develop their skills
  • Physical barriers such as difficulty with access and support, e.g. transport, using facilities, and lack of special aids or equipment

To help contribute to an inclusive and accessible society for all, organisations should review their disability and ill-health policies and training to ensure they are fully inclusive. 

Furthermore, to find out how you can better support colleagues with disabilities, read our Employer Guide’s, Reasonable Adjustment in the Workplace, Disability and Employment, and Positive Action.