Promoted by the United Nations (UN), International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is an annual event held on December 3rd around the globe.

Held for the first time in 1992, the main objective of IDPD has always been twofold: first, to promote a greater understanding of issues facing people with disabilities, thereby increasing support for the rights, dignity and well-being of such individuals. Second—and just as important—the goal has been to raise awareness of the contributions that individuals with disabilities make to political, social, economic and cultural life if given the opportunity.

Each year’s IDPD focuses on a different topic. Past topics have ranged from arts and culture to independent living and technology. This year’s theme is Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want, based on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals meant to transform the world and create a more inclusive and equitable environment for persons with disabilities.

This year’s IDPD also coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD reaffirms that all persons with disabilities must have access to all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The UN, which has a strong history of pushing for the advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities, has become a guiding presence for nations looking to promote equal opportunities and rights. In 1976, the UN marked 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons and set out on a mission to equalize opportunities for disabled people at the national, regional, and international levels. This was followed by what the UN designated as the Decade of Disabled Persons (1983-1992), where different regions across the globe began implementing actions to ensure equal opportunities and rights for all disabled individuals.

More recently, countries across the globe have begun to ratify the UN’s CRPD, officially pledging commitment to the Convention’s mission.

We at User1st are proud to support the efforts of the UN in their mission to ensure equal rights, opportunities, and freedoms for individuals with disabilities. May this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities be the most productive one yet.