Disability and rehabilitation

WHO celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

3 December marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). WHO is joining with other United Nations agencies and civil society organizations to celebrate “a day for all”, highlighting that disability is part of the human condition and a manifestation of diversity in our societies.

Over a billion people in the world - 1 in 7 - experience disability. While they have the same general health care needs as others, they are twice as likely to find the skills of health care providers and health care facilities inadequate for meeting their needs. In addition half of all people with disability cannot afford health care, and they are 50% more likely than others to suffer catastrophic health expenditure. In such cases, out-of-pocket health care payments can push their families into poverty.

As per the recommendations of the landmark World report on disability, and the WHO global disability action plan 2014-2021, WHO supports governments and civil society organizations around the world to remove barriers to health facilities, information and equipment; strengthen and extend rehabilitation; and support the development of Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR).

This year WHO has furthered a number of initiatives, including co-hosting of the 2nd CBR World Congress in Malaysia in September, making progress towards finalization of the Guidelines on health-related rehabilitation, and building capacities in countries to implement the Model Disability Survey.

To celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2016, colleagues at WHO headquarters will be collaborating with other United Nations agencies to hold an art exhibition at Palais Wilson in Geneva. The exhibition “I decide = I am” showcases the work of two Bulgarian artists, and explores issues around guardianship and legal capacity, for people with mental health concerns and intellectual disabilities. A reception marking the official opening of the exhibit will be held on Friday, 2 December.

A number of social media platforms have also been created, to promote the rights of people with disabilities and emphasize the need for ongoing commitment. These include a web site www.aday4all.net , as well as A Day For All social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.