3 December - International Day of Persons with Disabilities

WHO/Sebastian Liste/NOOR

3 December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). On this Day WHO joins partners to celebrate "a day for all". This theme reflects a growing understanding that disability is part of the human condition. The day is also an opportunity for WHO to reflect on the progress made on the disability agenda throughout the year. Ultimately, we’re working to make sure services for people with disability are integrated into health systems as part of every country’s journey towards universal health coverage.

Model Disability Survey implementation – what is the status?

WHO is presently supporting Member States to collect disability and functioning data at the population level using the Model Disability Survey (MDS). The MDS has been implemented in several countries since 2017. Data from the survey provides vital information to inform the development of evidence-based national disability strategies. The MDS is also used to monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Improving the lives of people with disability in Chile – the role of data

In 2015 the Chilean government and civil society joined forces to implement the Model Disability Survey. Through this WHO-backed initiative, Chile have now developed up-to-date information on the number of people living with disability in their country, and the issues they face. This information is being used to strengthen services for the people who need them.

fact buffet

Disability experience

> 1 billion peoplein the world today experience some form of disability

Read more

Access to health services

1/2 of peoplewith disability cannot afford health care. They are also more likely to experience barriers when accessing health facilities, information and equipment

Read more

Data and research

3 coreenvironmental barriers to daily life for people with mental disorders and other NCDs are the lack of assistive products for mobility, and the availability of personal assistance

Read more
pdf, 321kb

Data collection

Internationally comparable data related to functioning and disability is essential to guide policy planning, identify needs, facilitate evidence-based decision making, and monitor the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Assistive technology

WHO estimates that more than one billion people (mostly older people and people with disability) are in need of one or more assistive products such as low-vision devices, wheelchairs or hearing aids. With populations ageing and the rise in noncommunicable diseases, this number is expected to increase to beyond two billion by 2050. Currently, only one in ten people in need have access. To address the substantial gap between the need for and provision of assistive technology, WHO established the Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) initiative.

Access to health services and programmes

Accessibility and allocation of space for rehabilitation in field hospitals

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Global Disability Action Plan 2014-2021

World Report on Disability

The World report on disability provides an extensive picture of the situation of people with disability, their needs and unmet needs, and the barriers they face to participating fully in their societies.