International Day of Disabled People

“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.”
Stephen Hawking


Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Disabled People has been observed on 3rd December around the world. The theme for this year focuses on empowering disabled people for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The United Nations International Year of Disabled People in 1981 began a decade of campaigning by disabled people for anti-discrimination legislation, and was finally achieved when the Disability Discrimination Act was passed by Parliament in 1995.
Disabled academics and campaigners developed the Social Model of Disability and argued that society did not take into account the needs of Disabled people, and this is what disables them, not their impairment.
In the social model, Disability lies not with the individual but with society. Society must change to take into account Disabled people’s requirements.
There is little doubt that Disability Studies should be rooted in the work of disabled people and their organisations and an understanding of history is vital if we are to engage with the present and influence the future.
A library reading list has been created to mark the International Day of Disabled People and includes a selection of academic texts, which include research undertaken by disabled academics.