International Day of People with Disability (December 3rd) is an international observance promoted by the UN since 1992. It has been celebrated with varying degrees of success around the planet. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life. It was originally called "International Day of Disabled Persons". Each year the day focuses on a different issue. Below I will list some facts about disability and how we can help aid those in need.

Facts about disability
• At least 10% of the world's population, or 650 million people, live with a disability (1).
• 20% of the worlds poor are disabled (2).
• The percentage of children with disabilities not attending school is extremely variable and is between 65 – 85% in some African countries (3).
• Mortality for children with disabilities may be as high as 80% in countries where under-five mortality as a whole has decreased to below 20% (4).
• In many low-income and middle -income countries, only 5-15% of disabled people who require assistive devices and technology have access to them (5).

The most proactive thing we can do across the globe is support these people through a strategy that has been set up in over 90 countries called Community-based rehabilitation.   CBR aims to provide rehabilitation, reduce poverty, equalize opportunities and promote the inclusion of disabled people in their communities. It focuses on four key development areas – health, education, livelihood and social – and promotes mainstreaming and empowerment. CBR is a flexible and dynamic strategy that can be adapted to suit different contexts and where properly funded and supported it can make a contribution towards the achievement of the MDGs and the implementation of the CRPD. There are 8 basic goals the CBR listed below.
Goal 1: Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieving universal primary education
Goal 3: Promoting gender equality and empowering women
Goal 4: Reducing child mortality
Goal 5: Improving maternal health
Goal6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
These goals can be achieved through a variety of different charities and organizations. To me this day is important not only to make people aware but to also celebrate those with specific needs.

Cody Griffith
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