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International Day of Person with Disability 2020

by Nirdesh Baral

“Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”

Disability is a part of the human condition. Almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life. (1) The 2010 MDG report was the first to mention disability. World report on disability denotes that about 15% of world’s population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. (2)


The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICFDH) advanced the understanding and measurement of disability by dividing into 3 interconnected areas, impairment, disability and handicaps. (1)

Impairment    : Problem/alteration in body structures. Eg: Blindness, deafness, paralysis, etc.

Disability        : Activity limitation / difficulties in executing activities. Eg: to eat, to walk, etc.

Handicaps      : Complete restriction on participation in any action/ area of life.

So, in gist disability refers to difficulties encountered in any area of functioning. But is it a matter of more or less, not yes or no.



Disability arises from the interactions of health conditions with contextual factors-Environmental factors and personal factors. (1)

The Environment in which people lives, has a huge impact on the experience and extend of disability. Inaccessible environments create disability by creating barriers to participation and inclusion.

For Example:

  • A building without as accessible bathroom or elevator for a wheelchair user.
  • A deaf individual without sign language interpreter.

Various other environmental factors affects health and disability including product and technology, nature and built environment, support and relationships, attitudes and services, nutrition, poverty, ergonomics, working environments, system and policies, etc.

The Personal factors-motivation, self-esteem, person’s capacity to perform actions and their actual preformation are localized and controlled by people themselves; and are the determinants of the disability. (1)

Knowledge and attitudes affecting all areas of social life. Intellectual impairment, mental disability are more stigmatized in comparison to physicals disabilities in our society; which must need to combat. (1)

Actions needed:

Prevention of health conditions associated with disability is a developmental issue. Attention to environmental factors-including nutrition, preventable diseases, safe water and sanitation, safety on roads, improvement in work place-can greatly reduce the incidence of health conditions leading to disability. The ministerial Declaration of July 2010 recognizes disability as a cross cutting issues essential for attainment of the MDGs.

Every disaster comes with both the negative consequences and positive opportunities. This COVID-19 pandemic is also a huge opportunity for us for making some important changes in life of ours and our people’s. This is the time for “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World” (3) through our combined effort.

International Day of Person with Disability 2020

Various actions are needed to be executed by us for our peoples. We need to focus on holistic approach rather than any specific area. A public health approach says “Prevention is better than Cure” and explained measures to be taken as follows:

  • Remove or reduce all possible causes and causative factors from environment.
  • Understanding health and disability
  • Inclusive education
  • Screening disability
  • Early identification and treatment
  • Inclusive environment for disables
  • Plan events and take actions
  • Ensure equity and equality in each area of life
  • Employment opportunity
  • Social integration
  • Advocate human rights
  • Empowerment
  • Accessible health care
  • Awareness raising
  • Ensure social protection
  • Development and implementation of social policies
  • End stigma and stereotyping
  • Community Based rehabilitation
  • Public private partnership (PPP), etc.


“You are not disables by the Disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.”

–Oscar Pistrius



Prepared by:

Mala Gupta

BPH Student (Purbanchal University)

Kantipur Academy of Health Science, Tinkune, Ktm.

Email: [email protected]




  2. The World Bank.org[Internet].Disability Inclusion; [Last update Oct 01, 2020; cited Nov 27 2020]. Available from: https//www.google.com/search?q=world+bank=data+on+disability&oq
  3. Department of Economics and Social Affaires.UN[Internet].Internationa Day of People with Disability;[cited Nov 27 2020]. Available from: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disability/internet






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