In tune with current optimism regarding pandemic-beating vaccine breakthroughs, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on 3 December 2020.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is an opportunity to promote the rights and wellbeing of disabled people. While it’s a global event, the UK continues to be a leader among nations in terms of disability confidence – and as such, there are a range of activities and initiatives designed to help organisations adopt better levels of service and accessibility for disabled people.

The whole world is attempting to ‘build back better’ and IDPD is a moment to remind the great and the good that it would be a meaningless gesture if that neglected issues such as disability inclusion and accessibility. 

This IDPD is an opportunity to take a fresh look at how we live and work together and create a better future where nobody is left behind.

Inclusion and diversity will have an important part to play in ‘building back better’. In response, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be setting out a revised Disability Confident guide for line managers that reflects the changing nature of the workplace since the coronavirus crisis – and reiterating the principle that disability equality in the workplace makes for healthier and more competitive businesses. The guide can be viewed via: gov.uk website

Illustrating the point, is a the recent Click-Away Pound report. It states that the cost to UK businesses of inaccessible websites could be as much as £17.1 billion – especially at a time when businesses are increasingly relying on their online offerings.

Supporting businesses to find out more about online accessibility, Microlink have produced a free guide and resources to help organisations adjust to the needs of their disabled customers. See also, the Microlink website

The essential element that will enable equality for disabled people is for organisations to put ideas into practice, so the ‘A Little Less Conversation… A Little More Action’ event, that takes place on 3 December, is a welcome move in the right direction. Disability Confident and the Work and Health Programme Prime Provider Partnership will host a webinar about the Disability Confident scheme to share insight and best practice with employers. 

Businesses are encouraged to take sign up at the Eventbrite website.

A more colourful expression of support for disabled people will be the moment when business premises, shops, websites and social media platforms turn purple as part of the #Purple Light Up visibility campaign, also taking place on 3 December 2020. 

Businesses can also register for a #PurpleLightUp 24-hour global broadcast with webinars, discussions and more. The programme is available on the PurpleSpace website.

Going purple is a great way for Disability Confident businesses to showcase the contribution of disabled employees and to demonstrate a visible commitment to disability inclusion.

Business may also be interested in signing up for free webinars delivered by Disability Confident leaders:

(All webinars run from 11.30am – 12noon.)

While the coronavirus pandemic has hit the disability community hard, there is a sense of commitment and opportunity around this year’s IDPD events that could prove significant to creating a better, fairer society.