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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA), we would like to express our commitment to raising awareness around the need for human rights for all – including those with disabilities. Thus, on 3 December 2021 we support International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).


“An estimated 46% of older people aged 60 years and over are people with disabilities.”


The World Health Organization (WHO) focuses on “addressing disability inclusion in the health sector”. Given the rapidly ageing global population and the estimated 46% of people over 60 years old who will experience either a temporary or a permanent disability, this is especially relevant in older adult mental healthcare.

The 2021 IDPD theme is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.” As IPA leaders, we continue our efforts to provide an equitable environment for all, regardless of age, cognitive or physical abilities.

Below are five of the goals in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development specific to inclusion for persons with disabilities:

  • Goal 4: Equal and accessible education through inclusive learning environments and providing assistance for persons with disabilities.
  • Goal 8: Promoting full and productive employment for all, including persons with disabilities.
  • Goal 10: Empower economic and political inclusion of all persons regardless of age, race, disability. etc.
  • Goal 11: Ensuring both safe and affordable transportation as well as access to public green spaces for those in vulnerable situations, including persons with disabilities and older persons.
  • Goal 17: Supporting data collection for accountability, including both age and disability disaggregated data.

We encourage IPA members and colleagues to recognize International Day of Persons with Disabilities, not just as a single day to amplify this message, but rather to continually support access and inclusion as a way of life for those with disabilities.


Kiran Rabheru, MD, CCFP, FRCP, DABPN
IPA Board of Directors
Chair, IPA Advocacy Committee


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