International Year of Disabled Persons


Emblem of the International Year of Disabled PersonsIn 1976, the General Assembly proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP). It called for a plan of action at the national, regional and international levels, with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities.


The theme of IYDP was "full participation and equality", defined as the right of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and development of their societies, enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens, and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development.


Bophuthatswana - stamp International Year of Disabled PersonsOther objectives of the Year included: increasing public awareness; understanding and acceptance of persons who are disabled; and encouraging persons with disabilities to form organizations through which they can express their views and promote action to improve their situation.


A major lesson of the Year was that the image of persons with disabilities depends to an important extent on social attitudes; these were a major barrier to the realization of the goal of full participation and equality in society by persons with disabilities.


The emblem for the Year symbolizes two persons holding hands as a sign of solidarity and support.





The United Nations enable website, for rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.

The World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the General Assembly on 3 December 1982.

Proclamation by president Ronald Reagan of the International Year of Disabled Persons in the United States.

All the International Years proclaimed by the General Assembly.



Related person


Juliana, queen of the Netherlands





Aitutaki                                                          23 November 1981

Bangladesh                                                     26 December 1981

Belgium                                                          7 February 1981

Benin                                                             10 April 1981

Bophuthatswana                                              30 January 1981

German Democratic Republic                           23 June 1981

Liechtenstein                                                   9 June 1981

Netherlands                                                    10 November 1981

Netherlands Antilles                                         7 April 1981

Niger                                                              24 April 1981

Sovereign Military Order of Malta                      15 October 1981

Suriname                                                        16 September 1981

Tunisia                                                           21 September 1981



Catalogue - reproduced stamps


Benin                                                             25 October 1985 (Benin and Italy)









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last revised: 26 August 2010