The International Year of Disabled Persons 1981
In 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.
Other 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
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.
* General Assembly resolution 31/123