Celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities

Posted on: Monday, 27th November, 2017
A group of strong, determined women, living with disabilities in Vanuatu, stand up for their rights.

International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPD) is coming up on 3rd December. This globally recognised day is a chance to highlight the contribution that men, women and children with disabilities make to their families, communities and societies – and highlight the benefits for everyone of greater inclusion. Here’s how we will be celebrating!

This year, our focus for IDPD is on disability and work. Many people with disabilities in poor communities find it difficult to earn a living because they can’t access education or training, face prejudice and discrimination or cannot access resources or loans to get started.

Sharing Stories

We will be sharing 6 inspiring stories from men and women with disabilities who have overcome practical barriers and prejudice to earn a living and help build stronger communities.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Harriette from Vanuatu.

I am strong. I earn a living. I will build my own house.

Harriette is 48 years old and lives in Vanuatu. She is deaf and has had limited access to education. She is holding a bag she has weaved herself.

Harriette is a strong, determined woman, and she is deaf.

With no sign language or interpretation and no extra teaching assistance available to her, Harriette had to stop her education by primary school.

Imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t have a language. Language is a basic human right, but for many Deaf people in developing countries, this right goes unfulfilled.

Harriette weaves bags, owns and runs a kava bar, and grows food for her and her family. She is saving money to build her own home.

Imagine how much communities would have to gain when deaf women, like Harriette, have equal opportunities to achieve their full potential.

Share Harriette’s story on Facebook or Twitter today and watch out for more stories this week.

Look out for more this week:

  • a blog post from CBM UK Chief Executive Kirsty Smith highlighting the barriers for people living with disabilities to earn a living, the effect on wider society and how CBM is tackling this issue.
  • an inspirational new film made by our CBM colleagues in Australia about including women and girls with disabilities – keep an eye out on our social media and YouTube channels on Friday!
  • Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt will be speaking at an event organised by CBM and other disability and development organisations to mark International Day of People with Disabilities.

Spread the word

Please help to us to spread the word this IDPD by sharing these inspirational stories:


Keep up to date! Enter your email to receive information about our vital work, appeals and events as well as how you can make a difference.

Please complete the fields below: