Tori Fluet
Image showing paper doll figures in varying colors, some in wheelchairs

It’s one of the Institute on Disability’s favorite days of the year: International Day of Persons with Disabilities!

This day of recognition was first established by United Nations in 1992 to promote “the well-being and welfare of people living with disabilities.” The day is not only a great opportunity to help raise awareness about accessibility, inclusion and advocacy, but also for celebrating all the amazing people and progress in the world of inclusivity.

In honor of the the International Persons with Disabilities Day's 31st anniversary, we put together a list of 31 ways you can get involved with promoting full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all.

1.    Learn about International Day of Persons with Disabilities
2.    Learn how to make your Microsoft Word documents accessible
3.    Learn some basic American Sign Language (ASL) signs in sign language.
4.    Read about the lived experiences of persons with disabilities
5.    Donate your unused eyeglasses.
6.    Donate to a disability-focused research center.
7.    Commit to using people-first language.
8.    Hire a person with a disability.
9.    Watch TED Talk videos given by people with lived experience as a person with a disability.
10.    Advocate for disability history content in your child’s school curriculum.
11.    Watch a movie/TV show that features an actor with a disability
12.    Contact your congressional representatives to share your thoughts on bills related to disability.
13.    Volunteer to train a therapy dog and take them to visit schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes.
14.    Improve your home's accessibility
15.    Share disability-related news and information with your social media networks. 
16.    Follow disability activists on social media
17.    Become a disability advocate in your local community.
18.    Buy from disability-owned businesses.
19.    Support musicians with disabilities
20.    Learn about accessibility and become an advocate for improving it in your local community.
21.    If you’re a content creator, caption your videos and make sure all photos have alt text descriptions.
22.    Talk with your children about disabilities, accessibility, and being an ally
23.    Sign up for the UNH IOD newsletter.
24.    Learn how to be an ally.
25.    Learn about disability inclusion and be an advocate in your local community.
26.   Make your workplace more accessible.
27.    Donate books on disability to your local library.
28.    Hire speakers who focus on disability topics to present at your next professional gathering.
29.    Make captions the default setting for your work video calls on Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
30.    Learn about voting accessibility and volunteer to assist with local elections.
31.    If you have any questions, send them to Kathy Bates -- she'll answer them in her "Ask Kathy" blog post series.

Even after today's International Day of Persons with Disabilities is over, you can still keep this list handy and use it throughout the year to help support the disability community. The more advocates and allies we can reach, the better, so why not check #15 off your list right now by sharing this with your social media networks?

Thanks for all you do!