10-Dec-20 | Shani's Blog

Inclusion is important every day of the year, not just for one day

Purple and white salt and pepper hugging each otherThe month of December holds a vital awareness day for disability community and its allies; it’s the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The annual observance of this day was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3.

Celebrated on 3rd December around the world, International Day of Persons with Disabilities mobilises support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of disabled people, promotes awareness-raising about disability issues and draws attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all.

#PurpleLightUp, a global movement that celebrates and draws attention to the economic contribution of disabled employees around the world is also celebrated on this day, in Purple Space’s mark of respect to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

#PurpleLightUp has been driving momentum for disability inclusion across hundreds of organisations, reaching thousands of employees in different ways. It includes lighting up iconic buildings purple, holding events, developing workplace policies for disabled employees and sparking conversations about disability inclusion worldwide.

The UN does not own the International Day of Persons with Disabilities – everyone owns it: people, organisations, agencies, charities, places of learning – all of whom have a vital role to play in identifying and addressing discrimination, marginalisation, exclusion and inaccessibility that many disabled people face. International Day of Persons with Disabilities is one day on the international calendar. Yet, it symbolises the actions we should take every day, to create diverse and accepting communities.

This year on the 3rd December, The Valuable 500 reminded us of this by sharing an important message, “inclusion is important every day of the year, not just for one day. And we know it takes time and commitment. It’s something businesses need to be thinking about each and every day.”

So, as we’re all starting to wind down a year that will be remembered as unpredictable and a year when we re-created how we structure our lives and interact with each other. We’re being called upon to think about what changes we need to make in our personal lives, businesses and communities to create equality and inclusion an action every day, not something that is only focused on one day of the year.

What action will you take? Here are some useful links to help you on your way:

Further reading and resources

  • Promote your vacancies on Evenbreak – a specialist job board in the UK run by disabled people for disabled people
  • Get a copy of the #WorkWithMe guide; it’s a great resource providing you with practical advice to help attract and retain disabled people, how to have confident conversations and change the culture towards disability in your workplace.
  • Join #WorkWithMe, a network of businesses that support each other in becoming more inclusive for disabled people. It’s free to join and to access the library of resources.
  • Microlink is widely renowned for their made to measure workplace adjustment service. No matter what size of organisation you represent, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts if you have any questions about workplace adjustments or any related services they offer.
  • Sign up to The Valuable 500 a global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda
  • Join Purple Space the world’s only professional development hub for disability network leaders.


Shani Dhanda is an award-winning disability specialist, listed as one of the UK’s most influential disabled people and BBC 100 Women list 2020.

As a keynote speaker and practitioner for inclusion across business, government, non-profit and wider society, Shani helps organisations break barriers and integrate inclusion into their business frameworks.

Shani’s style and approach are described as ‘a winning combination of authenticity and passion, helping to remove the awkwardness and fear of having confident conversations about disability within business and society. https://www.shanidhanda.com/