Today, the world’s population is over 7 billion people. More than one billion people, or approximately 15% of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. 80% live in developing countries, while 50% of people with disabilities can not afford health care. [1]

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a day that was promoted by the United Nations in 1992. The goal of this day is to increase awareness of a better understanding of people affected by a handicap, encouraging people to be more aware of the rights, dignity and well-being of people with disabilities, and to raise awareness of the benefits of integrating persons with disabilities in every aspect of life, economically, politically, socially and culturally. The day of people with disabilities covers not only mental or physical disability, but much wider, from autism, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, etc. [2]

Every year from 1992 onward, many events take place in many countries. The day of people with disabilities is used to hold debates, forums and disability campaigns, and communities are encouraged to organize meetings, talks and even appearances and debates in their local environment. Activities can be diverse, and they include people with disabilities. The main purpose of these events is to show all people that a person with a disability can be an active member of society, because it often happens that they are discriminated against by individuals and the society itself.

This year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated under the motto “Encouraging people with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” [3]

The theme this year focuses on providing inclusive, equitable and sustainable development of people with disabilities as part of the Sustainable Development Program of 2030.

People with special needs emphasize that they need greater health care from people without special needs. Health promotion and prevention activities rarely refer to persons with disabilities. For example, women with special needs receive less screening for breast and cervical cancer than women with disabilities. People with intellectual disability and diabetes are less likely to check their weight. Adolescents and adults with disabilities are more likely to be excluded from sexuality education programs. [4]

Our country constantly invests in specific programs for these people and promotes access to services. But when these policies and programs are created, active inclusion of persons with special needs should be ensured, since we can best understand what their real needs are.

This year, amendments to the Law on Child Protection have been adopted. The amendments envisage the increase of the beneficiaries of the right to a special allowance for a child with specific needs that has physical or mental disability or combined developmental disabilities up to 26 years of age. Apart from the increase in the amount for a special allowance, these persons will be provided with health insurance if they are not insured under the Law [5].

These laws, programs and activities need to be sustained, work on improving health care when it comes to people with disabilities, work on inclusive education that will include children with special needs, enable them to these people with disabilities who can work, open up more working cooperatives, to provide them with appropriate training if needed.

All citizens should assist in the inclusion of people with special needs in everyday life, whether it is the highest level of health care or help a person with disabilities to cross the street, board a bus, and so on.