This little girl is hearing-impaired, and uses earpieces to listen to her teacher.
Photograph by William Albert Allard, National Geograhic

Download this file

  • Select Text Level:

    On December 3, 1992, the United Nations first recognized the International Day for People with Disabilities. 
    More than a billion people live with disabilities such as blindness, deafness, or the inability to walk. People with disabilities often lack equal access to employment, legal support, health care, or educational opportunities.
    On this day, communities around the world work to improve infrastructure to allow greater access by people with disabilities. In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for instance, the city holds an employment workshop for businesses and the disabled community. The workshop provides ideas for how businesses can accommodate employees who may be disabled. Other events focus on raising awareness. In Pakistan, for instance, events celebrate the educational, technological, and artistic contributions to society made by members of the disabled community.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    access Noun

    ability to use.

    accommodate Verb

    to provide or satisfy.

    blindness Noun

    inability to see.

    community Noun

    group of organisms or a social group interacting in a specific region under similar environmental conditions.

    deaf Adjective

    unable to hear.

    developing world Noun

    nations with low per-capita income, little infrastructure, and a small middle class.

    disability Noun

    physical or psychological handicap.

    employment Noun

    job or work.

    facility Noun

    a building or room that serves a specific function.

    hire Verb

    to employ, or put to work for money or other goods.

    impair Noun

    to weaken or diminish in value.

    improve Verb

    to make something more valuable.

    inclusion Noun

    process or state of being part of a whole.

    infrastructure Noun

    structures and facilities necessary for the functioning of a society, such as roads.

    intellectual Adjective

    having to do with knowledge, or a knowledgeable person.

    mental Adjective

    having to do with the mind or brain.

    obstacle Noun

    something that slows or stops progress.

    physical Adjective

    having to do with the body.

    recognize Verb

    to identify or acknowledge.

    sustainable development Noun

    human construction, growth, and consumption that can be maintained with minimal damage to the natural environment.

    technology Noun

    the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.

    United Nations Noun

    international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.