International Day of People with Disability

Join Deakin in celebrating a day that promotes inclusion and access for people who experience disability.

Deakin’s contribution

Everybody has the right to enjoy an active life and the opportunity to participate in sport, physical activity or any role associated with a sporting community. Involvement in sport can be more than participation through playing; it can help build a sense of belonging and create life-changing community connections.

There are many benefits for people with disability who participate in sport, extending beyond those directly associated with physical activity. Independence, friendship, self-esteem, health and wellbeing are beneficial factors for participants at all levels of sport.

At its best, sport is inclusive. This year's Paralympic Games once again highlighted that sport can lead the way in breaking down the barriers, biases and stereotypes that limit opportunity. Sport is for everyone.

What is International Day of People with Disability?

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is held on 3 December each year. It is a United Nations day observed internationally, and aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

IDPwD provides an opportunity for us to make positive changes to the lives of the 4.4 million Australians who experience disability by promoting inclusion and access in all parts of life.

  • 18% of the population live with a disability – only one in four with a disability participate in sport.
  • 75% of Australians with a disability want to take part in sport but feel there are limited opportunities.
  • 10% of Australians with a disability experience discrimination or unfair treatment.

Source: Paralympics Australia 2021, FAST FACTS: Sport for people with disability

Get involved in sport

Gain an insight into the positive impact sport has on people living with a disability, including accomplished Deakin athletes and staff.

Realising the promise of ‘sport for all’ in Australia

In this article featuring insights from coaching lecturer Dr Tim Konoval, and Emma Staples, specialist in sport participation, you’ll find out what Deakin experts have to say on sport participation and inclusion for people with a disability.

Read the article

Meet some of our inspirational athletes

Discover how some of our athletes living with disability got started in sport and where their passion has taken them, in and outside the sporting arena.

Finn Broadbent student athlete featured in wheelchair holding tennis racket

Finn Broadbent

Learn about Finn’s experience as a wheelchair tennis player who represented Australia in the Junior World Cup.

A group of athletes running. Matt Felton is pictured in the middle of the group.

Matt Felton

Explore Matt’s incredible journey as a para marathon runner and find out why he believes the benefits of sport extend beyond the track.

How we’re making sport accessible

Geelong Cats Sensory Zone

We’ve worked with our partners at the Geelong Cats to create a Sensory Zone for home games at GMHBA Stadium. The zone makes the footy more inclusive for all fans, especially those with a sensory disability.

The zone includes a quiet space and multi-sensory room featuring sensory bags, weighted lap mats, headphones, glasses, fidget toys and other activities that engage different senses.

DeakinActive Safe Space

Every Wednesday morning from 7am–10am, DeakinACTIVE invites people of all abilities to train at their on-campus health club facilities. DeakinACTIVE spaces are welcoming and accessible for all. Whether you choose to work up a sweat or simply have a stretch, you’ll feel connected and supported.

In celebration of IDPwD, DeakinACTIVE will host a free Safe Space Low Intensity Group Fitness Class on Friday 3 December at 10.30–11am. The class will be at our Burwood Campus and streamed online. Visit the DeakinACTIVE Safe Space website to find out more.

Can’t come into campus? Download the DeakinMOVES app to access our free workout library, nutrition tips and online group fitness sessions.

Sport in your community

Want to get involved in sport? Find out what's happening in Victoria near you through the Access All Abilities Play and search for sports and recreation activities by postcode.  

Need some extra support? Disability Sports Australia has launched the National Referral Hub. This resource links players and aspiring players to sporting groups and support, to help you achieve your active goals.

Want to know more?

Learn more about Deakin’s diversity and inclusion programs and how we ensure our community feels connected, safe and respected by visiting the diversity and inclusion webpage or email the team.