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Since 1992, the International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPwD) is being observed by the United Nations (UN) on December 3 every year. The theme for 2021 IDPwD is “Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era.” Documentation of disability is an important requirement for disabled persons to receive the disability compensation they are eligible for. Physicians providing treatment for disabilities can rely on experienced companies that provide medical coding services to meet their documentation requirements, including medical billing and coding, for claims submission. Such companies provide the service of medical coders trained in using the current medical codes to report covered disabilities and the treatments provided.

ICD-10 Codes for Different Types of Disabilities
ICD-10 Codes for Different Types of Disabilities

UN statistics show that of the 7 billion worldwide population, more than 1 billion live with some disability or other. 80% of the disabled live in developing countries. This one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many obstacles to inclusion in some key aspects of society. For instance, they do not enjoy access on an equal basis as others in various areas such as transportation, employment and even social participation such as politics or entertainment. However, since its inception in 1945, the UN has honed its focus on promoting the well-being of people living with disabilities, and their efforts culminated in instituting the IDPwD observance day.

IDPwD is observed with the aim of promoting empowerment, and helping to create real opportunities for people with disabilities. It enhances the disabled person’s own capabilities and supports them in laying their own priorities. By empowering people with disabilities (that is, by investing people in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection), they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities; they become factors of change and can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities.

This year, IDPWD can be celebrated with the challenges, barriers and opportunities for people who live with disabilities, in the context of a global pandemic. That is, since 2020, each and every person in this world has been impacted – politically, socially and economically – by the pandemic, COVID-19. During this disability day observance, we should recognize that people who live with disabilities are among the most affected populations amid the COVID pandemic. Along with marginalization, discrimination, vulnerability and exploitation – which are every day struggling factors for many people – the increased risk of poor outcomes due to the pandemic have been exaggerated with the reduced access to routine healthcare and rehabilitation services. The pandemic also causes social isolation, poorly tailored public health messaging, inadequately constructed mental health services, and a lack of emergency preparedness for people with special needs.

So, on this special day, let’s learn from the experiences of people living with disabilities during this pandemic and move forward for more significant investments into the socio-economic building blocks so as to reduce the barriers faced by disabled people in the global community.