International Day of Disabled People (IDODP) is a globally recognised day observed annually on 3 December. It is recognised by the British
Government as an important part of UK Disability Policy. The aim of the day is to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for dignity, rights and wellbeing of Disabled people. The principles of IDODP are Celebration, Learning, Optimism and Action.

Forum Central has marked IDODP in various ways over the past five years in collaboration with Leeds City Council and third sector partners.

Since 2019 Forum Central has worked in partnership with The Disability Hub at Leeds City Council to celebrate International Day of Disabled People in Leeds. The Leeds for All working group was established in 2021 to work together to coordinate a city-wide event.
The annual celebration brings together organisations and advocacy groups to network and showcase the services they offer for Disabled people in Leeds to professionals and members of the public, helping to pave the way towards a sense of pan-disability community.

The event aims to raise awareness around disability challenges and solutions – promoting the social model of disability. It provides an opportunity to showcase ongoing work to make Leeds a more inclusive place for everyone, and gives an opportunity to hear what people with lived experience have to say.


The theme for IDODP ’23 was ‘Transformation, Inclusion, Innovation’ and organisations and facilitators were asked to model stalls or activities around these three ideals.

A total of 380 people attended the Celebrations Day on November 30, 2023, plus 28 stallholders and volunteer helpers. It was a great success and included a wide variety of people with lived experience from learning disability, sensory impairment and autism support organisations and individuals as participating and active citizens of Leeds.

The Small Grant Funds was distributed to 12 organisations, whose events and activities involved 511 people.

IDODP ‘23 influenced and included around 900 people in its extended pan-disability scope. As a one-off annual project this shows valuable and extensive results with partnership building spinoffs that collaboration brings.

Through the event we supported organisations to reach new audiences, network, build new partnerships and strengthen old ones. It allowed people to:

  • Access relevant information and services in one place
  • Look at their current and future wellbeing and try new activities 
  • Connect in-person with ‘thriving communities’ and join in / join up
  • Get their voices heard and influence change.

The two Mini-Highlights videos (Marketplace and Grant Funded Activities) continue the reach by highlighting what was great about IDODP ’23. There is also an Audio Described version of each video for blind and visually impaired people. The Easy Read Report and Plain Text Reports also helps demonstrate best practice in the pursuit of accessibility for the Disability Hub and Forum Central going forwards.

Small Grants Fund

The Small Grant Funds was a very successful micro-funding initiative that was first run in 2022 with 8 community organisations taking part. Due to its success it was run again in 2023 with monies being distributed to 12 community organisations whose events and activities involved 511 people overall. Again the theme of Transformation, Inclusion and Innovation was used to base the resulting activities, open days and one off events around. Evaluations of organisational activity showed that the small grants fund had sparked new activity, connection, ideas and partnership working across the city which is something that we definitely want to progress in 2024.

Photo of the Marketplace event of a speaker and audience

Marketplace Event – Highlights Video

IDODP Grant Funded Activities – Highlights Video

Audio Described – Marketplace Event Highlights Video

Audio Described – Grant Funded Activities Highlights Video

Image is a cartoon made by Tom Bailey who attended IDODP 2023. The cartoon is of Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair Rugby Captain Jodie Boyd-Ward. It says "What's important to us? It doesn't matter what barriers you face, there's something out there for you! Sport saved my life."
Image is a cartoon made by Tom Bailey who attended IDODP 2023. The cartoon shows two people, one is in a wheelchair and she is holding a white piece of paper that says benefits on it, the other person is standing. In between them is a drawing of Rishi Sunak on a TV screen. Underneath the TV is a £10 note which has been cut in half and 'cuts' is written above it. The headline of the cartoon reads "Disabled people are being screwed!"


IDODP 2022 was the first marketplace event since before the pandemic to take place in person.

Forum Central members, worked with and for people with physical disabilities, sensory impairments and learning disabilities. There were over 20 stalls on the day. It was a really lively and informal day where people were able to meet and mingle and share useful information about the services, activities, groups and support options that their organisations offer.

IDODP 2022 Highlights Video


Due to Covi-19 restrictions, IDODP 2021 was held virtually and was based on the theme of ‘Recovery from Covid -19′.

There was an array of week long events consisting of face to face, online and hybrid activities were planned commencing Monday 29 November to Thursday 2 December throughout the City of Leeds, with a celebratory event on 3 December at Leeds City Museum. 

Events and activities were either online, in person and in a hybrid format.

242 people attend the events and activities from Monday 29 November to Thursday 2 December.

IDODP 2021 Highlights Video


Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a face-to-face event was replaced with a week of accessible, online, live, on demand and at home activities to celebrate the event and help keep people connected.

Leeds for All gave organisations and individuals the opportunity to showcase and celebrate. It included films, performances, workshops and exhibitions. 300 people attended the live events, 1,144 people viewed our films, activities and workshops on YouTube and 612 individuals engaged in the offline/website activities.


This was the first Leeds For All IDODP celebration event to take place. The theme focussed on ‘The Future Is Accessible’.

The event gave organisations and individuals the opportunity to showcase and celebrate. It included films, performances, artwork and stalls. There was a ‘comfy corner’, to encourage people to stay awhile and socialise with others and a creative feedback space, with a message tree and post box where people could write comments and thoughts: both on the event itself and wider thoughts on what it’s liketo be a person with a disability living in Leeds.