According to the WHO World Disability Report, 15% of the world's population, or more than 1 billion people,live with a disability. An estimated 450 million people live with a mental or neurological disease, and two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical assistance, primarily due to stigma, discrimination, and neglect. Another 69 million persons are predicted to incur traumatic brain injuries worldwide each year, while one in 59 children is identified as on the autism spectrum 
There is no significant survey in Pakistan to document the present disability status, although about 31 million people in Pakistan live with some disability. People with disabilities (PWD) are being alienated in society and there is scarcity of appropriate rehabilitation services due to a lack of professionals and resources 
Consequently, people with disabilities do not enjoy equal access to facilities in the society, including transportation, work, education, social and political engagement. Every year on December 3rd
, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities promotes empowerment, develops tolerance, and helps them determine their priorities. This year's theme is "Not all disabilities are visible."
The COVID 19 pandemic has profoundly impaired the lives and psychological well-being of individuals with disabilities around the world through isolation, disconnection, disturbed routines, and declining services. This has led to an increase in mental health issues resulting in invisible disabilities.
The Department of Psychology, Foundation University Islamabad Rawalpindi Campus, in collaboration with the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL), is hosting an International Conference to raise awareness, knowledge, and empower people to care for people with disabilities and strengthen their connections with society.
Our 2nd International Conference, “Understanding Hidden Disabilities: Creating a Resilient and Inclusive World”
on December 3rd will be a Hybrid Conference as the event can be attended in person or virtually.
This conference aims to provide a platform for national and international academics/researchers/ clinicians to present their work in neurodevelopmental disorders, learning disabilities, speech disorders, and psychiatric disturbance in persons with disability. Participants will have access to live sessions and presentations.
The conference also welcomes papers on the following related sub-themes:
- Neurodevelopmental Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Intellectual Disability
- Specific Learning Disability
Psychiatric Comorbidities associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders
- Evidence Based Practices for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
- Stigma, and Caregiver Burden and Psychological Distress
- Impact of Covid-19 on Neurodevelopmental Disorders