There is no one definition of disability. However, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) recognises that ‘disability is an evolving concept’ and that ‘persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’.
There is an estimated one billion people with disabilities globally – approximately 15 percent of the world’s population. An estimated 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries and one in five of the world’s poorest people have a disability. People with disabilities face barriers in all sectors (access to education, healthcare, employment, income, justice, social support, appropriate assistive technology and opportunities for civic involvement) and at all levels, from systemwide exclusion to negative attitudes within the community and wider society. These barriers create lasting disadvantages and a vicious cycle of poverty between schooling, employment and people’s life chances. People with disabilities face intersecting and compounding forms of discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexuality, impairment type, age, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, and location which all contribute to disability-related exclusion.
The Department for International Development (DFID’s) Disability Inclusion Strategy is about how we can achieve a world where no-one is left behind.
People with disabilities need to be:
- Engaged, consulted, represented and listened to at all levels of decision-making and as leaders
- Empowered as powerful and active agents of change to challenge discrimination
- Able to exercise and enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms on an equal basis.
- Download A UK Aid Direct guide to disability inclusion Learn the terms used that relate to disability inclusion in UK Aid Direct guidance and templates and find out how to address disability inclusion within project documentation and during project implementation.
- Link User Guide - reporting on disability In collaboration with the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Washington Group, UK Aid Direct has developed a User Guide that addresses and advises on how groups can advance their reporting of disability.
- Link Case study from AbleChildAfrica on empowering children with disabilities UK Aid Direct grant holders AbleChildAfrica, share best practice for empowering children and young people with disabilities to drive change and claim their rights.
- Link DFID’s disability inclusion strategy 'DFID’s approach to disability inclusion' is the first strategy it has published on disability inclusion. It outlines the scale of the challenge we face.
- Download Paper on dignity and respect for all: creating new norms, tackling stigma and ensuring non-discrimination This paper briefly explores the global context to the discrimination and stigma that people with disabilities experience in low- and middle-income countries. It outlines some of the main challenges the international community faces for tackling both and considers ways forward. The paper was written for the Global Disability Summit 2018.
- Download Paper on inclusion in education This paper briefly explores the global context for inclusive education as it relates to children and young people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. It outlines the main challenges to ensuring the right to education for all is realised and considers ways forward. The paper was written for the Global Disability Summit 2018.
- Download Paper on harnessing technology and innovation This paper briefly explores accessibility to assistive technology for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. It outlines the main challenges to universal, affordable provision of assistive technology and considers ways forward. This paper was written for the Global Disability Summit 2018.