Aid Donors, NGOs Should Ensure Development Work Benefits Disabled People

In this post in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog,” Tim Wainwright, CEO of ADD International, writes, “It puzzles me why so much of mainstream development’s resources, research, campaigning efforts and attention ignore disabled people,” which account for one in seven of the world’s population, or one billion people. “My challenge to the mainstream is this: employ representative numbers of disabled people. Make all your offices accessible. Ensure your development work involves and benefits disabled people equally,” he writes.

Negative attitudes towards disabled people “make it harder for [them] to access their basic rights and have a voice within their families and communities, let alone at the policymaking level,” he notes, adding, “This change is going on at all levels – from the grassroots, where activists … seek out other disabled people in the community and mentor them in tackling discrimination and accessing opportunities, to policymaking, where national disability movements campaign for disability legislation and practical policies to ensure that legislation is implemented” (10/13).