Disability Inclusive Development

What is disability-inclusive development (DID)?

Disability-inclusive development, or DID, is an initiative that promotes equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities in every aspect of life – be it education, employment, politics or physical accessibility, for example. People with disabilities have the equal right to participate in, contribute to and benefit from the society they live in and feel a part of it. In other words, as stated in an IDDC paper1, inclusive development:

  • ‘ensures that persons with disabilities are recognized as rights-holding equal members of society who must be actively engaged in the development process irrespective of their impairment or other status such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic, indigenous or social origin, property, birth, age or other status;
  • and that development institutions, policies and programmes must take into account and be assessed in accordance with their impact on the lives of persons with disabilities, and consistent with the promotion and protection of internationally recognized human rights.’

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) 2008 provides the guidelines for DID and makes it obligatory for governments of nations to provide the means to integrate people with disabilities in their society and work with them to realise their full potential in order to participate and contribute fully in the prosperity of their nation.

The World Report on Disability, commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) and The World Bank published in 2011 stated that2:

  • Over a billion people, about 15% of the world’s population, have some form of disability.
  • 1 in 5 people, 20% of the population of the poorest people in developing countries have a disability.
  • 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries.
  • Children with a disability are much less likely to attend school than children without disability. The gap in primary school attendance rates between disabled and non-disabled children ranges from 10% in India to 60% in Indonesia.
  • In many low and middle-income countries, only 5% – 15% of people who require assistive devices/technology receive them.
  • Only 20% of women with disabilities in low-income countries are employed compared with 58% of men with disabilities.
  • People with disabilities are at greater risk of violence: up to 4 – 10 times the rate of violence against people without disabilities.

The data from the World Report on Disability, and consequent studies, have brought in a new wave of awareness and increased efforts across the globe from governments, civil organizations and disabled people’s organizations to implement DID. However there is still a lot of work to be done. Every person or organization joining in the effort to implement DID makes a difference and brings us closer to achieving total inclusion of people with disabilities in the global society.

ADDC believes that disability-inclusive development is effective aid not only because it has a positive impact on the lives of people with disability but also because it contributes to healthier inclusive communities.