Globally more than one billion people are living with a disability. Between 110-190 million of these people – about 15 per cent of the global population – experience significant difficulties.
Approximately 426 million people with disabilities in developing countries live below the poverty line. In all countries the prevalence of disability is growing due to population ageing and the rising burden of non-communicable disease.
Social inclusion means making sure everyone in society is included and treated equally. This means that people with disabilities have the same rights and entitlements to participate in and contribute to the social and economic development of their communities.
The challenge is that many people with disabilities face barriers to their inclusion in society and cannot contribute to development efforts. Sightsavers’ policy work promotes the full and equal participation of people with disabilities in development decisions that affect them.
Our social inclusion research is guided by Sightsavers’ empowerment and inclusion framework. Our current priorities include:
We develop culturally appropriate tools to assess the impact of interventions on general and disability-specific quality of life. We also explore the barriers and facilitators of different aspects of social inclusion among people with visual impairment and other disabilities.
Sightsavers’ projects range from innovative pilots to long term programmes, covering health, education and social inclusion. We work collaboratively with communities, local partners and governments – below are a few examples of work we’re leading on or involved with.