Inclusive, accessible SBC in practice
Our inclusive family planning project aims to reduce unmet needs for family planning and to increase access to contraceptives for people with disabilities, particularly adolescent girls. It is part of our approach to inclusive sexual and reproductive health and rights. Through the project we have mainstreamed disability inclusion and accessibility into our social behaviour change work.
Through this project we’ve learned the importance of listening and reducing assumptions. We’ve focused on the experiences of people with disabilities – men, women, young people and adolescents – and their families, to understand the specific barriers they face in accessing family planning and modern contraceptives, and to learn what might support change. We’ve also talked to and involved community leaders, health workers, the media and people working in the state family planning team to consider how to make change.
People with disabilities have played leading roles in the development of SBC strategy, activities and materials. We did this by running co-creation workshops incorporating two design groups with participants who have diverse disabilities and perspectives. This is vital in making sure the project is effective and reaching the right people in the right way.
Cathy Stephen is Sightsavers’ global technical lead for behaviour change communication.