Disability rights

We promote equal opportunities for people with visual impairment and other disabilities.

Ranu, Hanufa and Juthika, the owners of Satata Enterprises.

With a rights-based approach, we work to create a world where all people can access health, education and employment, and participate equally in society without fear of stigma or discrimination.

1 billion
people worldwide have a disability
That’s 15%
of the global population
of people with disabilities live in developing countries


A girl writing on a blackboard.

In 2010, there were
61 million children of primary school age out of school.

It’s estimated that about one third of these children live with a disability. When children with disabilities are denied an education, they’re locked into a cycle of poverty and dependence.

More about education


Woman in blue worksuit holding red wrench.

The world’s economy is missing out on the vast potential contribution of people with disabilities.

The chance for people with disabilities in developing countries to earn a living is limited by stigma, discrimination and a lack of accessible workplaces. For this to change, it’s vital for people with disabilities to be empowered and financially independent.

More about employment


A woman has her eyes examined at the screening camp in Bhopal, set up for survivors of the gas disaster.

Everyone should have access to affordable, quality health services.

There’s growing evidence to suggest that people with visual impairments and other disabilities experience poorer health than their peers, often due to a lack of accessible health facilities and information, as well as stigma and discrimination.

More about health


Smiling woman, who is a disability rights activist, wearing sunglasses and orange headscarf.

People with disabilities should be able to participate in decision-making at all levels.

In many countries, electoral systems aren’t inclusive. Because of this, people with disabilities are often excluded from participating equally.

More about politics


Social inclusion

Empowerment and inclusion strategic framework (2015)

This framework explains our rights-based approach of mainstreaming disability throughout our programming and operations, and complements our other global strategies on eye health, education and research.

View the strategic framework [pdf]


Education strategy (2013-2018)

This document outlines Sightsavers’ strategic directions in education. It places our education work in context, identifies our goals, and highlights the approaches that will enable us to achieve them.

View the strategy [pdf]

View the strategy, French version [pdf]

View the strategy summary [pdf]


Eye health strategy

Our eye health strategy provides a clear vision on how we will move forward in 2013-2018, where we’ll invest resources, and how we’ll work with stakeholders to achieve our objectives.

View eye health strategy [pdf]

View eye health strategy, French version [pdf]

View strategy summary [pdf]

We campaign for equality for people with disabilities

Learn more

More on disability

A girl standing outside a school

Children with disabilities in Sierra Leone given the chance to go to school

The Education for All project will focus on girls with disabilities, who are often excluded because of prejudice or a lack of funding.

An empty debating chamber in the UN building in New York.
Sightsavers blog

Four lessons: what we learned at the High-Level Political Forum

At the the UN’s High-Level Political Forum in New York, Sightsavers’ priority is to learn from other countries in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

A girl holding a card saying 'sustainable development goals'.

UN hears calls for more involvement in SDG implementation

Sightsavers co-hosted and took part in a side event at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held at the United Nations in New York.