We work with local and national partners to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in economic empowerment programmes.

Monica Friday photographed in her classroom on the first day of her plumbing course at the Nile Vocational Training Institute in Hoima, Uganda. She is dressed in blue overalls and holding a wrench.

Sylvia, a graduate of our Connecting the Dots project, is a role model to other young people with disabilities.

Disability and poverty are inextricably linked. Poverty limits people’s access to health, education and other services, and can push people into accepting more dangerous jobs. This puts them at higher risk of accidents and disability.

People with disabilities are less likely to escape poverty, as their chances to earn a living are limited by stigma, discrimination and a lack of accessible workplaces.

To break this cycle, it’s critical for people with disabilities to be empowered and financially independent.

Three young adults smiling and walking outside hand in hand.

Connecting the Dots

This innovative training and employment programme, funded by the European Commission, has transformed the lives of hundreds of young people with disabilities in rural western Uganda.

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There are so many disabled people who have not been given a chance, a voice.
Sylvia, Connecting the Dots alumni
Sylvia smiling and talking on a mobile phone outside.

How employment opportunities can change lives

Monica is leaning against a wall and smiling. She is wearing a bright green, yellow and red dress.

Monica’s story

Monica is determined to succeed in her course, start earning an income and smash disability stereotypes.
Read her story

Atugonza at his home, standing underneath a fruit tree.

Atugonza’s story

“I had that feeling in my heart: if others can do, why not me? Why not a person with a disability?”
Read his story

Three women wearing saris stand together smiling.

Satata Enterprises

This thriving business is challenging perceptions about disability: its three female owners are visually impaired.
Read their story


Reviews and reports

iReflect: Economic Empowerment and Financial Inclusion

A review of Sightsavers’ work on economic empowerment and financial inclusion.

View the review [pdf]


Supplementary evidence review: Facilitating the economic independence of people with disabilities in low and middle income countries

Drawing on primary data, academic analysis and practitioner commentaries, this review describes the range, diversity and impact of interventions in low and middle income countries between 1990 and 2013.

View the review [pdf]


Fact sheets

Inclusive: Barrier-Free Inclusive Society for Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh fact sheets

These fact sheets sum up some of the achievements from our project in Bangladesh, covering inclusive education, entrepreneurial skills, empowering women, strengthening local groups and human rights awareness.

View the fact sheets [pdf]

More about employment

A close-up of a man working on a construction site, laying cement onto bricks to build a wall.
Sightsavers blog

Inclusion inspiration – from the construction industry?

Tracy Vaughan-Gough attended a construction-industry conference on diversity that showcased the achievements of companies that have embraced inclusion.

A man with visual impairment talking on a mobile phone.
Sightsavers blog

Development through economic empowerment: further commitment by DFID to people with disabilities

Sightsavers believes that people with disabilities can lift their families out of poverty if they are given the opportunities to be financially independent.

Hilda working in the kitchen
Sightsavers Reports

Hilda’s story

We met Hilda, who has a physical disability, as she was about to start a catering course. She hopes to gain valuable skills so she can support her son.

We campaign for a fairer world

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