In an article in the Telegraph, the Conservative peer Lord Shinkwin has written about his own experiences as a child living with a disability, and called for the UK to play an instrumental role in changing the lives of people with disabilities in the world’s poorest countries.
The article also mentions the work of Sightsavers’ employment programme for young people with disabilities in Uganda, as an example of how the right development approaches can lead to real change.
Lord Shinkwin describes how, as a child, he was “effectively chucked out of mainstream state education” because of his school’s concerns about the risks he faced as a child with a physical disability. He goes on to recognise that: “…the challenges I have faced because of my disability would pale into insignificance if I lived in a developing country.”
Highlighting the importance of the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) new disability strategy, Lord Shinkwin emphasises that in order for the strategy to succeed, “…it will need to set out how people with disabilities will be systematically included in all DFID’s policy programming and international work.”