On 24 July 2018 the UK government through DFID will co-host its first ever Global Disability Summit with the International Disability Alliance and the Government of Kenya. In line with the principle of ‘nothing about us, without us’, DFID will co-host the Summit with the International Disability Alliance (IDA). This will ensure people with disabilities are central to the planning and delivery of the summit.
The summit will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London and will bring together more than 700 delegates from governments, donors, private sector organisations, charities and organisations of persons with disabilities.
The Summit will celebrate the achievements and rights of people with disabilities and highlight the role that innovation and technology can play to improve their lives.
Globally, 1 of every 7 people today live with some form of disability, the majority in low- and middle-income countries. In these settings, disability is both a cause and consequence of poverty as people with disabilities often face significant barriers that prevent them from participating fully in society, including accessing health services and attaining education and employment.
Themes and Priorities: In consultation with IDA, the UK Civil Society BOND Disability and Development Group, the IDDC, UN agencies, the World Bank and other important stakeholders – DFID have undertaken a process of consultation on the Summit themes and priorities. A number of building blocks have been identified which will underpin the approach to catalysing change throughout the Summit:
- Catalysing political will towards change and building collective responsibility;
- Improving data and evidence to raise awareness of the scale of the problem and learning on how to address barriers and;
- Supporting the leadership and representation of people with disabilities to increase voice, choice and control.
Based on this consultation, the programme for the day itself will be built around these four themes, with two cross-cutting themes on humanitarian assistance and gender:
- Tackling stigma and discrimination – commitments could include greater legislation at national level; quotas on representation and visibility of people with disabilities; and high-profile media campaigns.
- Inclusion in education – deliverables may include: minimum standards of accessibility in schools, and greater leadership and investment in teacher training and accessible learning materials/resources.
- Routes to economic empowerment – commitments may include: anti-discrimination laws, social protection and training schemes, vocational rehabilitation and universal design.
- Harnessing technology and innovation – This area has significant potential to change lives in low income countries: In terms of deliverables, target is on reduced prices and expanded access of five assistive devices through new mass markets; and also improved access to cross the ‘digital divide’ through new technologies.
Commitments. As well as showcasing best practice, the Summit will aim to generate sustainable commitments from developing country governments, donors, civil society, foundations and the private sector. These commitments will focus on inclusive education, employment and livelihood opportunities, technology / innovation and tackling stigma and discrimination.
Country Engagement: The Summit will generate action in all developing countries. DFID has already started influencing efforts in certain countries, namely: Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, India, Uganda, Zambia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.