How innovations are improving the lives of people with disabilities

Published on 21 April 2021

It is essential that we test new and innovative ways to reach people with disabilities in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

On World Creativity and Innovation Day, we are highlighting how Inclusive Futures is trialling new approaches to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

With funding from UK aid, the 16 Inclusive Futures partners are working to include people with disabilities in health, work, education, and tackle stigma and discrimination.

Inclusive Futures are using a range of innovations – from embedding inclusion in successful mainstream programmes including a youth training programme in Bangladesh to testing inclusive approaches in new sectors or countries such as inclusive eye health in Nigeria, as well as trying new ideas and partnerships including building an app designed for people with intellectual disabilities to hold governments to account.

The evidence the consortium generates about how to include people with disabilities in development will be used to encourage and enable organisations to embed disability inclusion in their own work.

In the current climate, as a partner of Inclusive Futures, IDS has been focusing on the impact of the global pandemic on people with disabilities. IDS’ researchers have worked closely with action researchers to understand and make recommendations based on their lived experiences and expert knowledge.

Johannes Trimmel, a programme director for Inclusive Futures, said: “We – the global development community – have made a commitment to help everybody.

“We cannot keep this promise for some people and not others, which is why we must include people with disabilities in all of our development and humanitarian work.

“It’s important to innovate, not just to create the sexy new thing, but also to adapt our established processes and challenge our attitudes so that people with disabilities are included.

“Our work as part of Inclusive Futures is about changing systems so that every person with a disability can be included in education, work and healthcare and not be subjected to stigma and discrimination.”

To find out more visit www.inclusivefutures.org/innovation and follow #InclusiveFutures on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Vivienne Benson

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