Poverty, Disability and Social Exclusion: New Strategies for Achieving Inclusive Development
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[Excerpt] Despite international investments in development initiatives targeted to people who have a disability – investments by domestic governments in support to people who have a disability and commitments by governments to international and domestic human rights commitments – little if any progress has been made in improving the economic, political or social status of people who have a disability in developing countries. To understand why people with disabilities continue to be among the most disadvantaged people in the world we must consider how people with disabilities are perceived by policy makers and how development policy addresses disability. If real progress is to be made in achieving better lives for people with disabilities both the perception of people with disabilities and our policy objectives must change. This paper outlines the need for a shift from disability policy to inclusive development policy and proposes that civil society organizations require expanded strategies to contribute to this shift. The global strategy developed by Inclusion International to promote the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families in the UN Millennium Development Goals illustrates what this shift means for an international disability organization and demonstrates how we can “link local voices to global change”.