Our February 2023 global call was inspired by the dynamic participation of disability rights groups in our January 10th call and our recognition that these two movements needed to join forces. This call was not a one-time event but rather the beginning of a journey and a commitment to an every-day negotiation.
Join us! Watch the video! Sing along with the anthem!
Here are the commitments participants made during the call.
Inclusion requires intentionality. Through this mural, we made commitments to translate our intention of including people with different abilities into action. We invite you to do the same by clicking here and adding to this live mural. Read the commitments made by others, get inspired and inspire others through your own commitments.
Summary of Key Points made on the call
- Put PWDs in the drivers seat!. People with disabilities HAVE abilities — they know what they need and likely know ways to overcome their barriers. Listen to them, work with them, support them in organizing.
- Support PWDs to reach out to PWDs. Many PWDs have “learned helplessness” and can discover their own power in conversation with others.
- Include! Intentionally include PWDs socially and politically. Support PWDs to step forward as political leaders!
- Partner with local government. Local governments have resources and a constitutional mandate to support PWDs. Groups on our call had successfully gained office space and other resources from district governments to support their work.
- Advocate for policy change with and for PWDs. In every society there are out-of-date laws that must change, and PWDs who are organized to advocate for those changes. Support and stand in solidarity with them.
- Ensure PWDs gain access to basic services. One group described their package of demands as “Double EE Double H” Employment, Education, Health and Housing.
- Transform public attitudes. Implement public awareness campaigns to roll back prejudice and stigma — disabilities are not the result of witchcraft! They are part of life and if we are lucky to live long enough, we will all experience disabilities!
- Deploy adaptive technology. Tools like WhatsApp have greatly strengthened the abilities of disabled people, and many low-cost technologies can improve mobility and reduce barriers. Tech people must intentionally ensure their products are as accessible as possible.
Our speakers included
- Anne Praxyeta Gidudu (Support Agency for Intellectual Disabilities, Uganda)
- Evelyne Amunga (Young Women’s Economic Empowerment Program, Kenya)
- Hadiatou Diallo (One Family People, Sierra Leone)
Evelyn had difficulty with her Zoom, and so she WhatsApp’d us a video!
Anthem: Leave No One Behind
Anthem by the Great Walpoleans Rock ‘n’ Roll group.
Click here to see the lyrics. The song references the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) – Click here.