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‘Now is the Time’ the strategy for Disability Inclusive Development

X by X attended the Conference on UK Disability and International Development and Cooperation hosted by Department for International Development (DFID) and Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA), funded by Department for International Development. Check out the event on social media using this tag #DisDevCoop2019 .

 

This event was to discuss ‘Now is the Time’ the strategy for Disability Inclusive Development‘ (for easy read version click here), it focuses on four areas:

1) Inclusive Education
2) Social Protection
3) Economic Empowerment
4) Humanitarian Response

 

We heard from Speakers such as;
Penny Innes from the Department for International Development (DFID), she leads the DFID Inclusive team. Penny began by explaining their approach to Disability Inclusive Development, the priorities for DFID Inclusive:
1) Delivering programmes to support disabled people
2) Influencing other development organisations
3) Changing the way we work on disability inclusion across DFID

Tara Flood, Former Director of Alliance for Inclusive Education: Spoke about Inclusive Education – “65 million children and young people around the world aren’t in any kind of education – that should be a global disgrace”.

Rebecca Yeo, who works with disabled people in detention centres, then spoke to the conference about what inclusion really is – and if we want it. “We need to ask what the agenda is before we call for inclusion in it”

Anthony Ford about the Importance of involving excluded voices. “Far too often our voices are ignored, for people with significant communication impairments, this is only exacerbated. How can we create change when not everyone’s voices are included in the change agenda?”

 

Michelle Daley from Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance and Alliance for Inclusive Education spoke about raising the profile of intersectionality.

Richard Rieser: As more money pours in, we need to ensure that the people we involve are Disabled. DFID Inclusive now have 20% of their staff working for them who identify as Disabled – but what about the people it sub-contracts to as well? We have to have (global) projects that continue once the funding has stopped. We need other countries to commit to match this funding. Our own government needs to listen to Disabled people before they do things abroad.

There are 2 areas at the moment that we need to have representation.
1. The Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum is restarting. The organisation fell by the wayside but at the Global Disability Summit last year, people wanted to get it going again.
2. The European Disability Forum was set up by the UK disability movement 20 years ago – just because we’re leaving the EU doesn’t mean we can’t be part of it. We haven’t had a representative for 6 years now. The government said they couldn’t fund it initially but now there is funding for a global meeting for the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum. The idea is that we’ll come together for training, capacity building, sharing knowledge and information.

Everyone feedback from group discussions and the meeting was closed with final words from Penny Innes, who asked for more access to UK Disabled People’s Organisations and has asked for contact details to continue the conversation.

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