Not too long ago the UN published an article on the Right to Development highlighting that unless we address the disability issue other global and societal goals won’t be met –
And you know what – it makes perfect sense – because unless we include everyone when striving towards global changes – long lasting systemic change isn’t a possibility.
This brings me on to the following article -
The forgotten 15 per cent – why has disability droppedoff the world’s agenda?
“At an international summit in Bangkok this month, senior development advisors said the MDGs have ignored the issue of disability and, in doing so, have neglected the needs of 15 per cent of the world’s population.”
There are 1 billion people in the world with a disability – 50 percent of us live in poverty and the reality is that we are quite simply being forgotten about when it comes to global societal goals–
The EU has estimated that 20 percent of the European population will have a disability by 2020, right now the spending power of people with disabilities is a trillion dollar market in the US – billions in Europe and an estimated 4 billion in Ireland – and this spending power is on the rise
But I’m not going to rattle off lists of statistics and facts to prove my point here – because as shocking as these stats are the ultimate goal should be enough of a driving force to ensure that disabled people aren’t forgotten about – ignored and not included in the future –
‘This is not just an agenda for people with disabilities,’ says Akiko Ito of the UN’s Department of Economic & Social Affairs. ‘We are promoting human rights for all and therefore advancing the goal of the international community as a whole. Lasting peace and security is only possible if economic and social wellbeing of people everywhere is assured.’
Disability activists around the world are calling on the UN to include disability as part of the next round of Millennium Goals – because disability is not something you can eradicate – you can’t wipe out 15percent of the worlds population and you certainly can’t ignore the business case that underpins the societal and economic gains of including people with disabilities.
But what you can do is you can include us – you can ensure that we have the same access to education, employment, goods and services as everyone else. You can ask the disability question and you can remind people that 15 percent of the worlds population shouldn’t just slip your mind -
Because right now the reality is we are simply forgotten about even when it comes to the Millennium Goals.
At the last Kanchi Network event with Newstalk Caroline Casey spoke about the lack of critical leaders for disabled people – saying “We don’t have a Bono to speak up and represent us”–
Kanchi has looked to business to pioneer, lead and act as a vehicle for this system change – to put disability on its leadership agenda – to achieve inclusion – to make everyone really mean everyone – because it doesn’t matter if you’re disabled, black, white, rich, poor –
We’re all people and we all count.