Don't Ignore Disability in the Fight Against Poverty

Half a billion people -- mostly the poorest of the poor -- live with physical, sensory or intellectual disabilities in the developing world. Disability hurts entire families and communities, often with one less person contributing to the family income.

Disability is a significant cause and consequence of poverty, but too often it is overlooked in programs to help people in the developing world. To win the fight on poverty, we must include people with disabilities in all programs.

Canada is a leader in the fight against global poverty and a signatory to a UN agreement that ensures that programs are inclusive of people with disabilities. Now Canada must make disability issues central to development. Schools need to have wheelchair ramps, as do local health services so people with physical disabilities can access them. Even the high cost of transportation, can be a barrier to access.

Tell Parliament to keep helping the poor and make disability a cross-cutting issue in all programs.
Dear [Decision Maker],

I want to thank you and all the officials in the Canadian government who have helped make Canada a leader in international development. But in future efforts, Canada must make sure that its development programs are accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities.

[Your comment will be included here]

Half a billion people live with physical, sensory or intellectual disabilities in the developing world. People with disabilities make up a disproportionate number of the world's poorest of the poor. Unfortunately, too many of the these people don't get access to programs designed to alleviate poverty.

As a signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals, Canada must make the connection between disability and poverty, and ensure people with disabilities are reached in the poorest communities.

Please make disability issues an important component of sustainable development programs.
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