Imagine going to see a doctor and not only facing difficulty in getting into the building but also being mistreated or ignored once you're there.
This is the situation facing many people with disabilities living in developing countries – like Akoda, (pictured above) who lives in Cameroon and has a physical disability. "If we want to get into public buildings, access can be very challenging for us," he says. "People send us away; they don't want us to interact with them. If we go to the hospital for health care sometimes we are the last people to see a clinician."
At Sightsavers, people with disabilities in the countries we work in have told us about abusive language from health care staff, a lack of access to information in alternative formats (for example braille), and even shocking incidents of women being chained to beds in maternity wards or people enduring medical procedures that haven't been explained to them, because they're seen as incapable of understanding.
This is unacceptable – and for many people with disabilities, it's the tip of the iceberg in terms of the discrimination they face in every area of life.
Health care is a basic human right that all people are entitled to. For far too long people with disabilities have faced barriers in claiming that right, as well as the right to go to school, work and vote.
Change is long overdue. But you can take action right now to make a difference.
Sign our petition calling for the rights of all people with disabilities to be upheld – at a global level, by the UN and its member countries, and at a national level by the Irish government.
Join the fight for disability rights – together, we can change the world.