Disability inclusion: Topic guide


This topic guide summarises some of the most rigorous available evidence on the key debates and challenges of disability inclusion in development and humanitarian response.

Disability does not necessary imply limited wellbeing and poverty. Yet there is growing evidence that the estimated one billion people with disabilities face attitudinal, physical and institutional barriers that result in multi-dimensional poverty, exclusion and marginalisation.

Disability inclusion could increase earnings, tax revenues, and individual and societal wellbeing. It need not be costly or complicated. Inclusive approaches are more cost-effective than piecemeal disability interventions.

This guide is designed to bring development and humanitarian professionals up to date on disability inclusion. It highlights key concepts and debates and covers: the current situation of people with disabilities in various sectors development and humanitarian professionals may be interested in; barriers to disability inclusion that have contributed to the current situation and need to be overcome; the impact of disability inclusion; best practice disability inclusive development/humanitarian response approaches that can be applied across the board; and disability inclusion policies, frameworks and tools, including for specific sectors.


Rohwerder, B. Disability inclusion: Topic guide. Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 54 pp.

Disability inclusion: Topic guide

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