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USAID announces commitments to advance disability-inclusive development

child in wheelchair wearing mask

Samantha Power, Administrator, announced a suite of commitments consistent with the United States Government’s support for disability-inclusive development and humanitarian action. Responding to the call of GDS22 to mobilize targeted and concrete action to achieve real change in the lives of persons with disabilities, USAID is undertaking 16 commitments to be achieved by 2026, at the Global Disability Summit (GDS22).

USAID’s GDS22 commitments encompass concrete activities and investments in the following areas:

  • Building on USAID’s ground-breaking work to promote disability-inclusive education, USAID, in partnership with the disability community, will strengthen disability data and evidence for education programming, promote the Universal Design for Learning approach in all new education programs, and increase disability-inclusive initiatives at all levels of education, from pre-primary through higher education programming.
  • In the areas of health systems strengthening and access to life-changing physical rehabilitation and assistive technologies, USAID will reinforce: “Rehabilitation for All”  through the World Rehabilitation Alliance; the implementation of national programs for the sustainable provision of assistive technology; and maintain its $25 million pledge to ATscale, the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology.
  • In keeping with the “Year of Action” for disability-inclusive democracy stemming from the Summit for Democracy, USAID will support the empowerment of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations to be active participants in civic engagement and the political and public life of their countries.
  • USAID will champion disability-inclusive climate action, to not only bolster the resilience of persons with disabilities to extreme weather events, but empower them to contribute to climate change responses as positive agents of change and sources of solutions.
  • USAID will advance disability inclusion as a cross-cutting requirement in our humanitarian assistance programming, utilizing best practices and standards, and supporting disabled persons organizations to respond to the underlying causes of inequality that are worsened by humanitarian emergencies.
  • Appreciating that persons with disabilities—especially women and girls with disabilities—are too seldom recognized as the community changemakers we know them to be, USAID will support persons with disabilities as peacebuilders and essential contributors to conflict and violence prevention, and stabilization efforts. USAID will better equip USAID staff and partners with the knowledge, data, skills, and tools, to be better partners with the disability community.

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