From AusAID website: Disability in Australia's Aid Program


Working with People with Disability in the region

It is widely recognised that people with disability are among the poorest and most vulnerable in developing countries. The United Nations estimates that approximately 10% of the world’s population, or approximately 650 million people, have a disability and about 80% of the population with a disability live in developing countries (UN Secretariat Disability Paper E/CN.5/2008/6 available at

People with disability face many barriers to full participation in society and are likely to face an increased risk of social exclusion. This may include being unable to access education, health services, earn a living or participate in decision making. Social exclusion is a major contributor to the level of poverty which people with disability experience, particularly those who live in developing countries.

The Australian Government recognises that poverty is both a cause and consequence of disability and is committed to ensuring that the benefits of development reach those who are most excluded. Further, to achieve the targets set for the Millennium Development Goals and to alleviate poverty, the Government believes that people with disability must be actively included in development activities and processes. Therefore, people with disability have been identified as a priority for Australia’s aid program.

Disability Update: November 25, 2008

The 2008-09 budget honours the Australian Government's commitment to working with people with disability in our region and will invest $45 million over two years to address avoidable blindness and develop a comprehensive strategy to guide a disability-incusive Australian overseas aid program.

Development for All: Towards a disability-inclusive Australian aid program 2009-2014

AusAID, in consultation with key regional and Australian stakeholders, particularly people with disability and their representative organisations, developed the Australian Government's first strategy to make people with disability a priority for Australia’s aid program. On 25 November 2008, Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Mr Bob McMullan, launched Development for All: Towards a disability-inclusive Australian aid program 2009-2014, publicly committing the Australian Government to ensuring that people with disability are comprehensively included and supported in improving their quality of life through all aspects of the aid program.

Development for All seeks change over time in the way Australia's aid program is delivered, and central to this change will be the focus on people with disability as an inherent part of all aspects of program planning and development.

The Strategy seeks to improve the quality of life of people with disability through a range of programs and funding mechanisms - including targeted initiatives to meet the specific needs of people with disability, building the leadership skills of people with disability and their organisations, and ensuring major programs in sectors such as education and infrastructure meet the needs and priorities of people with disability. The Strategy will also focus on reducing preventable impairments through support for avoidable blindness and road safety. It will seek to improve our understanding of disability and its links to poverty through strengthened research and data and build AusAID’s leadership and advocacy role in promoting disability as a development priority.

In recognition of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Development for All will also ensure that the rights of people with disability are respected and promoted. Development for All: Towards a disability-inclusive Australian aid program 2009-2014 is available below as a PDF or word document and in large print. Audio format is also available. Braille copies can be ordered online at:

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