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A world first: your guide to the Global Disability Summit


Next week, the world’s first Global Disability Summit will be held in London, UK. Hosted by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), in partnership with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Government of Kenya, this high-level political forum will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 23-24 July. Ten years on from the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the summit represents an opportunity to celebrate progress, share learnings, spread awareness of critical areas of need, and mobilise global action.

The Summit programme centres on four themes:
1. Tackling stigma and discrimination
2. Inclusion in education
3. Routes to economic empowerment
4. Harnessing technology and innovation

In line with DFID’s vision for disability inclusion, two cross-cutting themes address gender and humanitarian assistance.

“Nothing about us, without us”

Alongside co-host International Disability Alliance (IDA), representing disabled persons’ organisations (DPOs), a number of organisations and civil society partners are playing a key role in the design and delivery of the Summit. The IDA will facilitate a Civil Society Reference Group, comprising key disability inclusion groups such as Bond Disability and Development Group, International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), Disability Rights Fund, Disability Rights UK, and representatives of the UK Disability Movement.

The Summit’s objectives include raising global awareness around a critical but too oft neglected field, broadening engagement by focusing attention on new voices and approaches, encouraging commitments to tackling disability-related issues, and showcasing best practice from across the world. The role of representative DPOs and civil society is crucial to achieving these goals, ensuring the accountability of national and international actors to the commitments made.

“The Global Disability Summit is all about getting global leaders to commit to actions that they will take to improve the lives of persons with disabilities around the world.”

To highlight issues that may not be formally addressed at the summit, and to encourage more in-depth discussion of key themes, the IDA will be facilitating a Civil Society Forum on the 23rd of July.

“We gather here in London and across the world to achieve a common aim: to ensure the rights, freedoms, dignity and inclusion for all persons with disabilities.”

The Summit is designed chiefly to generate action in all developing countries. However, commitments will be made by all participating groups, including governments, donors, NGOs, technology companies, foundations, the private sector, and civil society. In keeping with the overarching principle of inclusivity, public engagement is strongly encouraged, and there are a number of ways to get involved:

- Follow @DFID_UK and @IDA_CRPD_Forum on Twitter

- Join the #GSD2018 conversation using #DisabilitySummit and #NowIsTheTime

- Download the summit programme (PDF)

- Be a part of the #IncludeMeToo video campaign  

- Complete the Young Persons with Disabilities Survey

- Read the Global Disability Summit Charter for Change (PDF) 


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