In the context of global development, disability is too often ignored or rendered invisible. Organizations that work to promote equity often times don’t support disabled populations because disability is not one of their focus areas, or because they have other priorities. But the truth of the matter is, if an organization works on human rights without including people with disabilities, they are only really promoting the rights of some humans.

With this work, applying an intersectional approach allows for a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how social identities and conditions interact within a society.  As a result, we gain a broader picture of human diversity. In discussing inclusion in global development and improving the standards for living a life of dignity, we must understand the concept of intersectionality and have the awareness that disability is a human condition that is present in a significant percentage of the global population.

In all aspects of global development and human rights programming, people with disabilities ought to be included. Again, we apply this to migration. Organizations and programs that work in this sphere must include and center marginalized populations, such as those with disabilities:

  • In the distribution of services and information: It is important to ensure that the voices of refugees and migrants with disabilities are at the center of the work of the global development community.
  • In planning and implementation: When structuring migration relief and response efforts, organizations rarely identify people with disabilities as a target group or take advantage of the capacities and strengths of their program recipients.
  • In recovery and capacity building: New models are emerging for program development that focus on a resilience-based framework, which emphasizes skills, capabilities, strengths and capital.

Read the full article about intersectionality by Anna Pickett and Josué Torres at Global Washington.