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Hear Our Voices: A Global Report on the MDGs . Connie Laurin-Bowie Inclusion International: ‘Linking Local Voices to Global Change’ May 14, 2007. A Vision of Inclusion.

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Hear Our Voices: A Global Report on the MDGs

Connie Laurin-Bowie

Inclusion International:

‘Linking Local Voices to Global Change’

May 14, 2007


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A Vision of Inclusion

At the II Council meeting in October 2003 (Lesotho), Inclusion International adopted a Strategic Plan to guide the direction of the organization and it members.

The Inclusion International Strategic Plan outlines a set of “shared values of respect, diversity, human rights, solidarity and inclusion” and a vision of “A world where people with intellectual disabilities and their families can equally participate and be valued in all aspects of community life”


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What is Inclusion International Doing about Poverty and Disability?

  • Inclusion International has a plan Inclusion International Millennium Development Goals to influence governments and world leaders to ensure that people with intellectual disability are included in to reduce poverty.

  • II has a project to help achieve this plan supported by NFU. The project has:

    • Draw attention to the relationship between Poverty and Disability

    • Help us to understand the causes of poverty for people with intellectual disabilities and their families

    • Develop strategies for reducing the causes of poverty


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A Global Initiative Disability?

  • The Norwegian Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (NFU) and II enter 3 year partnership to draw global attention to the conditions of poverty and their impact on the lives of people who have a disability and their families.

  • The initiative is supporting people with disabilities, their families, associations and networks to come together in each of the regions (the Americas, Africa and the Indian Ocean, Europe; the Middle East and Asia Pacific) to develop strategies to identify the causes of poverty and to address those conditions.

  • The II/NFU initiative uses the process leading up to and following each of four regional conferences to build a base of knowledge about poverty and disability. In the 5th region a consultation was held to initiate a process.

  • Over the three years of the project II and its regional associations NFU and the united Nations developed a global report entitled “Hear Our Voices” was released at II’s World Congress in Mexico in 2006.


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Constructing a Global Report Disability?

Aug., 2004 The First Inter-American Forum on Poverty and Disability (Managua, Nicaragua) – LAC Regional Report

Sept., 2004 International Conference on Poverty and Disability (Burkina Faso) – Pan Africa Report

Oct., 2005 European Conference on Poverty, Disability and Social Exclusion Eastern Europe (Romania), regional report and regional strategy

Dec.,2005 MENA Conference on Poverty and Disability (Tunis), regional report and regional strategy

Oct.,2006 Asia Pacific Consultation

Nov.,2006 14th World Congress, launch of Global Report


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UN Millennium Development Goals Disability?

II Millennium Development Goals

Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger: By 2015, halve the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day and those who suffer from hunger

Eradicate Extreme Poverty For People with Disabilities and their Families: By 2015, people with intellectual disabilities and their families will live free of poverty and discrimination

Achieve Universal Primary Education: By 2015, ensure that all boys & girls complete primary school.

Achieve Inclusive Education: By 2015, all children with intellectual disabilities will receive good quality, inclusive education with appropriate supports to ensure that each child reaches their highest potential

Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women: By 2005 and 2015, eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005 and at all levels by 2015.

Promote Gender Equality for Women with Disabilities: By 2015, social, economic and political discrimination against women and girls who have a disability and their mothers will be eradicated

Reduce Child Mortality: By 2015, reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five.

Reduce the Mortality of Children with Disabilities: By 2015, the mortality rate of children who are born with a disability or become disabled in the early years will be reduced by two thirds


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Improve Maternal Health Disability?: By 2015, reduce by three quarters the ratio of women dying in childbirth.

Achieve the Rights of Children and Families: By 2015, the rights of children with disabilities, as outline in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, will be respected; mothers will receive adequate pre- and post-natal health care to ensure the well being and healthy development of all children; families will get the help they need for the care and support of their member with a disability

Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Diseases: By 2015, halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

Combat HIV/AIDS: By 2015, the spread of HIV/AIDS in the community of people who have a disability will begin to be reversed and children with disabilities who have been orphaned will be supported and cared for in the community

Ensure Environmental Sustainability:

By 2020, achieve significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers

Ensure Environmental Sustainability:

By 2020, achieve significant improvement in the lives of people who have an intellectual disability and their families who live in extreme poverty

Develop a Global Partnership for Development:

Develop further an open trading and financial system that includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction - nationally and internationally

Develop a Global Partnership for Development:

By 2015, global efforts to promote good governance and global partnerships will contribute to the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities, including citizenship and economic rights


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Families and Self-advocates in over 80 countries participated in:

Development of regional reports and plans for action

Global Report

Strategies for Action


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MDG #1 EXTREME POVERTY participated in:

  • 26 million people with intellectual disabilities are living on less than $1 a day

  • Individual and household incomes fall well below the poverty line

  • Costs of disability borne by individuals and families

    “They don’t see us because we are poor”


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MDG#2 EDUCATION participated in:

  • Less than 5% of children with disabilities in majority countries of the south complete primary education

  • Family poverty, school fees, lack of training teachers and other barriers to inclusive education

  • Mandated exclusion

  • Long-term costs of exclusion


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MDG # 3 GENDER EQUALITY participated in:

  • Education

  • Income and Employment

  • Unpaid Care giving

  • Community Services

  • Violent Victimization


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MDG # 4 CHILD MORTALITY participated in:

  • Lack of access to needed early intervention, rehabilitation, health care and other services

  • Poverty and poor living conditions contribute to health risks for children


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MDG # 5 Children and Families participated in:

  • Denial of rights to survival and development

  • Denial of rights to protection

  • Denial of rights to participation and self-determination

  • The place of families in protecting rights


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MDG # 6 HIV/AIDS participated in:

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Lack of Education

  • Compounded Disadvantage

  • Vulnerable Families


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MDG # 7 Environmental Sustainability participated in:

  • Precarious Livelihoods

  • Lack of basic services

  • Natural disasters and environmental degradation

  • Life in conflict zones

  • Social and economic instability


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MDG # 8 Global Partnerships participated in:

  • Excluded from dialogue on public policy and poverty reduction strategies

  • Civil society capacity is lacking

  • Development assistance tends to ignore disability

  • Invisibility in social and economic policy and plans

  • Ineffective implementation and coordination of public policies


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What Have We Learned? participated in:

  • The link between Poverty and Disability is Social Exclusion:

    • Poverty is not only about money it is about being excluded (from school, from work from community)

    • limited access to education, health care and vocational training coupled with undervaluing of the abilities of people with disabilities result in fewer opportunities to work, go to school be a part of the community

    • Increased medical and disability related costs impact on families and individuals

    • Responsibility of care-giving falls disproportionately on mothers or female siblings resulting in fewer opportunities for women family members to work or go to school

    • Families report that time to build social networks,friendships or get involved in the community is consumed with the day to day needs of “getting by” resulting in fewer informal supports



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  • Poverty is not only about income. It is about Exclusion participated in:

  • Poverty impacts not only on the individual but also their Family and Community

  • Poverty of a person with a disability is not about the individuals disability or their capabilities to contribute but rather about the societies inability to address inequality

  • Policies aimed at addressing poverty of the individual will fail- structural reform is needed to address exclusion


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Building Blocks for a Global Agenda to Combat Poverty participated in:

  • Rights to self-determination and full citizenship

  • All people must live in the community

  • Access to inclusive education, life-long learning, health care and social supports

  • Access to adequate income and employment

  • Families must be fully supported


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What Does It Mean for Our Work? participated in:

  • The job we have is too big to do for one person at a time;

  • We need a shared strategy to work locally, nationally, regionally and globally;

  • We need to have our voices heard by decision makers at each level;

  • “Special” programmes and policies will never address the underlying exclusion faced by people with intellectual disabilities;

  • We need to do more than make demands; we need to be a source of knowledge to decision makers;

  • Need an international and regional capacity to translate information and experience into knowledge for development policy;


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What Are the Next Steps? participated in:

Identifying good practices and initiatives in:

  • Education

  • Community Living

  • Poverty

  • Health

    Turn our good practices into “mainstream” inclusive public policy by:

  • Strengthening/empowering family organizations;

  • Building partnerships with; researchers; policy makers; disability organizations; media; private sector; governments and international agencies;

  • Strengthening the voices of self-advocates


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Objectives participated in:

Identify and create a resource base of existing good practices in including people with intellectual disabilities;

Provide family based organizations with training and knowledge to implement inclusive practices in partnership with their governments in key II MDG priority areas;

Assist governments to develop knowledge, policy and practice that promotes inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in Convention implementation;

Develop benchmarks for the achievement of the II Millennium Development Goals and track progress over five years;

Influence national and international development policy and investments to promote inclusion by sharing local experiences


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Strategies participated in:

  • Identify good practices and knowledge in inclusive policy in the priority II MDGs areas;

  • Pilot models of inclusion in each of the above issue area;

  • Set benchmarks and monitor progress for the achievement of the II MDGs

  • Engage in regional and international policy process to promote inclusive programming and investment


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