How to make disability a priority in your development project

A training workshop identifying barriers that make it hard for people with disability to take part in everyday life in Timor Leste. Photo by: Kathryn Outhred / DFAT / CC BY

CANBERRA — The announcement from CBM Australia of a new agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to support disability inclusion across the Australian aid program until 2020, following a decade of support to DFAT, makes them an important resource for NGOs and donors to learn about how they can improve disability support within their own programs.

How DFAT works to support disability-inclusive development

A three-year partnership agreement will see CBM and their long-term partner, the Nossal Institute of Global Health, support disability inclusion across the Australian aid program. For aid programs looking to improve their strategies to promote disability inclusion, CBM's director of inclusive development has some tips.

Devex spoke with CBM’s director of the inclusive development department, Raine Dixon, for her tips and advice on ensuring disability be an important consideration in the design of all development and humanitarian programs. Here they are.

1. Disability inclusion needs to be more than tokenistic

A common mistake, Dixon explained, is that in researching, designing, and developing development programs, disability is not always a consideration. Her key tip for development professionals is: Think disability.

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About the author

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    Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.