Of all the groups that face discrimination, the handicapped are perhaps the most disadvantaged of all. While there are many reasons for which one might face discrimination of one sort or another, the physically handicapped are some of the only ones who face a very real physical limitation. However, there is absolutely no reason why such people cannot lead healthy and productive lives. Society has many needs, and a person can usually find a place to contribute in spite of a physical limitation.
It is an uncomfortable fact that 80% of the world’s disabled individuals live in third world countries, where there is neither the understanding nor the resources to take care of their needs properly. An affliction of the eyes, in particular, can be a death sentence in these parts of the world.
It is with this understanding that the Global Disability Summit attempts to change these problems. Their work is intended to call attention to the problems faced by disabled individuals every day and to call for greater protections upon the rights of the disabled. The summit was attended this past year by 800 delegates from around the world, and representatives from certain companies as well.
Our colleague Kate followed a surgical outreach team as they were tracking down and treating the final cases of blinding #trachoma in northern Ghana. In the photo is Fusi, ophthalmic nurse. LINK IN BIO: http://po.st/trachoma-final-days. 📷 Ruth McDowell. #sightsavers #sight #sightloss #vision #blindness #visionloss #beatNTDs #NoMoreNTDs #ghana #africa #westafrica #discoverportrait #portraitphotography #portraitpage #peopleinframe #smiling
One of those is a UK-based charity called Sightsavers. Sightsavers works throughout the under-developed world to help treat the causes of avoidable blindness and to promote eye health in general. Sightsavers took a very strong and straightforward role in this most recent summit, calling on all member nations to not only guarantee the rights of the disabled but also to guarantee accountability and transparency in the reporting of the same.
With over 300 signatories to this agreement, it would be very hard to call the summit a failure. And beyond the signing of the agreement, a number of countries agreed to specific measures that they would take to help ensure the rights, dignity, and inclusion of those who suffer from disabilities. Nine countries promised to change their laws. Eighteen governments agreed to enact new policies. Thirty-three signatories made monetary contributions, with the largest amount coming from Australia. Australia pledged a total of 16.4 Million for aid to Syria. The UN also got on board with a pledge to change UN policies to allow for greater inclusion within their agencies.