Sightsavers is trying to make their health programs inclusive for people with disabilities. In 2016 and 2017 Sightsavers tried different trials in their approach to eye health in Bophal, India. Sightsavers is currently reviewing all of the data that they gained in order to improve their method of treatment in future inclusive eye health projects.
Sightsavers has learned from the pilot project on how to provide access to services to individuals and communities. Sightsavers has learned which circumstances would better create inclusion and have also learned which circumstances are averse to inclusion and will help Sightsavers understand everyone’s journey for eye health.
So Far Sightsavers has Learned Several Things.
It is important to increase awareness. It is up to all of the partners at each level of the foundation to promote action in the community by promoting understanding and inclusion of people with disabilities. Adjustments need to be made to funnel the idea of inclusion in all existing projects.
It is important to make area hospitals more accessible to people with disabilities. Funds may need approval for senior level management to find ways to adapt existing infrastructure or build new accessible ramps and entrances.
It is vital to involve people with disabilities in key roles in order to develop programs that will promote inclusiveness. Such as accessibility audits and sensitization training. All of these factors will help break down the stigma and stereotypes about people with disabilities. They will also help bring attention to inclusion issues.
Form networks with other organizations that also want to work on inclusion. Open up to forming partnerships and collaborations with different implementers to work on inclusion and reach out to marginalized groups. These partnerships will work together to reach marginalized groups who don’t typically have access to eye health.
Sightsavers used the Washington Group set of questions to collect data and analyze it. All of the information in the data will determine how to proceed in shifting peoples attitude to providing access for people with disabilities. The information on current low levels of access by people with disabilities may spur people to implement programs that will increase access for people with disabilities, and the data may also be used in advocacy work.
Finally, Sightsavers learned that implementing inclusion projects takes a lot of time, takes tenacity, and needs dedicated leadership. Sightsavers to continue to improve eye health programs and advance disability rights across the world.