Don’t leave people with disabilities out of the picture when you ‘Imagine 2030’

sightsavers_logoBuilding on the success of Sightsavers’ Put Us in the Picture campaign, the international development organisation is asking political leaders and the public to imagine what kind of a world they want to be living in by 2030.

The campaign has been calling for people with disabilities to be included in global development plans and later this year a new set of goals will be agreed by world leaders. These will the set the direction we take for the next 15 years and affect the lives of billions of people. The UK Government has a key role to play in shaping the goals and ensuring they are delivered.

Dom Haslam, Sightsavers’ Director of Policy and Programme Strategy, said: “Put us in the Picture has always been about showing what a real difference can be made to the lives of people with disabilities on a daily basis. We needed to find a way to get past the policy rhetoric and technical language of high level meetings to show people why the decisions being made are so important.

“We’ve come a long way in achieving that and shown there is the interest among the public in this issue. Now we need to build on that support and push for goals that mean people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Only if we Imagine 2030 will we be able to put in place the steps to help us get there.”

To send a clear message to both the UK Government and world leaders ahead of September’s UN General Assembly, Sightsavers’ Put Us in the Picture campaign has launched a new online engagement tool. It asks us to think about the new goals and Imagine 2030: what kind of a world do we want to live in and what lives do we hope to be leading. People can make a personal pledge, a goal or ambition, and encourage others to do so by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter.

Sightsavers’ vision for 2030 is a world where people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else: the ability to go to school and get a quality education; to be able to get a job and earn a living so they can live independent lives; to have access to health care when and where they need it; to be included in every area of life.

The new online action follows on from the success of the campaign’s Change.org petition and Framing Perceptions exhibition which featured photographs and stories of people with disabilities living in India and Africa.

Stories of people like Shyam and Anuradha who explained what life is like living with a disability and shared their hopes for the future. Shyam dreams of being able to work and support himself, of having a family, but can’t imagine how this will happen. Anuradha used to struggle financially and felt depressed but has recently been elected to local government, a testament to what can be achieved when people are given the opportunity.

Dom added: “The UK coalition government made great strides in its commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities in international development plans. We saw the publication of a new framework on disability which we now need to make sure is implemented. Alongside that we need to build pressure ahead of the UNGA to make sure people with disabilities are part of the international discussions and included in the next set of development goals.”

Imagine 2030 at www.sightsavers.org/your2030

Sightsavers is a registered UK charity that works in more than 30 developing countries to prevent blindness, restore sight and advocate for social inclusion and equal rights for people with disabilities. Find out more at www.sightsavers.org

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