Sightsavers drums up digital support for disability campaign

sightsavers_logoSightsavers’ Put Us in the Picture campaign just launched an innovative digital engagement tool, in order to gain wide-spread support from the public.

The campaign is calling on the current UK Government and all three main political parties to commit to disability-inclusive development policies ahead of the next election to make sure people with disabilities aren’t ignored in international development programmes.

People with disabilities represent some of the most excluded and difficult to reach of all groups in the community, currently they are left out of the picture when it comes to fighting global poverty. Actively including them in wider development plans can make eliminating extreme poverty become a realistic aim.

Sightsavers is an international development agency working in over 30 developing countries to prevent blindness, restore sight and advocate equal rights for people with disabilities. Put Us in the Picture will be Sightsavers’ key policy focus for the next fifteen months, with online activity playing a key role in influencing and advocacy.

Starting this week, Sightsavers is asking social media users to ‘put themselves in the picture’ to show politicians they think excluding people with disabilities is unfair.

sightsavers_putusinthepictureBy visiting the Sightsavers website and uploading their Facebook or Twitter profile picture into a photo mosaic, people can show that they are passionate about disability-inclusive development. As the photo mosaic becomes more populated with images it becomes clear that the individual profile pictures form one larger powerful image representing inclusion for people with disabilities.

Taking part will demonstrate public support to policy makers. It puts pressure on them to make significant changes to the lives of those living with disabilities in developing countries.

Kate McCoy, Sightsavers’ Social Media Manager says:  

“By spending less than 60 seconds to put themselves in the picture, supporters can send a clear message to political leaders that they care about giving people with disabilities in developing countries the opportunities they deserve. We wanted to create something which helped people immediately connect with a relatively complex issue, and demonstrate that their participation has a tangible impact. Currently there are some very positive discussions happening about disability and development; we need to seize the moment to ensure a positive outcome”.

Sightsavers is already gathering attention and support from MPs across the three main political parties. Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP and Minister at the Department for International Development (DFID) is committed to addressing the neglect of disability, and interested in hearing more about how we can ensure people with disabilities benefit fairly from development programmes.

For more information and to sign-up visit: www.sightsavers.org.uk/our_campaign

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.  www.sightsavers.org

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