Following calls last week from MPs for the UK government to make disability a priority in plans to fight global poverty, international development organisation Sightsavers has launched a petition to gain public support for its first campaign, Put Us in the Picture.
The Change.org petition calls on Justine Greening MP (Secretary of State for International Development) to make sure people with disabilities aren’t left behind in global development plans. As discussions are held to decide development goals that will be in place for the next fifteen years, it’s vital that the UK government has a disability-inclusive strategy, or people with disabilities will continue to be marginalised and forgotten.
The petition aims to collect 20,000 signatures from UK supporters. The Put Us in the Picture campaign has also encouraged people to write to their MP, and add their name and image to the ‘Put yourself in the picture’ app to show support for the campaign.
Natasha Kennedy, Sightsavers’ Policy Campaign Manager, said: “Right now, people with disabilities are invisible in global development plans. Because of this, if you have a disability and live in a developing country, your chance to access education, healthcare and employment is almost zero. Millions of people with disabilities are missing out – it’s unjust, it’s wrong and it needs to change.
“We believe that the UK’s Department of International Development must talk, listen and work with people with disabilities and their families to really understand how to include them in their programmes. This is absolutely vital because people with disabilities are some of the most excluded and hardest to reach of all groups in society, particularly in the poorest countries in the world.”
The Put Us in the Picture campaign, which launched on 3 December 2013, aims to change the lives of the one billion people with disabilities living in the world; ensuring their needs are not forgotten and delivering real change for them and their families.
For more information and to sign up to the campaign, go to www.sightsavers.org.uk/our_campaign
Sightsavers is a registered UK charity (Registered charity numbers 207544 and SC038110) that works in more than 30 developing countries to prevent blindness, restore sight and advocate for social inclusion and equal rights for people who are blind and visually impaired. www.sightsavers.org.uk