The World Report on Disability estimates 15 per cent of the world’s population is living with disability.1 People with disability in most parts of the world continue to experience discrimination and are frequently excluded from the social, economic and political life of their communities. In many contexts, people with disability do not have equal access to health care, education or employment opportunities when compared to people without disability and are subsequently more likely to experience poverty and be excluded from development processes.2 The global charter on disability rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) conceptualises disability as an evolving concept which includes ‘those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments, which in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’.3 Barriers include those within the built environment, negative attitudes, lack of access to information in appropriate formats, and policies which do not promote equal participation by people with disability.

Authors Alexandra Devine (Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne) Aleisha Carroll (CBM Australia) Sainimili Naivalu Senmilia Seru (Fiji Disabled People’s Federation)

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