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Disability and Development Report 2018

Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals by, for and with Persons with Disabilities

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Disability-inclusive development is an essential condition for a sustainable future. In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, pledging to leave no one behind in the global efforts to realize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Without the world’s one billion persons with disabilities - 15% of the world population - being included as both agents and beneficiaries of development, these Goals will never be achieved. Yet, persons with disabilities are still invisible and often left behind. This United Nations flagship report is the first publication to address, at the global level, the nexus between disability and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also the first global analysis based on an unprecedented amount of data, legislation and policies from over 100 countries to understand the socio-economic circumstances of persons with disabilities and the challenges and barriers they face in their daily lives. This report examines new areas, like the role of access to energy to enable persons with disabilities to use assistive technology, for which no global research was previously available. And explores the linkages between the Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as other international relevant norms and standards relating to disability. Against the backdrop of all the available evidence, the report identifies good practices and recommends urgent actions to be taken for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by, for and with persons with disabilities. The e-book for this publication has been converted into an accessible format for the visually impaired and people with print reading disabilities. It is fully compatible with leading screen-reader technologies such as JAWS and NVDA.

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Ensuring the availability of water and sanitation for persons with disabilities (Goal 6)

This section addresses the achievement of Goal 6, that is, the availability of water and sanitation for persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities face more difficulties in accessing adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities than those without disabilities. This is due to a lack of household access, often resulting from insufficient financial resources, as well as lack of access in public environments. The barriers persons with disabilities face in relation to water and sanitation include environmental barriers, such as lack of accessibility of the facilities. However, barriers faced by persons with disabilities extend beyond issues of accessibility. Persons with disabilities often face stigma and discrimination from others when using both household and public facilities, such as misconceptions that persons with disabilities could contaminate water sources or make the latrines dirty. Persons with certain types of disabilities may need to take a longer time to use the facilities — a stigmatizing experience when using communal latrines. Persons with disabilities may also experience lack of dignity if they are dependent on family members to assist them in using inaccessible water and sanitation facilities. Lack of access to water and sanitation facilities outside the home has a negative impact on other areas of development. Children with disabilities are often prevented from attending schools due to a lack of accessible toilets. Lack of accessible toilets is also a barrier to persons with disabilities seeking jobs and health services.

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