UK Disability Summit drives global commitments to inclusion

Wed 19 September 2018

Global Disability Summit logo


The first ever Global Disability Summit was held on 24 July in London. Designed to mobilise new commitments on disability and showcase good practice and innovation from around the world, the Summit brought together 700 delegates from the public, private and for-purpose sectors.

Leaders from across the globe were called upon to strive for real change through the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and delivery of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals for persons with disability.

Penny Mordaunt, International Development Secretary, urged leaders to ‘move from rhetoric to action’ on improving the lives of people with disability.

Emphasising that the costs of exclusion of people with disability are simply too high, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner said in his opening address:

‘We are here to discuss how we – as individuals and societies – can fight discrimination and remove the barriers faced by persons with disabilities.

‘We are also here to ensure that persons with disabilities are given equal access and voice in society, so that they can realise their fullest possible potential.’

The Summit delivered 170 sets of global and national level commitments on inclusion of people with disability around four central themes: dignity and respect for all; inclusive education; routes to economic empowerment; and harnessing technology and innovation.

The World Bank Group announced its set of ten commitments to accelerate action at scale to achieve disability-inclusive development in key areas such as education, digital development, data collection, gender, post-disaster reconstruction, transport, private sector investments, and social protection. 

The rights, freedom, dignity and inclusion of Australians with disability were represented by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which also made ten formal commitments and was a signatory to the Summit’s Charter for Change.

All Australian businesses and levels of government have a powerful role in contributing to an accessible and inclusive Australia. Think about your work environment and interactions. Might they hinder a person with disability’s full and effective participation? Here’s a list of considerations for how the CRPD can be applied at an organisational level to ensure inclusion of people with disability as employees and customers.

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