Introduction from the Secretary of State for International Development

Penny Mordaunt

An estimated 1 billion people around the world have a disability. We know that all too often, people with disabilities face appalling stigma, discrimination and abuse. We know that people with disabilities are often excluded from opportunities, so do not achieve their potential. We know that our societies miss out.

But in too many cases, we do not know the scale of the challenge, where the gaps are, and where more needs to be done. We do not know where children with disabilities are missing out on the chance to go to school, or where people are unable to access work. For too long, data sources have been too scattered and disaggregation by disability has been overlooked. Where the data does exist, it often remains hidden and unused. While this is happening, people with disabilities will continue to be excluded, and we will be left with a critical development gap.

On 24th July 2018, people with disabilities, governments, donors, the private sector and civil society will come together at the Global Disability Summit, hosted by the UK, the International Disability Alliance and the Government of Kenya.

The Summit is a huge opportunity to deliver lasting change for people with disabilities. Improving disability data will be integral to success, and crucial to ensure that the commitments made in the Sustainable Development Goals are met and that we ‘leave no one behind’.

That is why I am proud that UK aid has supported Leonard Cheshire to create a brand new Disability Data Portal, to bring together data from countries across the world in one place. The portal and this accompanying report provide an important snapshot of the situation for people with disabilities in the critical areas of inclusive education, economic empowerment, technology and innovation, and stigma and discrimination. It shows us what it is possible to learn from the data we already have, and where we need more data to build a clearer picture.

It will be a valuable resource as we work together to lead a global charge for better data, to ensure that all people with disabilities, no matter who they are or where they are, are truly included.

Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP

Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP
Secretary of State for International Development

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