Making Inclusion a Reality!

Left to right: Catherine Naughton, Director, EDF, Jose Viera, WBU CEO, Cecile Klein, DFAT and Dr. Mary Keogh, DID, CBM

Left to right: Catherine Naughton, Director, EDF, Jose Viera, WBU CEO, Cecile Klein, DFAT and Dr. Mary Keogh, DID, CBM


On June 13th 2019, Dr. Mary Keogh, Director of Disability Inclusive Development with CBM International, spoke at the 12th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The key overarching themes discussed included:

· Multi-partner collaboration is required for inclusive development and humanitarian action.

· The demand for support on how to be inclusive inspires us to find new ways of working together to create the biggest impact.

· The panel illustrated a variety of different roles that DPOs and the Disability Movement can take to influence mainstream development.

Key messages:

· The CRPD and the principle of leave no one behind have created an imperative for mainstream international development cooperation and humanitarian actors to consider disability inclusion in all their work.

· There is an ever increasing demand for support on how to be disability inclusive from development and humanitarian partners.

· This represents a new way of working for all of us in the disability sector and requires us to think about new ways of collaborating to create change, bringing our respective strengths.

· Each panelist provided examples of how development sector and disability movement actors can work together to make inclusion a reality, including:

  • Various types of partnerships Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) and its members have made in order to influence mainstream development policy and programs in the Pacific.

  • Ways Transforming Communities for Inclusion (TCI) works with international development and humanitarian partners to foster greater inclusion for people with psychosocial disabilities.

  • Some key reflections on how European DPOs have engaged in supporting in settling the refugees and also ensuring that member states are ensuring the rights of refugees with disabilities are protected and respected.

  • Ways to ensure that in working closely with the disability movement, CBM respects the agenda of the Disability Movement and finds ways to engage e.g. emerging leaders.

  • Key take away messages from the Australian experience for other development/humanitarian donors or actors trying to become more disability inclusive.

Speakers alongside Dr. Mary Keogh included Jose Viera, CEO, World Blind Union and Permanent Representative of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities, who acted as Moderator. Cecelia Klein from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia, and Catherine Naughton, Director of the European Disability Forum, spoke too at the COSP.

Mary Keogh