There were 170 commitments made at the Global Disability Summit in London, England. Government officials, United Nations (UN) agencies, and CEOs from the private sector made some of the vows. The vows are a vital step towards actions to improve accessibility.
In this article, we will look at some of the vows from the Summit.
Global Disability Summit Report
It is vital that there are laws to protect the rights of people with disabilities. To that end, nine governments vowed to pass such laws. Also, 33 governments will increase funding for people with impairments in humanitarian crises, such as the one in Syria. Finally, nine organizations and governments have joined the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology. The Global Partnership improves access to items, such as wheelchairs and glasses.
The Canadian government made vows based on the many themes of the summit. For example, the government vowed to consider girls with disabilities in their $400 million G7 commitment on girls’ education. This vow is part of Canada’s plan to increase access to education.
Seven UN agencies committed to actions that focus on education and gender issues. These actions include:
- UNICEF programs in 140 countries that provide quality education to children with impairments
- an increased focus on women and girls with disabilities in the UN Women’s country programs
- increased spending in the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women
In sum, the UN vows will help women and children in developing nations.
Private sector companies also made vows at the Summit. Vows came from global companies like CISCO, Microsoft, and Unilever. Microsoft, for example, will start a month-long campaign in October 2018. The internal campaign aims to reduce stigma and discrimination. To do so, Microsoft will share the stories of employees across the company. Also, Microsoft aims to increase awareness of disability facts, history, and culture. Meanwhile, the company will continue to develop accessible technology, such as the Xbox XAC controller.
Words into Action
The organizers of the summit know that words are not enough. As the International Development Secretary for the UK said, “If we are going to help people with disabilities to fulfil their true potential, today cannot just be about words – it has to be about action.” It is now up to the attendees to turn their words into real accessibility and inclusion. What is more, people must make sure that their governments stick to their vows and turn words into actions.
Find a full list of commitments here.