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Global Disability Summit London - July 2018

Saturday 04, Aug 2018

Following last months’ World Health Assembly Resolution on AT, UK and Kenya hosted a Global Disability Summit on 24 July 2018 in London and the Civil Society Forum the day prior. Thanks to ARATA friend Dr Diane Bell of Stellenbosch University who attended and provided some of the links and narrative below. Potential actions for ARATA are highlit and the Board welcome your opinion:

The Global Disability Summit objectives were to raise global attention and focus on AT as an underrated area; bring in new voices and approaches to broaden engagement; mobilise new global and national commitments on disability; and showcase best practice and evidence from across the world – see full programme and official You Tube Channel. The Summit was attended by Ministers, representatives of organisations of persons with disabilities, academia, non-governmental organisations, representatives of the UN System, and among others.  During the two days, there was a range of spotlight sessions exploring issues around the rights of persons with disabilities. The Summit provided a platform to showcase good practice, new policy and assistive technology for persons with disabilities, as well as to generate sustainable commitments from country governments, donors, civil society, foundations and the private sector.

The Civil Society Forum: In consultation with civil society partners, IDA called for the Civil Society Forum on 23 July, as an addition to the Summit to leverage the opportunity to amplify the voice and participation of persons with disabilities, through their individual participation and that of representative organizations (DPOs). Civil Society Forum kicked off the debate with questions about chronically underfunded local and regional organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs), the need to include these DPOs in policy discussions; and the special challenge of reaching people with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian response. The joint civil society statement was read out by the IDA Chair at the opening session of the Summit on 24 July and accentuated a pivotal role the civil society played around the Global Disability Summit

Charter for Change: All attendees were also invited to sign the Charter for Change—the principal legacy document of the Global Disability Summit. The Charter for Change aims at ensuring global consensus to address a long-neglected issue pertaining rights of persons with disabilities such as inclusion to education, employment, independent living, voting, access to justice, among others.

Announcement of AT 2030 - Life Changing Assistive Technology for All:  The Global Disability Summit announced the launch of this £10m global programme. Its aim is to reach over 3 million people, testing new approaches and backing ‘what works’ to get AT to those who need it"  (See the supporting Scoping Research Summary )


  • reach at least 3 million people;
  • catalyse at least 10 new disruptive technologies with potential for life changing impact;
  • develop at least 6 innovative service delivery models;
  • spark 30-50 new start-ups;
  • develop and test new methodologies for market shaping on assistive technologies;
  • establish an East Africa AT Innovation Hub;
  • double DFID’s initial investment through partner backing;
  • use all of this to leverage resources from other stakeholders.

ARATA will contribute to these developments through the International Alliance of AT Professional Organisations, and keep members informed of opportunities.