130920 Towards an Inclusive and Accessible Future for All

Towards an Inclusive and Accessible Future for All


Voices of persons with disabilities on the post-2015 development framework

Persons with disabilities have a significant positive impact on society, and their contributions can be even greater if we remove barriers to their participation. With more than one billion persons with disabilities in our world today, this is more important than ever.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, message on the occasion  of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2012

Approximately one in seven of the world’s population—over one billion people—are persons with disabilities.

While data on disability remain a challenge, there is compelling evidence of the barriers that persons with disabilities face in achieving economic and social inclusion.

Universally experienced across the globe, barriers come in many forms, ranging from physical (e.g., the constraints arising from features of the built environment) to attitudinal (e.g., the preconceived notions and stereotypes that drive discrimination).

Depending on social, economic, cultural and political circumstances, as well as a range of individual attributes, the level of exclusion experienced by different persons with disabilities may vary. However, the overwhelming majority of persons with disabilities experience discrimination in one form or another.