20101728 Poverty and Disability Summary Booklet

Poverty and Disability Summary Booklet
Leonard Cheshire Disability

Poverty and Disability

Excerpts from a review by Professor Lawrence Haddad


The Institute of Development Studies

University of Sussex

I have been a development researcher for the past 26 years. And yet

not until 2009 did I think about disability and development all that much.

There is much familiar about disability. We know that most of the poor

are excluded, marginalised, disempowered. So we can guess that the

disabled – defined in this way – are more likely to be poor. But I did not

know that so many of the poor were disabled. The book quotes some

statistics from the World Bank to suggest that one in five of the poor are

affected by disability. That is staggering.

It is doubly staggering that the international development community

has, for the most part, ignored this issue. This is shocking because

several of the papers in the volume note that when it is assessed,

disability is a greater excluder of participation than gender and ethnicity.

Despite being one of the more visible manifestations of exclusion, stigma

and lack of power, disability is hidden from sight, most of the time, in

development research discourses. And yet its study offers the potential

of so much learning for everyone working in development. This book

has raised the profile of this set of issues in a context that sadly is new

to many development researchers. I hope IDS can work with others in

the disability and development fields, to form new alliances to coconstruct

new knowledge to deconstruct disability as we know it.

In short, this book deserves to be the benchmark by which all future

books on disability and development are assessed.