A disability expert from the University of East Anglia is calling for development agencies to ensure their aid programmes meet the needs of disabled people.
Norfolk, UK, 10-4-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Dr Tom Shakespeare has given written and oral evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on International Development report on Disability and Development, released today.
The report calls on development agencies to prioritise disability in development work or risk failing the world’s poorest.
Dr Shakespeare, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Everyone knows that disabled people are among the poorest of the poor, when it comes to international development. That’s why it’s so important for development agencies like the Department for International Development (DfID) to ensure that their aid programmes address the needs of disabled people and fulfil their rights.
“When I was at the World Health Organisation (WHO) from 2007-2013, most of the other developed nations such as Australia, USA, Canada, Norway, Finland, Italy, and Japan had very good programmes on disability, but UK was not at the table. As a British citizen and as a disabled person, this made me feel ashamed of my country. I hope this House of Commons report prompts DfID to do better in future.”
Dr Shakespeare’s primary research interests are in disability studies, medical sociology, and in social and ethical aspects of genetics. He has had a long involvement with the disabled people’s movement in UK and internationally.
University of East Anglia – Communications Office
Tel: (+44) (0) 1603 593496 Fax: (+44) (0) 1603 259883