Persons with disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals (Guidance and Toolkit for the 2030 Agenda)

Blog - Orsolya Bartha -Feb 2016By Orsolya Bartha, Senior Advisor on Development and Human Rights, International Disability Alliance (IDA). Twitter: @OZBartha

The International Disability Alliance and the International Disability and Development Consortium have developed a guidance and toolkit on the 2030 Agenda with respect to the inclusion of persons with disabilities. While the guidance note follows the structure of the 2030 Agenda in its entirety and highlights the references to persons with disabilities, the toolkit is more of a practical document, which provides ideas on how and why persons with disabilities should engage with the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level.

Persons with disabilities were not included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and consequently excluded from many development initiatives and funding streams. In contrast, the 2030 Agenda is a historic achievement for persons with disabilities, since it explicitly includes and references them in a variety of areas (such as education, employment, accessible cities, reducing inequalities, and disaggregation of data).

Paragraph 23 of the Agenda calls for empowering vulnerable people, including persons with disabilities. That same section also recognises that more than 80 per cent of persons with disabilities live in poverty. This recognition is particularly important because it places persons with disabilities at the centre of poverty eradication throughout the entire Agenda.

Although the overarching principle of the 2030 Agenda is “leave no one behind,” it remains to be seen how advances will be achieved for persons with disabilities. We will need all of you to help in achieving such advances!

The only way to realize the implementation of the SDGs for persons with disabilities is if the SDGs are interpreted in line with the provisions and spirit of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). It cannot be emphasized enough that the UN CRPD should serve as a guiding framework for implementing the SDGs in order to realize the full inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities.


The UN CRPD will guide policy makers to avoid creating or perpetuating institutional, attitudinal, physical, or legal barriers, or barriers to access to information and communication technology (ICT), among other barriers to the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities. Methods of overcoming such barriers include sign language interpretation, captioning, ramps, easy to read documents, braille documents, accessible websites, etc.

The guidance note and the toolkit are intended to facilitate understanding of how the SDGs can strengthen the UN CRPD implementation and the empowerment of persons with disabilities. Please feel free to share it with your networks.

Let’s all ensure that the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities is realized in the era of the SDGs!

The guidance and the toolkit are available under the following link:


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