WBU Statement 13th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD

December 3, 2020 2:00 pm Published by

Mr. Jose Viera, Chief Executive Officer, WBU
item 5 (b) (iii) Round Table 3:

Promoting Inclusive environments for the full implementation of the CRPD

  1. With 10 years left to realise the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and uphold its promise of leaving no-one behind, accessibility is the foundation to building a more inclusive, equitable world in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
  2. Since 2006, with the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), we have witnessed many achievements towards the inclusion of persons with disabilities. However, unexpected and widespread events, like the COVID-19 pandemic, amplify the need to urgently increase our efforts to address persistent and emerging accessibility barriers which reinforce and sustain inequalities and exclusion experienced by persons with disabilities.
  3. The response to this critical challenge begins with a willingness to change and work together to take collective steps towards creating a world that removes barriers and promotes inclusion. It is time for all stakeholders, including States parties to the CRPD, regional and local governments, businesses, not-for-profits, Academia, UN agencies, donors and civil society organisations alike, to play their role in ensuring that accessibility is not an afterthought, but a central driver to promote equality for all. Accessibility is a fundamental right in that it saves lives, enables participation and is a pre-requisite to making inclusion and resilience possible within all spheres of our society.
  4. Being part of the change will mean not only recognising the importance of accessibility but delivering it. Organisations must decide on how to act on accessibility, including making adaptations to their systems, practices, and programmes to be accessible and inclusive of all persons with disabilities. How accessibility is delivered will be a determinant of how inclusive our efforts in the Decade of Action will be.
  5. At the World Blind Union and CBM Global Disability Inclusion, we are playing our part in moving from rhetoric to action. Our new first-of-its-kind resource Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action aims to support any organisation, be it a government, UN agency, or civil society organisation – working at any level – with practical guidance on how to take a whole-of-organisation approach to accessibility and practice it holistically. The guide is informed by OPDs and fully aligned with the CRPD, making it a powerful tool to guide actions towards more inclusive environments for the full implementation of the CRPD in any context or organisational setting.
  6. The Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action describes how organisations can progressively achieve 7 core accessibility commitments across built environments, information and communications, procurement of goods and services, training and capacity development, programmes, meetings and events, recruitment, and human resource management. The guide is not a blueprint but rather, offers pathways to progressively realise accessibility in various contexts; recognising that the users of the guide will be diverse.
  7. The WBU firmly believes this guide can support meaningful partnerships between OPDs and mainstream actors at all levels and in all sectors. With this guide we want organisations across the world to practice and model the highest level of accountability to all persons with disabilities and ensure that accessibility standards promoted by the CRPD are met.

The World Blind Union (WBU) is a founding member of the International Disability Alliance, and is the global voice for an estimated 253 million persons worldwide who are blind and partially sighted. Our members consist of over 250 organisations of, and for, blind and partially sighted persons in over 190 countries.

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This post was written by Terry Mutuku