The world’s largest disability population
According to the recently published World Report on Disability
, a joint publication by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, “Disability is also an important development issue with an increasing body of evidence showing that persons with disabilities experience worse socioeconomic outcomes and poverty than persons without disabilities” (xxi, WRD). In 2006 the United Nations established the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to change attitudes and approaches in order to improve the lives of people with disabilities. People with intellectual disabilities comprise the world’s largest disability population with an estimated 200 million people.
The Summit on Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities will raise challenging questions about the scope and underlying nature of the obstacles that prevent people with intellectual disabilities from being included and accepted as part of the larger global development agenda, and will help provide a roadmap for how models of intervention can be created, modified and expanded to include people with intellectual disabilities. Persons with intellectual disabilities can be defined as having significant limitations in cognitive functioning and adaptive behavior that have onset by age 18 years. Intellectual disabilities can be either genetic or acquired (e.g., Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, traumatic brain injury).
“The misunderstanding, neglect and often outright discrimination against people with intellectual disability have been pervasive, with devastating effects on them and their families. This is well documented in personal stories
and studies carried out in recent years. It is time to bring people with intellectual disabilities out of the shadows and every sector of society must take part,” said Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics
. “We in Special Olympics have seen the power and value that everyone experiences when the voices of people with intellectual disabilities are allowed to be heard.”
“Global Development Summit will contemplate the equality of people with intellectual disabilities in society and communicate the opportunities to improve the level of their lives. I wish society will start to look at them just like they look at other people. Looking once, not looking twice,” said Na Kyung Won, Chair of the Special Olympics World Winter Games Organizing Committee PyeongChang 2013
. “As a part of the legacy to be created from the Special Olympics World Winter Games, we will see increased inclusion of people with disabilities in society and greater contribution to elevating the welfare of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide.”