Opinion: People with disabilities are the experts in disability-inclusive development

alttext

With the right levels of support, people with disabilities make highly effective development workers. Many people with disabilities possess attributes that are actively sought in the sector: They are natural problem solvers, dynamic thinkers, extremely adaptable and resilient, and able to work effectively with limited resources.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.