Publication by Assisting Living and Learning (ALL) Institute co-directors Professor Delia Ferri, Professor Mac MacLachlan, ALL member Dr Joanne McVeigh and Dr Hasheem Mannan in MDPI Open Access journal Disabilities entitled, 'Strengthening the Participation of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in the Decision-Making of National Government and the United Nations: Further Analyses of the International Disability Alliance'
The participation of organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) is crucial at each stage of policy processes at the local, regional, and international levels. However, decision-making mechanisms have traditionally excluded OPDs, failing to consult with them on decisions that impact on their daily lives. The overall aim of this study was to examine the participation of persons with disabilities and OPDs in development programmes and policies by exploring recommendations from a sample of OPDs on ways to strengthen their participation with government and the UN. Secondary data analysis was conducted using a global survey on the participation of OPDs, administered by the International Disability Alliance to OPD representatives. Two open-ended items were analysed, which explored participants’ recommendations on ways to strengthen their participation with government and the UN. Data were analysed using the descriptive and interpretive qualitative methods. Respondents provided recommendations on how to strengthen their participation with their national government and the UN, focusing on several issues including accessibility, human rights, and the need for inclusion of all OPDs and all groups of persons with disabilities. The synergy between the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals presents opportunities for OPDs to increase their participation in development policies and programmes. It is vital, however, to dismantle the barriers to participation in decision-making by OPDs and persons with disabilities.