The needs of disabled people in developing countries are consistently overlooked when it comes to providing sanitation and hygiene services. This reality has severe and widespread consequences for the health, dignity, education, and employment of disabled people and their caregivers. This briefing note explores these issues and suggests how more and better research could influence policy and improve programmes.
- There are over 1 billion people worldwide affected by disability. They and their families tend to be among the poorest of the poor, and the lack of inclusive facilities means they often engage in unhygienic and dangerous practices.
- The barriers that disabled people face when using sanitation facilities have been categorized as environmental (such as steps and narrow doors), institutional (such as a lack of information from authorities and exclusion from consultative procedures), and attitudinal (such as prejudicial attitudes from the community and service providers), but little action has been taken to address these.
- The additional cost of providing inclusive sanitation is only 2 to 3 percent.
- Interventions have shown how inclusive design can be inexpensive and benefit pregnant women, older people, and the chronically ill, as well as disabled people.