CBM Global Disability Inclusion

CBM Global works alongside people with disabilities in the world’s poorest places to fight poverty and exclusion and transform lives. Drawing on over 100 years’ experience, we work with the most marginalised in society to break the cycle of poverty and disability and build inclusive communities where everyone can enjoy their human rights and fulfil their full potential.

We work in over 20 countries, investing in long-term, authentic partnership with the Disability Movement and maximising our impact through a coordinated mix of inclusive community-based programmes, local to global advocacy and delivering inclusion advice to other organisations.

A group of women, some with disabilities, sit on the floor. They are smiling and waving at the camera - Zimbabwe. Credit © CBM/Hayduk

World-leading expertise, authentic partnership.

9 year old Minu, wearing new glasses, with her parents, all smiling - Nepal.

Our work and world-leading expertise is focussed in 4 core areas: disability-inclusive community development, inclusive humanitarian action, inclusive eye health and community mental health. Our programmes across Africa, Asia and Latin America are developed and delivered with local partner organisations to ensure long-term transformation and accountability in communities we serve.  We draw on learning and evidence from our community work to inform our advocacy and achieve systemic change for people with disabilities.  We share our expertise, advising governments, UN bodies and others on how to ensure inclusion in their own organisations, policies and programmes through our Inclusion Advisory Group

Authentic partnership with the Disability Movement underpins all we do. We’re deeply committed to working alongside people with disabilities and their representative organisations, and to the principle of “nothing about us without us”. We work with and support organisations of people with disabilities in our programmes, to ensure we meet the needs of, and are accountable to, the individuals and communities we serve. Our advocacy aims to support and amplify the voices of people with disabilities, from community to global level. Our advisory approach is undertaken with the best technical experts on disability inclusion – people with disabilities themselves.

A man wearing a CBM jacket walks side by side with a woman using a stick -Zimbabwe.

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Our Core Areas of Work

Disability-inclusive Community Development

People with disabilities are routinely excluded from health, education, livelihood opportunities and the chance to fully participate in their communities. We work in partnership with the Disability Movement at all levels to promote inclusion. Our life-changing community development programmes across Africa, Asia and Latin America improve access to inclusive education, employment, healthcare and improve quality of life for women, men and children with disabilities and their families. We use evidence and learning from our community based work to support the Disability Movement in advocating for inclusive national laws and policies and achieving global change.

Inclusive Eye Health

A billion people worldwide live with avoidable blindness or visual impairment due to lack of access to eye health services. For many women, men and children living in poverty, access to straightforward interventions such as cataract surgery or a pair of glasses are out of reach. We work to improve access to inclusive and comprehensive eye health services for all, strengthening national eye health systems, making services affordable and accessible to the poorest and most marginalised people and helping eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases, even for the most vulnerable groups.

Community Mental Health

Mental health conditions are a major cause of disability and ill-health worldwide. Those living in poverty are at greatest risk and least likely to access treatment or support. Many people experiencing mental health conditions and psychosocial disability face stigma, discrimination, even abuse. With decades of experience in the field of global mental health, CBM Global recognises the central role of mental health in wellbeing and works to promote good mental health, challenge the exclusion of people with psychosocial disabilities, and strengthen mental health systems, so that mental health needs are recognised and addressed.

Humanitarian Action

People with disabilities are among those most affected by humanitarian crises and often the last to receive help. When disasters strike, we work with local organisations of persons with disabilities and other partners to deliver urgent aid. We promote the participation of people with disabilities in reducing the risk of disasters and preparing and responding to humanitarian crises. We share technical expertise and learning with mainstream humanitarian organisations to help them include people with disabilities in their response, through consultancy, tools and guidance, and advocacy at local, national and international level.   

To read more about how we work to end the cycle of poverty and disability, download our Programmatic Strategy and our Theory of Change.

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