Inclusive Practices: Collaborating with People Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Case Study

People with disabilities are often some of the most marginalized; experiencing fewer economic opportunities, lower levels of education, poor health, higher rates of poverty and are at a greater risk of being exposed to violence. With one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population living with a disability; accounting for communities and individuals with disabilities are critical to effective development programs. Furthermore, people with disabilities are incredibly diverse and inclusive projects should seek to understand and align with the unique abilities and needs of people with differing disabilities.

In particular, deaf and hard of hearing people are sidelined by lack of access to language at an early age, information, resources, education and employment. These forms of marginalization result in high risk for language deprivation, delay in development of communication and cognitive skills, and mental health problems. Yet, like others with disabilities, with appropriate access to resources and inclusive practice, Deaf and hard of hearing people can and do effectively work, learn and fully participate to influence change. This document describes best practices for inclusive international development programming, including; effective communication, budgeting, outreach and community building, staffing, internal capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.

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