In the years 2016 and 2017 Sightsavers experimented with different treatments in their urban eye health program in Bhopal, India. Not too long ago they did a brain dump with each other to see what they all learned from their experiments and see how to proceed with their next step in the research process. The initial project has taught them how to provide eye care for more marginalized individuals and communities as well as what situations are and are not good for improving inclusion.
Here’s a breakdown of what Sightsavers learned:
They must work together as an organization to increase awareness, understanding, and commitment to inclusion in order to encourage action.
You can make significant improvements to the accessibility of health locations for people who have physical and sensory impairments through a simple process in affiliated hospitals. Keep in mind Senior approval will be needed to allocate funds and approve the work, you may also have to think outside the box to navigate the buildings.
Being involved and leading people with disabilities is very helpful in getting rid of stereotypes and stigma, as well as bringing awareness to inclusion issues. Leadership should include being involved in the design and implementation of inclusive development.
Expanding stakeholder networks and outreach amongst similar organizations strengthens the space for inclusive work by involving marginalized groups. These networks also provide opportunities to create new partnerships and ability to work with other implementers, further expanding the chance for inclusive development.
The disability disaggregated data and the process of collecting and analyzing it is a key factor in changing attitudes and commitment needed.
An inclusive project requires leadership, time and tenacity in order to make the change. Momentum has to be built and the staff has to be committed in order to inspire and be able to support everyone else on the path.
Making It All Inclusive
Sightsavers has a great past in the area of development and strengthening the eye health program as well as improving disability rights all over the countries where Sightsavers operate. Their goal has always been to bring the right resources together to make sure all programs are both accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities. This research review was imperative in helping Sightsavers learn from their own experiences and allow them to be able to figure out what needs to be applied and done differently while they continue to expand their health programs in various locations and settings.