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Charity calls on the Deputy Prime Minister to ensure disability is included at the MDG Summit

24 September 2013

Nick Clegg

Deafblind charity Sense International has today called on the Deputy Prime Minister to make sure that disability is included in the discussions at the United Nations Millennium Development Goal Summit taking place in New York tomorrow (25th Sept).

James Thornberry, Director of Sense International, said:

“We are calling on Nick Clegg to make sure that disabled people are not forgotten at tomorrow’s summit. Disabled people are some of the poorest people in the world and should not be overlooked when we consider what will follow on from the Millennium Development Goals. Sense International supports deafblind people in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru, Romania and Uganda and without support many will lead short, lonely lives.

“People with disabilities have for a long time been ignored in international development and the current Millennium Development Goals, which end in 2015, do not have any meaningful mention of disabled people and overlook one billion of the world’s population. We must not repeat this mistake when we consider what will follow on the MDGs. There have been a number of significant steps forward in the past year, but we still need a tangible and solid commitment from the Government that they will ensure that the rights of disabled people are respected on the international stage and ensure that they are not forgotten in the development debate.”

Media enquiries:

For further information contact the Sense International press office on 0207 014 9381.

Notes to editors:

Sense International works in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Peru, Romania, Tanzania and Uganda. In many places, deafblindness is not understood, services are non-existent and deafblind people and their families struggle on in difficult circumstances.

Since 1994 we have established vision and hearing screening programmes for young children, trained health and education professionals and persuaded governments to build infrastructures of support for deafblind people and their families. We invest in local professionals and organizations in order to ensure that we have a lasting and sustainable impact. Sense International is the sister organization of Sense.

Deafblindness is a combination of both sight and hearing difficulties. Some of these people are completely deaf and blind, but others have some remaining use of one or both senses.

Causes of deafblindness include premature birth and exposure to rubella during pregnancy, which can cause babies to be born deafblind. Some genetic conditions such as Usher syndrome can also result in deafblindness. People can also become deafblind at any time through illness (such as cerebral malaria), accident or in older age.

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 11 October 2017