Ecuadorean Vice-president Lenín Moreno has made it his mission to put people with disabilities on the inclusion agenda. After his recent visit to the World Bank in Washington, the idea arose to jointly organize the first continental meeting for inclusion of people with disabilities: América Solidaria. The meeting was held in Quito, Ecuador, on June 11-12.
The World Report on Disability estimates that more than a billion people live with some type of disability, in other words, about 15% of the global population. Moreover, the report states that this group is expanding around the world and that exclusion of this segment of society has a significant impact on countries’ development. Representatives from 34 countries attended the América Solidaria event, where experts from around the world discussed best practices and public policies for accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities.
Around the world
Scott Rains, an expert on inclusive tourism and accessibility and a panelist at the meeting, emphasized the need to adapt the tourism industry by applying a universal design that takes into account the needs of the largest human group possible. Good examples of this are urban transport systems such as the wheelchair-accessible Metropolitana bus line in Peru and the Braille information on handrails at the Charles de Gaulle Airport. Scott also emphasized how easy it is nowadays to share positive and negative experiences with respect to tourist destinations.