Now is the time

23 July 2018

Now is the time

Written by Jannine Ebenso, Head of Quality Assurance, The Leprosy Mission International 

The Global Disability Summit is being held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London on 24 July 2018, co-hosted by the Department for International Development, the International Disability Alliance and the Government of Kenya. 

Bringing together more than 700 delegates from governments, donors, private sector organisations, charities and organisations of persons with disabilities, the  Global Disability Summit is an opportunity to build on the current momentum on disability inclusive development. It provides a platform to secure financial and political commitments by national governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, the private sector and civil society organisations. Download a PDF copy of the programme for the Global Disability Summit.

Important progress has been made in the decade since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). But there is still much to be done. We must strive for real change through the Convention’s implementation and the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals for persons with disabilities. Now is the time.

The Global Disability Summit has four themes:
  1. Dignity and respect for all
  2. Inclusive Education
  3. Routes to Economic Empowerment
  4. Harnessing Technology and Innovation

The Leprosy Mission will be present at the summit and you can follow our delegates on Twitter via @ProgrammesTLMEW and by using the hashtags for the summit which are #NowIstheTime #DisabilitySummit and #MakeItCount.

charter for changeThe Leprosy Mission has signed the Charter for Change which we hope many governments and organisations will sign. 

There are an estimated two-three million people living with disabilities as a result of leprosy. They face barriers in many aspects of their lives and are excluded from many of the services that you and I take for granted. Many countries still have laws that segregate and isolate people from their communities and even their families. These laws can also be a barrier to people being diagnosed and treated, increasing the suffering of individuals and hampering efforts to eliminate the disease. We believe that all laws and practices that discriminate against people with leprosy should be abolished. #NowIstheTime 

Working with our partners at the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP) we aim for #ZeroDiscrimination for people affected by leprosy

Useful links related to the #GlobalDisabilitySummit:

Dignity and respect for all - background document
Inclusive Education - background document
Economic Empowerment - background document
Harnessing Technology and Innovation - background document
Global Disability Summit - Charter for Change

The following Twitter accounts will be posting from the Global Disability Summit:


Need more information about what The Leprosy Mission is doing at the Global Disability Summit? Contact Katharine Jones at 

Sharidah's story

Jannine Ebenso is Head of Quality Assurance at The Leprosy Mission International. She joined the Mission in 1991, living and working as a physiotherapist in Nigeria for 16 years before returning to the UK in 2008. In addition to her Physiotherapy qualifications, Jannine holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Biblical and Cross-cultural Studies and a Master of Arts in Disability Studies. She tweets as @JannineTLM and can be contacted at