Disability stigma.

A deadly enemy.

Disability has its own stigma, pervasive in every society, but in parts of Africa and Asia discrimination towards disabled people can be particularly oppressive.

In areas where research and technology aren’t readily available people can’t access explanations for conditions. This lack of understanding can cause misconceptions about disability to form, with devastating consequences.


Dangerous myths.

Disabled people are often considered weak, worthless and in some cases subhuman by their societies.

Myths such as disabled children can’t learn; or having sex with a disabled woman can cure HIV; or a mental health episode is caused by evil spirits, can lead communities to affix deeply oppressive social stigma on to disabled people.

This stigma generates profound social barriers. Disabled people often live in isolation and are excluded from their communities, from the education system, from healthcare and other vital services. Sometimes, they’re even hidden away by their families.

Many disabled women and children face a heightened risk of domestic and sexual violence. This stigma is often internalised by disabled people, stripping millions of their aspirations and agency. 

Sabina Yasmin sitting outside her home

In our village people used to think that disability is a curse incurred through an earlier generation’s wrongdoing. I myself believed in those ideas. I used to think that maybe someone in our family must have done something wrong.

Sabina Yasmin

Close up of Sabina's feet and crutches

Fighting stigma.

In order for disabled people to have a fighting chance at living their best life, the stigma and discrimination that oppresses them must be confronted and uprooted.

Shifting deeply entrenched social stigma does not happen overnight. It is lengthy and relentless work which requires a strong team of courageous people with a bold vision for change. That’s why the movement for disability equality, like all significant movements for social progress, is powered by the passion, vision and courage of activists – ordinary people taking action to create social change. Often disabled themselves, they have the passion to fight for change. It’s their lives, and their communities, at stake. What they often need is support in how to run effective organisations. That’s where ADD International steps in. We help disability activists access the tools, skills and resources they need to turn their vision into powerful organisations that lead powerful movements for change. 

Read more about our approach




Millions of disabled people in Africa and Asia are still condemned to a life of poverty and exclusion. Right now, organisations of disability activists are working to fight discrimination and ensure every disabled person gets a fighting chance at living their best life. They urgently need your support. 


Become an Activist Champion today. 


Peter Ogik walking in a field

It’s very hard sometimes to change people’s thoughts. For a child that’s grown up being told she’s nothing but a curse it takes time to change that idea. It’s a gradual process. It’s not an easy process.

Peter Ogik

A child with albinism at school

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The global disability crisis

Disability & Development.No one left behind.

Our approachHow we support disability activists

Working locally. Changing lives globally. Read more.

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Our projects

Our innovative approach and projects are changing the lives of disabled people around the world. 

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Our stories

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