RI Global Press Release: RI Global Attends HABITAT III for Disability Rights

rehab title

RI Global: Office of Communications

Contact: Adrian Brune, +1 347-759-9501


“Achieving a truly inclusive and transformative New Urban Agenda requires a holistic and people-centered approach. We need to engage persons with disabilities as both agents and beneficiaries of change, and as leaders in the new urban development agenda,” said UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo, as he addressed the opening of the High Level Forum on Disability Inclusion and Accessible Urban Development, which took place on the eve of the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Human Settlements (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, on 16 October.

Bringing together more than 100 global urban planning and disability experts, the event focused on finding solutions to make urban development inclusive of and accessible to the world’s one billion persons with disabilities, many of whom live in cities. RI Global’s Treasurer, Susan Parker, and Chair of the International Committee on Technology and Accessibility, Joseph Kwan, flew to Quito before the World Congress to attend the Forum. “Universal design increases usability, safety, health and social participation in response to the diversity of people and abilities,” Parker said during the event. “It is a way of thinking that can be applied in any design activity, business practice, program or service involving the interaction of people with the physical social or virtual worlds.”


Aimed at supporting States and related stakeholders in jointly advancing accessible and inclusive urban development, the event resulted in a set of key recommendations to build inclusive and accessible cities and implement the New Urban Agenda for all, including persons with disabilities. Prior to the High Level Forum, UN DESA released “Good Practices of Accessible Urban Development” a publication to illustrate and encourage more initiatives and concrete actions from both developing and developed countries in advancing accessible and inclusive urban development.

Also, during the event more than 300 diverse participants joined together and used 170 locally sourced umbrellas to form the letters of the word “INCLUSION”, which was photographed using a drone circling above. The project, directed by the internationally renowned artist John Quigley, was designed to elevate the way in which people think about inclusion around the world.


RI Global: Founded in 1922, Rehabilitation International (RI Global) is a worldwide network promoting the rights and inclusions of persons with disabilities (PwDs) through advocacy, habilitation and rehabilitation to achieve an inclusive world in which all people can enjoy full human rights.

Join us at the 2016 RI Global World Congress: riworldcongress.com