Decolonising Disability Rights

Fredrick Ouko, Faith Njahîra Wangari and Sabina Basi spoke at the Posner Symposium about how to decolonise development in the context of the global disability rights movement.

ADD International at the Posner Centre Symposium.

Fredrick Ouko, our Co-Chief Executive Transformation Officer, Sabina Basi, Director of Funding, Communications & Transformative Partnerships and Faith Njahîra Wangari, a Kenyan disability inclusion expert and PhD candidate at University of Pretoria, came together to discuss decolonizing the global disability rights movement and the link between colonialism and ableism.

They discussed what it will take to have a thriving and healthy disability rights movement led by disabled people themselves and receiving unconditional support to determine priorities they want to focus on in their work as opposed to fitting into donor conditions often set by white non-disabled grant makers in the capitals of North countries. In doing so, they shed light on the fact that decolonizing our practice in global development spaces also means challenging ableism in all its forms.

“You cannot separate colonialism and ableism because it is a structure that has been designed to operate exactly how it is operating.”

– Faith Njahîra Wangari

“To work on issues around disability injustice globally, we have to allow people with disabilities to make decision around issues that affect them, what is the kind of resource we need and to what particular issue do we want to apply those resources?”

– Fredrick Ouko

“Most of the wealth that sits in the UK ,in the USA and in Europe was taken violently and unfairly through the process of colonisation, therefore the process of giving it back through aid is not an act of generosity of benevolence, it’s an act of justice and doing the right thing.”

– Sabina Basi

Watch the full recording of the session below.