A while ago, I went to the cinema and while I can’t even remember which movie I saw, I keep thinking about this spot, running in the pre-programme - Quite at random, in between spots for energy drinks, ice cream and a couple of yellow creatures telling you to switch of your phone.

The spot achieved what the yellow guys didn’t – silence. At least for a moment.

I just came back from the field and working on health related questions it is quite obvious that you know and meet people with disabilities and families or parents with a disabled child. Mostly those children are at home with their mothers – the idea of inclusive schools or inclusion more broadly is something that still seems far away. With all these impressions, a question keeps coming back to me: What do we know about the economic lives of persons with disabilities or their families?

Allegedly 80% of the people with disabilities are living in developing countries. I am saying allegedly, because we don’t really know. The number seems to have been flying around since 2006 in light of the discussion on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Consequently, the WHO picked it up in its 2006-2007 Call for resource mobilisation promoting access to health care services for persons with disabilities. And at the Disability Data Conference in London in 2014, urging for better data collection on people with disabilities in developing countries, the number is still standing (see last paragraph here).

It seems to me that since 2006 or even more recent since 2014 not much has happened – neither when it comes to data collection nor to access to health care and inclusion of persons with disabilities more generally. Trying to better understand the economic conditions of persons with disabilities would be a first step. So, I guess it is time for some “encounters” and devoting more time to understanding the circumstances of persons with disabilities.

list of all posts