Disability and displacement

FMR 35
July 2010

It is not common practice to include people with disabilities among those who are considered as particularly vulnerable in disasters and displacement and who therefore require targeted response – yet statistics tell us that up to 10% of all displaced people will have a disability.

The 27 feature theme articles in this issue of FMR show why disabled people who are displaced need particular consideration and highlight some of the initiatives taken (locally and at the global level) to change thinking and practices so that their vulnerability is recognised, their voices heard – and responses made inclusive.

This issue also contains a mini-feature on Brazil and five general articles. It will be published in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, and the mini-feature on Brazil is also available in Portuguese (thanks to UNHCR Brazil).

Reading and download options

In producing FMR 35 we have been challenged to make FMR more accessible to those with visual disabilities. All articles in FMR 35 are available online in PDF and Word format and as audio files, with links to software to aid accessibility. See download options above. If you wish to view or download pdfs of individual articles, go to ‘contents list’.

We encourage you to circulate or reproduce any articles in their entirety but please cite ‘Forced Migration Review issue 35 http://www.fmreview.org/disability/

Printed copies of FMR are free of charge. If you would like to receive a print copy for your organisation, or multiple copies for distribution to partners and policy/decision-makers or for use at conferences/workshops, please contact the Editors at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk. We will need your full postal address and details about how many copies (in which language/s) you require.

While we want to share the contents of this issue as widely as possible, we ask you to think carefully about how many print copies you need; please remember that it is available online, that print copies can be shared, and that printing and postage use up more resources than purely money. 

We would like to thank the following donors for providing funding specifically for this issue: CBM, the Commonwealth Foundation, Generalitat Valenciana/Consellería de Educación, Handicap International, the InterAgency Network for Education in Emergencies, and Sightsavers. We would also like to thank the ABILIS Foundation for their support.

Disability language:
Some people talk of ‘people with disabilities’ or ‘people living with disabilities’, while others argue for the term ‘disabled people’ to reflect the disabling impact of society’s attitudes. We did a lot of research, talking and thinking about this before preparing this issue of FMR and in the end we decided to allow authors to use the terminology they themselves prefer. We sincerely hope that this does not cause offence to any of our readers.

Front cover:
We wanted to express two main ideas with our front cover. Firstly, disabilities, and people with disabilities, come in all shapes and forms, just as all people do. And secondly, disabled people are often invisible among communities of refugees or IDPs, because their disability may not itself be visible and/or because their needs and rights are overlooked.