> Posted by Jon Pattee
Today, the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities, is a time for those of us in the microfinance industry to reflect on this question: How can MFIs and disability organizations boost access to financial services for poor people with disabilities worldwide?
The question is in step with the day’s aim of promoting a better understanding of disability issues, with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities and gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities.
Experts on disability rights and microfinance analysts tackled this question at a roundtable earlier this year in Washington, DC. The event was convened by the Center for Financial Inclusion and the Disability and Development Team of the World Bank.
The roundtable was covered in Gregory Doucet’s newsletter of Microfinance for All, an “informal alliance of microfinance actors and organizations for the disability sector willing to collaborate in order to develop access to mainstream microfinance services for persons with disabilities.”
The Center for Financial Inclusion recently released a paper exploring many of the issues discussed in the roundtable. “A New Financial Access Frontier: People with Disabilities” can be downloaded here.