Social protection initiatives aim to provide a safety net to protect people from extreme poverty arising from loss or lack of income through illness, old age or disability. Persons with disabilities generally experience greater barriers to work opportunities, and are at higher risk of poverty, so their inclusion in social protection programs is very important.
Social protection initiatives can include country level poverty reduction schemes targeting vulnerable groups in general - such as cash transfers, health insurance, or free transport - and specific or targeted measures, such as disability benefits.
Community level social protection mechanisms can include support provided by community based organisations, self-help groups or Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs).
Implementation of social protection initiatives optimally occurs alongside other efforts which support economic and social inclusion, such as disability inclusive legislation, inclusive education systems and development of an accessible built environment.
Resources below explore disability inclusive social protection theory and practice, considering the various formal and informal mechanisms through which social protection support can be provided, and its challenges.
See also: Participation of persons with disabilities.