People with disabilities face a series of obstacles that hinder their access to health, education, employment, transportation, information and other services considered basic. As a result, they have poorer health and academic outcomes, lower economic participation, and higher poverty rates than people without disabilities. These difficulties are exacerbated in less favored communities, as indicated in the World Disability Report published by the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

To address this situation, the Department of Social Inclusion, as the area responsible for promoting the rights agenda of people with disabilities at the hemispheric level, works hand in hand with national government authorities, representatives of international organizations, academic institutions, entities of the private business sector and civil society organizations with the aim of changing conditions and guaranteeing the exercise of rights of people with disabilities.

This, specifically, means disseminating regulatory frameworks on the rights of people with disabilities; share successful inclusion experiences; enter into cooperation agreements; evaluate the progress and difficulties registered in the region; participate in awareness or rights promotion events; provide technical assistance, and serve as a forum for political dialogue for negotiation and search for solutions between key actors.

  • Mainstream the disability perspective in OAS programs and activities.
  • Promote the rights of people with disabilities at the hemispheric level and accompany efforts to eliminate the discrimination they face.
  • Make the situation of people with disabilities visible at the hemispheric level to encourage the adoption of public policies, programs and legislation that eliminate accessibility, legislative, attitudinal and any other barriers that affect people with disabilities.
  • Strengthen the capacities of Member States and civil society organizations for the implementation of projects that promote the full exercise of the rights of people with disabilities.
  • Monitoring of the main regulatory instruments of the Inter-American System on people with disabilities:

a. Inter-American Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (CIADDIS).

b. Action Program for the Decade of the Americas for the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (PAD).

  • Implementation of activities and projects to strengthen capacities regarding inclusion in the Member States:

a. Program for the Promotion of Inclusive Education in the Americas OAS-ORITEL

b. Digital Diploma in leadership in social inclusion and access to rights.

  • Establishment of institutional alliances for the generation of activities and projects that contribute to the social inclusion of people with disabilities.
  • Establishment of cooperative relationships with external organizations and other departments of the organization.
  • Promotion of cooperation links with civil society.
  • Technical support to the Member States of the OAS (Group of Countries Friendly to Persons with Disabilities).
More Publications
February, 2016
Equity and social inclusion: Overcoming inequalities towards more inclusive societies
Available only in Spanish
February, 2021
Care for People with Disabilities in the Americas in the Framework of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Available only in Spanish
February, 2024
Practical Guide for the Establishment of Support for the Exercise of the Legal Capacity of Persons with Disabilities
May, 2021
Digital Accessibility in the Era of COVID-19 and its Effects in the Americas
Available only in Spanish
May, 2015
Regional diagnosis on the exercise of legal capacity of people with disabilities
Available only in Spanish
May, 2021
Compendium of legal frameworks of 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on the rights of people with disabilities
Available only in Spanish
Mercedes Carrillo
Legal Officer