World Vision International

Disability Inclusive WASH

Disability inclusive WASH is water, sanitation and hygiene that is available, affordable, dignified and accessible to people with disabilities. 

Watch this video about Julius, a boy with a disability whose life is transformed by having an accessible toilet at school.

World Vision is committed to pursuing the "sustained well-being of children within families and communites, especially the most vulerable." People with disabilities represent some of the most vulnerable in communities because of social stigma, inaccessibility, marginalisation and discrimination. Because World Vision often begins its work in communities with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH projects), World Vision recognizes that WASH projects must be disability inclusive to:

  • achieve the basic human right to water and sanitation
  • reach the most vulnerable 
  • set the tone for inclusion in other community-based projects to increase access


World Vision defines disability as the result of the limitations imposed on people with impairments by attitudinal, institutional, and environmental barriers to their participation in society. Approximately 15% of people on the planet have some kind of disability, making people with disabilities the largest minority group on the planet. 

Why inclusion is important...

  • Inaccessible WASH at school is a major contributing factor in why children with disabilities drop out of school. Children with disabilities, especially girls, are often unable to attend school because they do not have access to a toliet which makes it impoosible to make it through a full day of school
  • Access to WASH provides opportunities for employment and self-sufficiency for people with disabilities
  • Inaccessible WASH at home may mean the child is not able to care for his/her hygiene and is unlikely to be welcome by peers or participate in school