What we do

People with disabilities in developing countries face enormous challenges including stigma, violence, and profoundly diminished access to physical and mental health care, food, education and assistive devices. Together these mean that people with disabilities commonly live in extreme poverty. And people living in poor communities are more likely to have or to acquire a disability.

At CBM, we have more than 115 years’ experience developing proven community-based programs that help millions of people with disabilities benefit from real and lasting change.

80% of people with disabilities live in poverty

A child with her blind grandmother.

What is the cycle of poverty and disability?

Poverty and disability go hand-in-hand, making people with disabilities some of the poorest in the world. As disability inclusion advocates, our aim is to ensure we empower and support those most in need living in situations of vulnerability. A combination of people’s attitudes, poor legislation and a physically-limiting environment can also stop people with disabilities from having the same opportunities as everyone else. This is a human rights issue. And one we cannot ignore. 

Health care and rehabilitation

CBM works with local partners to prevent and treat avoidable causes of blindness such as cataract, river blindness and trachoma, and treat conditions like clubfoot to avoid permanent impairment.

Equality and opportunity

Our work opens the door for people with disabilities to gain an education, open a business, earn a living, make friends and be part of their community, often for the first time in their lives.

Influencing and advocacy

Positive societal change happens when people with disabilities are free from unfair obstacles. This means changing attitudes and beliefs, as well as physical environments, systems and policies.

Join CBM Australia to Build a Better World for All

How we work

CBM’s proven approach means we work with partners to amplify our impact, creating a ripple effect that extends the reach of our message far beyond what would be possible on our own. Our partnerships exist at both a grassroots and strategic level so that we can be a catalyst for making immediate and lasting change possible. This includes:

Our field programs

We partner with local community organisations, NGOs, and governments*, bringing the best possible combination of CBM’s international resources together with deeply relevant local knowledge, relationships and influence.

Inclusion Advisory Group

We partner with the disability movement to influence governments, organisations and institutions, and we provide proven and trusted technical advice with quality-assurance mechanisms to ensure rights-based, disability inclusive development. 

Our advocacy

CBM Australia is well placed to leverage our evidence base and technical expertise to influence key decision makers in government and the development sector to ensure Australia leads the way in disability inclusion being a strong focus of the Australian aid program.

Global alliance

CBM Australia, part of CBM Global Disability Inclusion works in partnership with the disability movement. This and our wider partnership approach is key to achieving our mission. We believe that cooperation and collaboration are crucial to achieving our impact and your charitable donations form the foundation to help us continue to advocate for disability inclusive activities ensuring long-term funding for those most in need. 

*CBM Australia is accredited by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), responsible for managing the Australian Government’s aid program. CBM Australia receives support through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) for 28 field projects.