“Giving Disability a Voice: Empowering the Disability Rights Movement in Armenia” | Mission East

“Giving Disability a Voice: Empowering the Disability Rights Movement in Armenia”

Project Status: 

Project Aims:

Development Objective: To strengthen the disability rights movement in Armenia in order to promote equal rights and equal opportunities for people with disabilities in independent living, employment, education and freedom to make their own choices.

Project Objective1: The Disability Advocacy Coalition (DAC) becomes a strong platform for Armenian Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) through increased representation and improved institutional and programmatic capacities.

Project Objective 2: The DAC umbrella is recognized as a national platform of disability organizations with DPO’s taking leadership, and voicing the needs, concerns and rights of people with disabilities at all levels of decision making and social life.

Project Background:

Since Armenian independence in 1991 the context of civil society changed radically when non-governmental organizations (NGO) began to develop. A large number of Armenian NGOs were founded to serve as a response to society’s needs, including targeting people with disabilities (PWD). In 2011 the “Disability Advocacy Coalition”(DAC), was established gathering 22 disability NGOs to join their efforts to raise the voices of PWD in the society and at decision making levels. Among the active disability organizations in Armenia, the majority are organizations for PWD and only a minority are true Disability People’s Organisations (DPOs) ,i.e. organisations led by PWD themselves.

Many of these DPOs established in the last 6-8 years, are lacking experience in running their organizations and leading advocacy efforts, and thus remain weak and underdeveloped, or often relying on the skills of very few individuals within the organisation (mainly those without disability).This project will strengthen the Armenian disability movement to promote equal rights and opportunities for people living with different forms of disabilities in all parts of the country. This will be done through enhancing the institutional and programmatic capacities of the DAC Coaltion and of its 22 members. The project also will support the increased representation of Armenian DPO's in DAC, making the Coalition a powerful platform for voicing the needs, concerns and rights of PWD at all levels of decision making and social life in Armenia.

Project Action:

Key outputs planned for this project: DAC closes existing gaps within the disability movement by enhanced representation of PWDs from most marginalized groups and remote areas by supporting their self-organization in DPOs and membership to DAC; Seven new DAC member DPO’s have improved institutional and programmatic capacities with their own strategic plan, financial resources and fully functioning offices; All 16 DPO’s in DAC are empowered to advocate for disability rights in their communities/ Marzes; DAC has become the umbrella organization for DPOs and disability NGO’s leading national advocacy and international cooperation.; DAC has become the main platform for Armenian disability organizations to lobby on UN CRPD implementation at all levels of decision making.



Civil Society in Development

Project Code:



Yerevan, Lori (Spitak),Aragatsotn, Ararat and Armavir Marzes , Armenia