What We Do

Our Disability Work

Leprosy is the leading cause of preventable disability in the world, and yet disability is not an inevitable consequence of leprosy. That’s why The Leprosy Mission is committed to seeing zero disability as a result of the disease.

Following the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) , disability is increasingly understood as a human rights issue. It is also an important development issue because it often hinders access to basic provisions.

Our Approach

We are working with people living with disabilities, and with other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to break down barriers, providing:

Specific, practical responses – such as providing specific activities like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, eye care and surgery.

Influencing, or ‘mainstreaming’ work - identifying and overcoming the barriers in society that people with leprosy and disabilities face, such as physical accessibility, communication, negative attitudes that lead to social exclusion, and discriminatory legislation.

Our disability-focused work includes:

Physical Rehabilitation

Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, surgery, and the provision of appliances like crutches, wheelchairs, and prostheses for people with mobility problems.

Livelihoods training and vocational training

Both in The Leprosy Mission’s own centres and by enabling disabled people to access livelihood programmes in their communities.

Community-based rehabilitation

Ensuring that people with disabilities are included in the development that is going on in communities


Of people with disabilities to give them skills to break down barriers and stand up for their rights; and of governments and other organisations to ensure they include disabled people in their programmes.


To understand the barriers that disabled people face and the things that facilitate their access to services, in partnership with people with disabilities themselves, as well as with universities around the world


At local, national, and global level, for the rights of people with disabilities. Our global advocacy includes joint action with our partners

Our Advocacy Partners:

  • International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC)
  • International Disability Alliance 
  • Disabled Peoples' International 
  • International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP) 

 Find out more about The Leprosy Mission’s international disability rights advocacy

See All Projects Relating to Disability