Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union


The Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union was founded in 1981 as a non-sectarian, non-governmental organization aimed at promoting the inclusion of the disabled in the economic, social and political life. The Union, which was built by and for people with physical disabilities, includes 1200 members and thousands of advocates and friends, and operates through 9 centers distributed across Lebanon in order to mainstream the isolated and marginalized handicapped, lobby for their rights, and support them to lead full and independent lives.

Scope of work

The Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union addresses two main objectives:

  • Lobbying and advocacy: the Union’s full-scale lobbying efforts aim at raising awareness and mobilizing the community on the rights of the handicapped. The Union urges the Lebanese government to pass legislation in favor of the handicapped and to display earnest effort in implementing Act 200 issued on May 29, 2000; and coordinates disability-related policies and programs with the relevant ministries (Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Social Affairs…) as a key step to foster the status of the disabled in Lebanon and to create an obstacle-free environment.
  • Social development programs: the Union assigns special attention to programs and initiatives that focus on the physical rehabilitation of the disabled and widen their access to education and labor opportunities. Efforts are also directed to include them in the decision making process and to facilitate their participation in the civil and political life without discrimination or repression.

Activities and campaigns

Below are some of the numerous activities and campaigns initiated by the LPHU with the hope of spreading the idea that all people and institutions should freely, openly and without pity accommodate any disabled person without restrictions or limitations.

Inclusive academic and vocational education

The LPHU believes that the Lebanese education policies need to create disability-friendly schools. Wheelchair-bound students must exercise their right to enroll in mainstream schools and enjoy the same equal opportunities as the non-disabled children do. Mainstream academic schools can create new incentives for teachers to adopt child-centered teaching methods, and thereby enhance educational quality and equip the disabled with the skills that they need in the labor market. The Union also strives to find empowering mechanisms for applying inclusion of disability in the general directorate of occupational and technical education.


Along with its diverse activities, the LPHU publishes a quarterly magazine called Waw that acts as a connection between people with disability and civil society.

Waw was awarded the first prize by UNESCO in 2005, for being the magazine that truly advocates for human rights in the region, since it reflects the real needs of people with disability.

Unlocking Potential Job Opportunities for people with disability in Lebanon

In 2004, the LPHU started an awareness campaign aiming at opening job opportunities for people with disability. The core part of the campaign is the creation of a job center to act as a facilitator for job seekers with disability, so as to establish a real and concrete help-desk for matching job offers with demands from the private sector. The Union used to hold job fairs for the disabled job seekers and to organize meetings and sessions with employers from different sectors of disability and ability to work.

Build for all

After the July war, reconstruction processes began in the war-stricken areas across Lebanon.
Since Law 220/2000 states that no building shall be erected without considering accessibility measures, LPHU launched “Build for All” campaign to promote inclusive development and advocate for building disability friendly environment and infrastructure.

My Right campaign

My Right campaign was also launched to serve the Union’s primary objective: full and comprehensive integration within the community. This campaign pushes for the right of the handicapped to run and vote in parliamentary and municipal elections. The LPHU believes that the polling stations must have parking lots, entrances, corridors, wheelchair ramps, elevators, toilets and voting halls big enough to install curtained booths to ensure privacy and ensure “accessibility for people with special needs during the voting process.”

It is time to stop reinforcing the negative attitudes towards people with disabilities and to embrace and accept them as active members of society, instead of making them feel stereotyped, underprivileged and shunned. 

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