Other Group

Inclusion International




London, England




Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)


Sue Swenson

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Inclusion International is a left-of-center nongovernmental organization and a London-based charity focused on the welfare of individuals with mental disabilities. Inclusion International is an accredited non-governmental organization in the United Nations and participates in UN sessions regarding the intellectually disabled. 1

Inclusion International has directed a significant portion of its strategy towards involvement with the United Nations and it has also built a network among its dues-paying member individuals and organizations. In 2022, Inclusion International announced that it was undergoing a strategy review. 2


Inclusion International was founded as the International League of Societies for Persons with Mental Handicap (ILSMH) in 1960. 3 In 1994, the ILSMH changed its name to Inclusion International. As of 2022, Inclusion International operates in 115 countries throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific regions. 4

Issue Areas

Inclusion International has “demand[ed] that all boys and girls . . . are included in the same classroom as other children.” The policy included stipulations that any whole class curriculum is taught for the lowest common denominator. The organization also demanded that “students are taught to support one another rather than compete against one another.” 5

Inclusion International has “demand[ed] that all institutions are closed and that no institutional type settings are built again.” Institutions are defined by the organization to include hospitals, residential care, and small group homes. 6

Inclusion International has advocated for “sexual and reproductive rights” globally based on its interpretation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 7

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Inclusion International advocated for using the emergency to implement government-led “building back better” projects. 8

American Activities

Inclusion International has offered membership to issue-aligned organizations around the world that would apply and pay dues. 9 In the United States, organizational members of Inclusion International include the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), Keystone Human Services, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), The Arc of the USA, Therap Services, and YAI. 10


According to the organization’s 2021 annual report, Inclusion International received more than $1.2 million in total income. The report concludes that a large portion of its income is from membership dues, but that it also receives a regular inflow of restricted grants from larger left-of-center nonprofit organizations. 11 In 2021, Inclusion International received six-figure donations from the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Wellspring. The report also concluded that the organization had secured funding from Open Society to June 2023. 12


Since 2018 and as of 2022, Sue Swenson has served as the volunteer president of Inclusion International. 13 Swenson has worked in both non-profit and federal government roles to implement public policies related to individuals with disabilities. Swenson self-reported that she has worked for the Biden administration. 14

In 1996, Swenson served as a Kennedy Public Policy Fellow on the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy. She also served from 1998 to 2001 as a Commissioner for the Administration on Developmental Disabilities at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From 2010 to 2017, Swenson served as a Deputy and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education. 15


  1. “List of Non-Governmental Organization Accredited to the Conference of States Parties Enable.” United Nations. https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/conference-of-states-parties-to-the-convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-2/list-of-non-governmental-organization-accredited-to-the-conference-of-states-parties.html.
  2. “Strategic Plan.” Inclusion International. Feb. 6, 2022. https://inclusion-international.org/about-us/our-strategic-plan/.
  3. “Story.” Inclusion International. Feb. 25, 2022. https://inclusion-international.org/about-us/our-story/.
  4. “Story.” Inclusion International. Feb. 25, 2022. https://inclusion-international.org/about-us/our-story/.
  5. “Inclusive Education.” Inclusion International. Feb. 11, 2022. https://inclusion-international.org/key-issue/inclusive-education/.
  6. “Closing Institutions.” Inclusion International, 11 Feb. 2022. https://inclusion-international.org/key-issue/closing-institutions/.
  7. “Ending Discrimination.” Inclusion International. Feb. 11, 2022. https://inclusion-international.org/key-issue/ending-discrimination/.
  8. “Covid-19 Recovery.” Inclusion International. Feb. 11, 2022. https://inclusion-international.org/key-issue/covid-19/.
  9. “Join Our Network.” Inclusion International. Feb. 22, 2022. https://inclusion-international.org/our-members/join-our-network/.
  10. “Member Listing.” Inclusion International. Jan. 13, 2022. https://inclusion-international.org/our-members/full-member-listing/?biro-region=21#biro-filters.
  11. “2021 Inclusion International Finance Report.” Inclusion International. . 2021https://s38312.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2021-Inclusion-International-signed-accounts-1.pdf.
  12. [1] “2021 Inclusion International Finance Report.” Inclusion International. . 2021https://s38312.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2021-Inclusion-International-signed-accounts-1.pdf/
  13. “Sue Swenson.” LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sue-swenson-0365124.
  14. “Sue Swenson.” Inclusion International. Feb. 11, 2022, https://inclusion-international.org/person/sue-swenson/.
  15. “Sue Swenson.” LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sue-swenson-0365124.
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