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Learning from experience: Guidelines for locally sourced and cost-effective strategies to modify existing household toilets and water access

WORLD VISION
CBM Australia
2018

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This learning resource is the result of a partnership between World Vision Australia and CBM Australia that aims to improve inclusion of people with disabilities in World Vision’s Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) initiatives, including in Sri Lanka. The guidelines are based on experiences and observations from World Vision’s implementation of the Rural Integrated WASH 3 (RIWASH 3) project in Jaffna District, Northern Province, funded by the Australian Government’s Civil Society WASH Fund 2. The four year project commenced in 2014. It aimed to improve the ability of WASH actors to sustain services, increase adoption of improved hygiene practices, and increase equitable use of water and sanitation facilities of target communities within 11 Grama Niladari Divisions (GNDs) in Jaffna District.

To support disability inclusion within the project, World Vision partnered with CBM Australia. CBM Australia has focused on building capacities of partners for disability
inclusion, fostering connections with local Disabled People’s Organisations, and providing technical guidance on disability inclusion within planned activities. World Vision also partnered with the Northern Province Consortium of the Organizations for the Differently Abled (NPCODA) for disability assessment, technical support and capacity building on inclusion of people with disabilities in the project.

HOME MODIFICATIONS FOR WASH ACCESS
This document is one of two developed in the Jaffna District and describes the strategies which were used to assist people with disabilities to access toilet and water facilities at their own home. The strategies were designed to be low cost and were developed using locally available materials and skills in the Jaffna District of Sri Lanka. Houses and toilet structures in the region were made of brick and concrete. No new toilets were built and modifications involved only minor work to existing household structures, water points and toilets.

NOTE:
The development of this learning resource was funded by the Australian Government's Civil Society WASH Fund 2.

Wheelchair Service Provision Course

LOWE, Rachel
RAU, Barbara
2018

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This MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) aims to provide a basic theoretical understanding of wheelchair mobility and to develop an understanding of the theoretical principles, skills and knowledge underlying the management skills and knowledge in the management of wheelchair service delivery.  Starting on 3 September 2018 and lasting for 4 weeks, it will involve around 4-6 hours of work each week (depending on your learning style)

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy professionals, clinicians, students and assistants. It will introduce the role of the wheelchair in mobility, explore assessment and the roles of the multidisciplinary team in wheelchair service delivery, as well as provide a theoretical understanding of management techniques and related clinical considerations. It will not teach practical skills or lead to any clinical qualification. 

 

African Journal of Disability Vol 7 (2018)

2018

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This journal provides

  • Nineteen original research articles on a variety of topics including the cost of raising a child with autism, experiences of care givers to stroke survivors, dyslexic's learning experiences, communication rehabilitation, disability and food security, hearing children of deaf parents and rehabilitation of stroke survivors, disability policy, learning for deaf learners, aquatic based interventions for children with cerebral palsy, evaluation of community based rehabilitation programmes, the impact of stroke and barriers to the implementation of inclusive education.
  • Seven review articles: Intellectual disability rights and inclusive citizenship in South Africa: What can a scoping review tell us?; The benefits of hydrotherapy to patients with spinal cord injuries; Simple ideas that work: Celebrating development in persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities; The relationship between social support and participation in stroke: A systematic review; Parents of children with disabilities: A systematic review of parenting interventions and self-efficacy; Implementation of the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Zimbabwe: A review; Part 1: A review of using photovoice as a disability research method: Implications for eliciting the experiences of persons with disabilities on the Community Based Rehabilitation programme in Namibia
  • There is an opinion paper entitled - Deafening silence on a vital issue: The World Health Organization has ignored the sexuality of persons with disabilities
  •  There is a case study - Lessons from the pilot of a mobile application to map assistive technology suppliers in Africa

Fully accessible guide to flying with disabilities

2018

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A table is provided of the top 15 US airports giving notes on restrooms, pet relief areas, parking for people with disabilities and wheelchair services. Advantages of the use of specific credits cards by disabled people when travelling by plane in the USA are highlighted.

Hearing aid systems in low-resource settings (Community Ear & Hearing Health, vol.15, no.19, 2018)

RICARD, Paddy
Ed
2018

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Articles in this issue are:

  • Hearing aid systems in low-resource settings
  • How hearing aids work and how to take care of them
  • The impact of hearing aid use in low and middle-income countries
  • Barriers to the use of hearing aid systems in low-and middle-income countries
  • Beyond devices: what to consider when providing hearing aids in LMICs
  • Improving access to hearing care and hearing rehabilitation in the Philippines
     

Wheelchair considerations: Amputees, stroke or spinal cord injury

MOTIVATION AUSTRALIA
2018

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Three factsheets highlighting four key considerations when providing wheelchairs for people who have had either a single or double lower limb amputation or a spinal cord injury or a stroke. The key considerations are pressure risk; wheelchair set up; postural support; and client education

Wheelchair service provision education and training in low and lower middle income countries: a scoping review

McSweeney, Elizabeth
GOWRAN, Rosemary Joan
November 2017

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This review considers education and training available to personnel who provide wheelchair and seating assistive technology to meet personal posture and mobility requirements within low and lower middle income countries (LLMIC), to ascertain where gaps in knowledge exist and identify human resource education priorities. A scoping review, mapping out existing scientific and grey literature within the field between 1993 and 2017 was conducted.

https://doi.org/10.1080/17483107.2017.1392621

Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Volume 14, 2019 - Issue 1

The 8 steps + : The role of community development organizations in providing holistic wheelchair services

ACCELERATING CORE COMPETANCIES FOR EFFECTIVE WHEELCHAIR SERVICE AND SUPPORT (ACCESS) PROJECT
October 2017

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This report suggests a “twin-track” approach based on the World Health Organization’s Guidelines on the Provision of Manual Wheelchairs in Less Resourced Settings, an eight-step process, and dedicated disability inclusion programming, the “plus.” By following this 8 Steps+ approach, community development organizations can provide appropriate wheelchairs and empower their constituencies to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms.  

New sign language new(S): the globalization of sign language in the smartphone era

TANNENBAUM-BARUCHI, Caroline
FEDER-BUBIS, Paula
October 2017

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"Languages are dynamic and change over the years. Changes in sign languages have been usually initiated to accommodate the needs of the local Deaf community. With the increase in smartphone use, sign languages are influenced not only by the local Deaf community, but also by foreign Deaf people on the other side of the screen, regardless of their location. Smartphones influence the sign language itself and the Deaf community by connecting different communities of Deaf people through messages, shared information and experiences, and news delivery. The popularity of this technology among Deaf communities is a social phenomenon emerging from Deaf people themselves. Smartphones may promote the globalization of sign language, shortening distances between Deaf communities around the world"

Disability & Society, Volume 33, 2018 - Issue 2

Wheelchair services and use outcomes: A cross-sectional survey in Kenya and the Philippines

BAZANT, Eva S.
HURWITZ, Elizabeth J. Himelfarb
ONGUTI, Brenda N.
WILLIAMS, Emma K.
NOON, Jamie H.
XAVIER, Cheryl A.
GARCIA, Ferdiliza D.S.
GICHANGI, Anthony
GABBOW, Mohammed
MUSAKHI, Peter
KIRBY, R. Lee
2017

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Background: The World Health Organisation recommends that services accompany wheelchair distribution. This study examined the relationship of wheelchair service provision in Kenya and the Philippines and wheelchair-use–related outcomes.


Method: We surveyed 852 adult basic manual wheelchair users. Participants who had received services and those who had not were sought in equal numbers from wheelchair-distribution entities. Outcomes assessed were daily wheelchair use, falls, unassisted outdoor use and performance of activities of daily living (ADL). Descriptive, bivariate and multivariable regression model results are presented.


Results: Conditions that led to the need for a basic wheelchair were mainly spinal cord injury, polio/post-polio, and congenital conditions. Most Kenyans reported high daily wheelchair use (60%) and ADL performance (80%), while these practices were less frequent in the Philippine sample (42% and 74%, respectively). Having the wheelchair fit assessed while the user propelled the wheelchair was associated with greater odds of high ADL performance in Kenya (odds ratio [OR] 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6, 5.1) and the Philippines (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.8, 4.5). Wheelchair-related training was associated with high ADL performance in Kenya (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.3, 8.4). In the Philippines, training was associated with greater odds of high versus no daily wheelchair use but also odds of serious versus no falls (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4, 4.5).


Conclusion: Select services that were associated with some better wheelchair use outcomes and should be emphasised in service delivery. Service providers should be aware that increased mobility may lead to serious falls.
 

Developing product quality standards for wheelchairs used in less-resourced environments

MHATRE, Anand
MARTIN, Daniel
MCCAMBRIDGE, Matt
REESE, Norman
SULLIVAN, Mark
SCHOENDORFER, Don
WUNDERLICH, Eric
RUSHMAN, Chris
MAHILO, Dave
PEARLMAN, Jon
2017

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Background: Premature failures of wheelchairs in less-resourced environments (LREs) may be because of shortcomings in product regulation and quality standards. The standards published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) specify wheelchair tests for durability, safety and performance, but their applicability to products used in the rugged conditions of LREs is unclear. Because of this, wheelchair-related guidelines published by the World Health Organization recommended developing more rigorous durability tests for wheelchairs.


Objectives: This study was performed to identify the additional tests needed for LREs.


Methods: First, a literature review of the development of ISO test standards, wheelchair standards testing studies and wheelchair evaluations in LREs was performed. Second, expert advice from members of the Standards Working Group of the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP) was compiled and reviewed.


Results: A total of 35 articles were included in the literature review. Participation from LREs was not observed in the ISO standards development. As per wheelchair testing study evidence, wheelchair models delivered in LREs did not meet the minimum standards requirement. Multiple part failures and repairs were observed with reviewed field evaluation studies. ISWP experts noted that several testing factors responsible for premature failures with wheelchair parts are not included in the standards and accordingly provided advice for additional test development.


Conclusion: The study findings indicate the need to develop a wide range of tests, with specific tests for measuring corrosion resistance of the entire wheelchair, rolling resistance of castors and rear wheels, and durability of whole wheelchair and castor assemblies.

Test–retest reliability and construct validity of the Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test as a measure of the mobility of wheelchair users

RISPIN, Karen L.
HUFF, Kara
WEE, Joy
2017

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Background: The Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test (AWMT) was developed for use in a repeated measures format to provide comparative effectiveness data on mobility facilitated by different wheelchair types. It has been used in preliminary studies to compare the mobility of wheelchairs designed for low-resource areas and is intended to be simple and flexible enough so as to be used in low-technology settings. However, to reliably compare the impact of different types of wheelchairs on the mobility of users, a measure must first be a reliable and valid measure of mobility.


Methods: This study investigated the test–retest reliability and concurrent validity for the AWMT 2.0 as a measure of mobility. For reliability testing, participants in a low-resource setting completed the tests twice in their own wheelchairs at least one week apart. For concurrent validity, participants also completed the Wheelchair Skills Test Questionnaire (WST-Q), a related but not identical validated assessment tool.


Results: Concurrent validity was indicated by a significant positive correlation with an r value of 0.7 between the WST-Q capacity score and the AWMT 2.0 score. Test–retest reliability was confirmed by an intraclass correlation coefficient greater than 0.7 between the two trials.


Conclusion: Results support the preliminary reliability and validity of the AWMT 2.0, supporting its effectiveness in comparing the mobility provided by different wheelchair types. This information can be used to enable effective use of limited funds for wheelchair selection at individual and organisational scales.

Discriminatory validity of the Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test as demonstrated by a comparison of four wheelchair types designed for use in low-resource areas

RISPIN, Karen L.
HAMM, Elisa
WEE, Joy
2017

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Background: Comparative effectiveness research on wheelchairs available in low-resource areas is needed to enable effective use of limited funds. Mobility on commonly encountered rolling environments is a key aspect of function. High variation in capacity among wheelchair users can mask changes in mobility because of wheelchair design. A repeated measures protocol in which the participants use one type of wheelchair and then another minimises the impact of individual variation.


Objectives: The Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test (AWMT) was designed to be used in repeated measures studies in low-resource areas. It measures the impact of different wheelchair types on physical performance in commonly encountered rolling environments and provides an opportunity for qualitative and quantitative participant response. This study sought to confirm the ability of the AWMT to discern differences in mobility because of wheelchair design.


Method: Participants were wheelchair users at a boarding school for students with disabilities in a low-resource area. Each participant completed timed tests on measured tracks on rough and smooth surfaces, in tight spaces and over curbs. Four types of wheelchairs designed for use in low-resource areas were included.


Results: The protocol demonstrated the ability to discriminate changes in mobility of individuals because of wheelchair type.
Conclusion: Comparative effectiveness studies with this protocol can enable beneficial change. This is illustrated by design alterations by wheelchair manufacturers in response to results.
 

The health benefits and constraints of exercise therapy for wheelchair users: A clinical commentary

ELLAPEN, Terry J.
HAMMILL, Henriëtte V.
SWANEPOEL, Mariëtte
STRYDOM, Gert L.
2017

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Background: There are approximately 1 billion people living with chronic lower limb disability, many of whom are wheelchair users.


Objectives: Review cardiometabolic and neuromuscular risk profiles of wheelchair users, benefits of regular exercise and the causes of neuromuscular upper limb and hip injuries that hinder regular adherence.


Method: Literature published between 2013 and 2017 was adopted according to the standard practices for systematic reviews (PRISMA) through Crossref Metadata and Google Scholar searches. Individual paper quality was evaluated using a modified Downs and Black Appraisal Scale.


Results: The literature search identified 16 600 papers which were excluded if they were non-English, non-peer-reviewed or published before 2013. Finally, 25 papers were accepted, indicating that sedentary wheelchair users have poor cardiometabolic risk profiles (PCMRP) because of a lack of physical activity, limiting their quality of life, characterised by low self-esteem, social isolation and depression. Their predominant mode of physical activity is through upper limb exercises, which not only improves their cardiometabolic risk profiles but also precipitates neuromuscular upper limb overuse injuries. The primary cause of upper limb injuries was attributed to poor wheelchair propulsion related to incorrect chair setup and poor cardiorespiratory fitness.

 

Conclusion: Wheelchair users have a high body mass index, body fat percentage and serum lipid, cholesterol and blood glucose concentrations. Empirical investigations illustrate exercise improves their PCMRP and cardiorespiratory fitness levels. Although literature encourages regular exercise, none discusses the need to individualise chair setup in order to eliminate wheelchair pathomechanics and upper limb neuromuscular injuries. Wheelchair users must be encouraged to consult a biokineticist or physiotherapist to review their wheelchair setup so as to eliminate possible incorrect manual wheelchair propulsion biomechanics and consequent overuse injuries.

Wheelchair service provision education in academia

FUNG, Karen H.
RUSHTON, Paula W.
GARTZ, Rachel
GOLDBERG, Mary
TORO, Maria L.
SEYMOUR, Nicky
PEARLMAN, Jonathan
2017

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Background: An estimated 70 million people with disabilities need wheelchairs. To address this global crisis, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed an eight-step wheelchair service provision model to ensure service quality regardless of resource setting. The International Society of Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP) aims to facilitate the integration of the WHO eight-step model into professional rehabilitation programmes.


Objective: To develop an enhanced understanding of the current wheelchair service provision education provided in professional rehabilitation programmes worldwide.


Methods: In a cross-sectional design, an online survey was distributed to ISWP contacts of educational institutions. Quantitative responses were analysed through summary statistics and qualitative answers were analysed by content analyses. When relevant, educational institutions were stratified into resource settings.


Results: Seventy-two representatives of educational institutions in 21 countries completed the survey. Wheelchair content was taught in 79% of represented institutions, of which 75% of respondents reported using original course material, 10% of respondents used WHO Wheelchair Service Training Packages and 15% of respondents used other available resources. The majority of educational institutions teaching with their own wheelchair-related course material taught ≤ 20 hours. Fourteen of the 15 respondents without wheelchair education, expressed an interest in integrating wheelchair education into their academic curricula.


Conclusion: The majority of the educational institutions teach wheelchair education; however, there is great variability in what and how it is taught and evaluated. The results demonstrate the need for more in-depth investigation regarding the integration process of wheelchair education in educational institutions, with the ultimate goal of improving wheelchair service provision worldwide.

Effect of wheelchair design on wheeled mobility and propulsion efficiency in less-resourced settings

STANFILL, Christopher J.
JENSEN, Jody L.
2017

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Background: Wheelchair research includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches, primarily focuses on functionality and skill performance and is often limited to short testing periods. This is the first study to use the combination of a performance test (i.e. wheelchair propulsion test) and a multiple-day mobility assessment to evaluate wheelchair designs in rural areas of a developing country.


Objectives: Test the feasibility of using wheel-mounted accelerometers to document bouts of wheeled mobility data in rural settings and use these data to compare how patients respond to different wheelchair designs.


Methods: A quasi-experimental, pre- and post-test design was used to test the differences between locally manufactured wheelchairs (push rim and tricycle) and an imported intervention product (dual-lever propulsion wheelchair). A one-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to interpret propulsion and wheeled mobility data.


Results: There were no statistical differences in bouts of mobility between the locally manufactured and intervention product, which was explained by high amounts of variability within the data. With regard to the propulsion test, push rim users were significantly more efficient when using the intervention product compared with tricycle users.


Conclusion: Use of wheel-mounted accelerometers as a means to test user mobility proved to be a feasible methodology in rural settings. Variability in wheeled mobility data could be decreased with longer acclimatisation periods. The data suggest that push rim users experience an easier transition to a dual-lever propulsion system.

The long-term impact of wheelchair delivery on the lives of people with disabilities in three countries of the world

SHORE, Susan
2017

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Background: Lack of access to mobility for people with disabilities, particularly in less- resourced settings, continues to be widespread. Despite challenges to wheelchair delivery, the benefits to health, employment, social integration and life satisfaction are apparent.


Objectives: Previous studies have explored the impact of receiving a wheelchair on the lives of the users through cross-sectional or short-term longitudinal analysis. The current study was undertaken to evaluate whether previously reported changes were sustained after 30 months of use, and whether results varied between two differing models of a wheelchair.


Method: One hundred and ninety-one subjects from Peru, Uganda and Vietnam received one of two models of wheelchair provided by the Free Wheelchair Mission. Using interviews to record survey results, data were collected at the time the wheelchair was received and following 12 and 30 months of use. Variables of overall health, employment, income and travel were explored through non-parametric analysis.


Results: There was a significant improvement in overall health and distance travelled after 12 months, but these changes were no longer significant by 30 months (Friedman test for overall change, p = 0.000). Employment status showed a small but significant increase at 12 and 30 months (Cochran’s Q, p = 0.000). Reported income increased slowly, becoming significantly different at 30 months (Friedman test, p = 0.033). There was no association between the model of wheelchair received and the incidence of pressure ulcers, pain or maintenance required. There was higher satisfaction with the GEN_2 wheelchair at 12 months (p = 0.004), but this difference was not apparent by 30 months. Overall wheelchair satisfaction and maintenance levels were favourable.


Conclusion: While overall health status, and distance travelled into the community fluctuated over time, receipt of one of two models of a wheelchair in less-resourced settings of the world appears to have a positive sustained impact on employment and income. Further investigations should be carried out to confirm these results and explore the factors responsible for fluctuating variables. This study affirms the importance of long-term follow-up of outcomes associated with wheelchair distribution in less-resourced environments.

Motivation Peer Training – Bridging the gap for people with mobility disabilities

NORRIS, Lucy K.
2017

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Background: Only 2% of people with disabilities in developing countries have access to basic services and rehabilitation.


Objectives: To bridge this gap, Motivation has been running Peer Training activities since 1993 and has identified that there is a growing need for Peer Training. The overall aim of Peer Training is for wheelchair users (Peer Trainers) to provide others (with similar disabilities) with the relevant knowledge on health issues, rights and skills to achieve a basic level of independence and greater quality of life.


Method: To test the impact of Peer Training, Motivation created a knowledge, skills and well-being questionnaire, which has been trialled in two locations: Kenya and Malawi.


Results: Overall, Motivation found that most participants reported an increase in knowledge, skills and well-being, supporting their experience that this training provides vital information and support mechanisms for wheelchair users in low- and middle-income countries. Further work is needed to ensure this tool measures the impact of Peer Training and lessons learnt have been identified to strengthen the methodology.


Conclusion: Although Peer Training is not a replacement for rehabilitation services, Motivation believes it is an effective way to not only increase knowledge and skills of persons with disabilities but also reduce the sense of social isolation that can often be a result of disability.

Wheelchair users, access and exclusion in South African higher education

CHIWANDIRE, Desire
VINCENT, Louise
2017

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Background: South Africa’s Constitution guarantees everyone, including persons with disabilities, the right to education. A variety of laws are in place obliging higher education institutions to provide appropriate physical access to education sites for all. In practice, however, many buildings remain inaccessible to people with physical disabilities.


Objectives: To describe what measures South African universities are taking to make their built environments more accessible to students with diverse types of disabilities, and to assess the adequacy of such measures.


Method: We conducted semi-structured in-depth face-to-face interviews with disability unit staff members (DUSMs) based at 10 different public universities in South Africa.


Results: Challenges with promoting higher education accessibility for wheelchair users include the preservation and heritage justification for failing to modify older buildings, ad hoc approaches to creating accessible environments and failure to address access to toilets, libraries and transport facilities for wheelchair users.


Conclusion: South African universities are still not places where all students are equally able to integrate socially. DUSMs know what ought to be done to make campuses more accessible and welcoming to students with disabilities and should be empowered to play a leading role in sensitising non-disabled members of universities, to create greater awareness of, and appreciation for, the multiple ways in which wheelchair user students continue to be excluded from full participation in university life. South African universities need to adopt a systemic approach to inclusion, which fosters an understanding of inclusion as a fundamental right rather than as a luxury.

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