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Creating a world as it should be : the power of disabled women activists

December 2012

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Through interviews with women with disabilities, this video highlights the vision, determination, challenges and recommendations for including women and girls in international development programs. The video documents the power of women leaders with disabilities in their aim to be included in international development programs

A cooperative future for people with disabilities

December 2012

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“In recent decades, cooperatives have improved the lives of many women and men with disabilities. This issue brief highlights how and why the cooperative form of enterprise can cater to the economic and social needs of persons with disabilities. Cooperatives enable them to participate more actively in society, increase their independence and make decisions about their lives and futures by providing employment opportunities and access to essential services”

Community volunteers : an asset for detecting and following up children with disabilities

December 2012

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This video presents a  recording of a seminar held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in November 2012.  The seminar explores the findings and recommendations from a four year CBM-funded project in Bangladesh and Pakistan to identify children with disabilities and connect them with appropriate rehabilitative services

Thematic study on the work and employment of persons with disabilities : report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

December 2012

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"The present study focuses on the work and employment of persons with disabilities. It analyses relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, highlights good practices in promoting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, and identifies the main challenges that States parties encounter in ensuring that persons with disabilities enjoy access to, retention of and advancement in employment on an equal basis with others"
Note: Easy read version is available in English in both pdf and word formats

Assessing Children with Language Impairments: A Study on Kannada, a South Indian Language


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Purpose: This is one of the first comprehensive studies to assess receptive and expressive language skills in a South Indian language, Kannada. It demystifies language impairments and provides a model for future research to understand other languages in India and in countries around the world.


Method: Language impairments were identified in 68 students of Grades 3 and 4, in elementary schools where Kannada was the medium of instruction. The children were assessed in different language components. The results were analysed in terms of their ages and their levels of functioning in each language component and sub-component.


Results: As a group, the children showed no significant deficits in phonological and semantic skills; however, individual deficits and deficits within sub-component skills of semantics were noted. Mean and individual deficits in auditory reception, aural comprehension and receptive vocabulary were also noted. Deficits in syntax & verbal expression were notably significant. The extent of language delay increases with age, and plateaus at higher ages.


Conclusion: Children with language impairments in Kannada, display many similar characteristics in terms of problems in different components of language. Early intervention is called for because the language delay increases as age advances. A thorough assessment reveals specific strengths and weaknesses in language components and skills. This can be used as a starting point to base remediation activities.

Inclusion of Children with Hearing Impairment in Schools: A Survey on Teachers’ Attitudes


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Purpose: Inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream classrooms has become the focus of extensive research in education. It has both academic and social benefits for all students, such as providing opportunities for communication and social interaction. The evaluation of teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion appears to be a good method to determine the success of the programme. Although this has been widely researched in many countries, the available evidence is not consistent. This study was undertaken in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, to measure and compare teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusion of children with hearing impairment in schools.


Method: A questionnaire developed by Giles and Tanner (1995) measuring three domains - (1) effective strategies for meeting the needs of all students, (2) the support for educational change in their district, and (3) inclusive education - was modified in keeping with cultural and geographical variations and used as the test tool. A hundred teachers of various Government and non-Government schools in 2 districts of Andhra Pradesh, India, participated in the study.


Results: Higher scores on domain 1 indicate that teachers feel effective strategies to benefit students with disabilities should be implemented in schools. The results also indicate that most teachers are agreeable to the inclusion of students with disabilities in their classrooms. Significant difference in attitudes was observed, based on the teachers’ qualifications, teaching experience, gender, level of teaching and management.


Conclusion: The study concludes that there is a need for intervention to foster more positive attitudes among teachers, if the implementation of inclusive education is to succeed. It also has implications for the framing of laws and policies for children with hearing impairments.

Attitudes of Students towards Peers with Disability in an Inclusive School in Nigeria


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Purpose: The majority of children and young people with disabilities live in developing countries where they face inequalities in education and other opportunities. Negative attitudes constitute one of the major barriers to thedevelopment of their potential.


This study aimed to describe the attitudes of students without disability towards their peers with disability, and to assess the role that gender and interpersonal contact play in shaping these attitudes.


Method: A cross-sectional study involving 107 students was carried out at an inclusive secondary school located in a peri-urban area in South Western Nigeria.


Participants were recruited from a group of 118 students in the three junior classes and senior class one (JSS 1 to SSS 1). A semi-structured questionnaire containing items on the “Chedoke-McMaster Attitudes Towards Children with Handicaps (CATCH) scale”, which elicits responses on a Likert scale numbered 0 to 4 (0-strongly disagree, 4-strongly agree), was administered. Data analysis was done using Stata version 12. Descriptive analysis was carried out and association between variables was determined using independent two-tailed t-tests.


Results: The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the scale was 0.83. The attitudes of students in the school were generally positive (M = 22.55, SD = 3.79). Female students had higher total scores (M = 24.76, SD = 2.78) than their male contemporaries (M = 19.84, SD = 3.05), t (103) = 8.55, p = .000. Having a friend/relative with a disability was associated with more positive attitudes among female students.


Conclusions: In this inclusive setting, the attitudes of students towards their peers with disability were generally positive. Since interpersonal contact was associated with positive attitudes towards students with disabilities, interventions should be directed towards promoting interpersonal relationships in order to build an integrated society.


Quantitative Exploratory Evaluation of the Frequency, Causes and Consequences of Rehabilitation Wheelchair Breakdowns delivered at a Paediatric Clinic in Mexico


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Purpose: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognises assistive technology such as wheelchairs (WCs) as a tool for social inclusion for this population. In less resourced settings, organisations lack information about effective models of WC service provision. The goal of this study was to investigate the lifespan of WCs and whether they provided reliable mobility, at one clinic in Mexico.


Methods: Caregivers of children, who had requested replacements for their WCs from a clinic in Mexico, were interviewed in Spanish. Among others, the questions pertained to repairs/modifications, adverse events and WC usage characteristics. The owners exchanged their WCs for new ones at the clinic, and the maintenance status of each returned WC was evaluated using the WC Assessment Checklist (WAC).


Results: Twenty-three donated WCs, used by children aged 3 to 14 years for an average of 19 months, were evaluated. Brakes (n=18), seat and back-sling upholstery (n=11 and 7 respectively), and armrests (n=14) were the components that failed most frequently. A total of 26 adverse events due to WC failure were reported. Adverse events were significantly associated with poor WAC scores (rs=-0.544, p=0.007).


Conclusions: Poor WC reliability, associated with adverse events which could undermine social engagement, indicates the need for a stronger WC and for regular maintenance. For instance, brake failures which were most often associated with adjustment issues, could have been resolved with maintenance, while seat and back-sling upholstery and armrest failures suggest that the WC may not be appropriate for the environment. Future work should investigate the robustness of these WCs using standardised methods (ISO 7176), as well as the impact of maintenance interventions on WC reliability.

Core Concepts of Human Rights and Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups in the Namibian Policy on Orthopaedic Technical Services


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Purpose: Despite a highly progressive legislation and clear governmental commitment, living conditions among persons with disabilities in Namibia are systematically lower than among persons without disabilities. This implies that persons with disabilities are denied equal opportunities to participate and contribute to society, and consequently are denied their human rights.


Methods: EquiFrame, an innovative policy analysis framework, was used to analyse Namibian Policy on Orthopaedic Technical Services. EquiFrame evaluates the degree of stated commitment of an existing health policy to 21 Core Concepts of human rights and to 12 Vulnerable Groups, guided by the ethos of universal, equitable and accessible health services.


Results: A number of Core Concepts of human rights and Vulnerable Groups were found to be absent in the Namibian Policy on Orthopaedic Technical Services, and its Overall Summary Ranking was assessed as Moderate.


Conclusion and Implications: The Namibian health sector faces significant challenges in addressing inequities with respect to its policy on Orthopaedic Technical Services. If policy content, or policy ‘on the books’, is not inclusive of vulnerable groups and observant of core concepts of human rights, then health practices are also unlikely to do so. This paper illustrates that EquiFrame can provide the strategic guidance for the reform of Namibian Orthopaedic Technical Services policy, leading to universal and equitable access to healthcare.

Sexual Health of Women with Spinal Cord Injury in Bangladesh


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Purpose: To identify factors influencing the sexual health of women with spinal cord injury (SCI) in Bangladesh.


Methods: This study used both qualitative and quantitative methods. The quantitative part used a case-control design. Cases were women with SCI and controls were age-matched women without SCI. Questionnaires were used to collect data concerning the sexual health status of women. Multivariate logistic regression was done to determine which factors had an independent effect on sexual health. In-depth interviews were held with a sub-group of women from both groups, and interview guides were used. The in-depth interview data was subjected to content analysis.


Results: In total, 92 questionnaires were given out and 30 in-depth interviews were conducted. A relationship was found between physical factors and sexual health, as pain, vaginal dryness and physical discomfort were mentioned more frequently among women with SCI. Environmental and emotional factors such as stigma, satisfaction of the husband and support from the husband and friends had an influence on the sexual health of the women with SCI, as well as the other group of women.


Conclusions: From interviews it became clear that most of the women with SCI were dissatisfied with their sexual health as compared to the women without SCI. However, environmental and emotional factors such as attitudes, support and stigma, rather than physical factors, were the most important influences on sexual health in both groups of women.

Gender and priority setting in mine action

December 2012

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"This policy brief focuses on the gender dimension of small ‘p’ priority-setting for land release. Preferences identified through consultation with stakeholders from different gender, age and socio-economic groups should lead to the allocation of resources to, and concentration of activities on, tasks where impact will be the greatest"
GICHD policy brief 5

The sustainability analysis process : the case of physical rehabilitation

BOGGS, Dorothy
December 2012

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"This guide describes the Sustainability Analysis Process (SAP), a coordinated planning approach that aims to facilitate the development of a common vision of sustainability among various actors in a system. Specifically, it is a participatory process which outlines how to achieve consensus on a common vision, and how to define sustainability indicators that can be used to monitor progress towards this vision within the context of the national rehabilitation system. Ultimately, the SAP outlined in this guide is a practical tool that can help all actors in a system to understand the various components of sustainability and analyse the concept of sustainability in relation to their own system"

Count me in - Include people with disabilities in development projects | A practical guide for organisations in the North and South

BRUIJN, Paulien
et al
November 2012

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"People with disabilities are often amongst the poorest in the developing world. Yet they are usually left out of development projects. This is not because of ill-will. Development organisations simply do not know how to include them. This book offers suggestions based on the experience of organisations that participated in a two-year learning programme. It is full of useful tips on how to launch inclusive programmes and projects, how to prepare your staff for working with people with disabilities and how to adapt your organisational processes and systems"

Available in Braille, high resolution, low resolution and word formats.
Available in Portuguese: "Inclusão de pessoas com deficiência nos projectos de desenvolvimento: Um guia prático para organizações do Norte e do Sul".
Available in French: "Tiens compte de moi - L'inclusion de personnes en situation de handicap dans les projets de développement"
Available in Spanish: "Cuenta conmigo - Incluir a las personas con discapacidad en los proyectos de desarrollo"

Zero project report 2013

FEMBEK, Michael
et al
November 2012

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This report provides details on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities with the aim to improve lives of people with disabilities and their legal rights. Details of research, statistics from surveys done in 55 participating countries, social indicators, employment indicators, innovative practices and innovative policies are presented to measure improvement of access to transport, career development, education, equal opportunity and human rights for people with disabilities

Zero project report 2012 summary

November 2012

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The easy read summary of the 2012 Zero Project report presents information about the progress of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This summary provides examples of good practice and laws survey results from 35 countries, 2 states in the US and 9 provinces in Austria

Disability in the post-2015 framework

WAPLING, Lorraine
November 2012

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"This paper argues that the absence of specific reference to disability in the MDGs has realized in the increased marginalization of persons with disabilities and is contributing towards growing inequalities that are slowing progress at sub-national levels (UNDESA, 2012). Only by making specific reference to disability and including disability as a cross-cutting target with measurable indicators can the post-2015 framework redress the effects of discrimination and exclusion"
Note: Accepted under the "Addressing Inequalities" Global Thematic Consultation - Call for Proposals for Background Papers, Oct 2012



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