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Assistive technology enables inclusion in higher education: The role of Higher and Further Education Disability Services Association

LYNER-CLEOPHAS, Marcia
August 2019

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Background: Using assistive technology is one way to foster inclusion of students in the post-school education and training (PSET) sector.

 

Objectives: Higher and Further Education Disability Services Association (HEDSA) enables the sharing of new knowledge about assistive technologies through its symposia, and making information available on its website. Additionally, it facilitates dialogue and collaboration amongst institutions in the PSET network using a listserv and newsletters, given that PSET institutions are spread countrywide.

 

Method: This is an article based on a presentation at the 5th African Network of Evidence-to-Action in Disability (AfriNEAD) conference in Ghana in 2017 that focused on the value of assistive technology for students pursuing studies in the PSET sector and the role played by HEDSA in South Africa.

 

Results: The positive gains and existing gaps in disability inclusion in the higher education sector in South Africa are highlighted, with reference to access to technology. All higher education institutions have internet access and can thereby make use of listservs to communicate information. MapAbility is a way that prospective students can gain a snapshot view of available resources at institutions of learning, using the internet.

 

Conclusion: An association such as HEDSA plays a critical role in the PSET sector to enhance disability inclusion using online tools to disseminate information.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

National Conference on Assistive Technology for All 2030, Bengaluru, India, August 2-3, 2019

GHOSH, Ritu
RAMAN, Lakshmi
Eds
August 2019

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The National Conference on Assistive Technology for All – 2030 was held in Bangalore on August 2 – 3, 2019 in celebration of 25 years of Mobility India.

The conference involved 27 distinguished speakers and experts in the field from WHOSEARO, Ministry of SJ&E and the National Institutes, the IITs, IISc, Global Disability Innovation Hub, BIRAC, DEBEL, BeTIC, professional bodies, National Institute of Design, industry and NGOs.

The broad objective of the conference was to bring together all the relevant stakeholders to discuss, identify and agree on key steps to augment AT sector and develop a national AT alliance. 

  • Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) and its relevance to India
  • WHO Perspective on Assistive Technology
  • Perspective from MSJ&E on Assistive Technology Provision in India
  • Global Disability Innovation Hub and AT Innovation in India
  • Role of AT in SCI-Healthy and Hygienic Bladder & Bowel Management
  • Assistive Technology (AT) and Intellectual Disability (ID): Exploring the Underutilization of Technology for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Humanitarian Emergency Response and Assistive Technology – ICRC Insight 
  • Assistive Technology in Geriatrics and Palliative Care
  • Exploring Barriers to the Use of Assistive Technology for PWDs in India
  • An in-depth user study on Problems Faced by Axillary Crutch Users in India
  • “Perception towards use of Assistive Technology in Higher Education: A case study”
  • A Wheelchair in Rural Bangalore: What do the Users think?
  • Gaze-based Assistive Technologies
  • Innovative Assistive Technology Solutions
  • Human Resource Development and Assistive Technology
  • Assistive Technologies in Universal Health Coverage
  • AT in the Era of AI: How Advanced Technology is Influencing New Designs
  • Independent Walker for Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Children
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation for Drop Foot and/or Knee Instability
  • Enabling Fabrication of Prosthetic and Orthotic Devices with Additive Manufacturing via Digital Transformation
  • Innovations in Different Types of Biomedical Devices
  • Universal Design 
  • Assistive Technologies: Idea to Invention to Innovation to Impact
  • AT – Make in India
  • Information and Communication Assistive Technology & Make in India
  • A Guideline for Service and Delivery to Ensure Quality of Life of Elderly People
  • User-Centred Approach in Creating Impactful Solutions for the Disabled

Guidelines. Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action

IASC TASK TEAM ON INCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN HUMANITARIAN ACTION
July 2019

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The guidelines set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings. The recommended actions in each chapter place persons with disabilities at the centre of humanitarian action, both as actors and as members of affected populations. They are specific to persons with disabilities and to the context of humanitarian action and build on existing and more general standards and guidelines. These are the first humanitarian guidelines to be developed with and by persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in association with traditional humanitarian stakeholders. Based on the outcomes of a comprehensive global and regional multi-stakeholder consultation process, they are designed to promote the implementation of quality humanitarian programmes in all contexts and across all regions, and to establish and increase both the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their meaningful participation in all decisions that concern them. 

 

Chapters include:

  • What to do - key approaches to programming
  • Data and information management
  • Partnerships and empowerment of organisation of people with disabilities
  • Cross cutting considerations
  • Accountability to affected people and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse
  • Humanitarian response options
  • Stakeholder roles and responsibilities
  • What sectors need to do
  • Camp coordination and camp management
  • Education
  • Food security and nutrition
  • Livelihoods
  • Health
  • Protection
  • Shelter and settlements
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene

Disability inclusion helpdesk; evidence digest issue 1, June 2019

SDDirect
June 2019

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The Evidence Digest aims to capture knowledge emerging from Helpdesk activities in a systematic manner and disseminate findings. This short summary will:

Share information on and learnings from the Disability Inclusion Helpdesk over the last quarter, highlighting headline messages and implications for programmers and policymakers;
Share relevant information and learning from other DID outputs;
Provide relevant information on recent evidence, policy changes and events in the field of disability inclusion, and;
Raise awareness on how to access the Helpdesk and demonstrate its offer.

Supporting the enactment of inclusive pedagogy in a primary school

BRENNAN, Aoife
KING, Fiona
TRAVERS, Joe
2019

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While inclusion has generally been accepted as orthodoxy, a knowledge – practice gap remains which indicates a need to focus on inclusive pedagogy. This paper explores how teachers in the Republic of Ireland primary school were supported to develop inclusive pedagogy to meet the needs of learners with special educational needs (SEN). It is underpinned by a conceptual framework which combines an inclusive pedagogical approach and key principles of effective professional development (PD) arising from the literature, which informed the development of a professional learning community (PLC) for inclusive practice in a primary school. The impact of the PD on teachers’ professional practice was explored using an evidence-based evaluation framework. Analysis of interview and observation data evidenced that engagement with inclusive pedagogy in a PLC, underpinned by critical dialogue and public sharing of work, positively impacted teacher attitudes, beliefs, efficacy and inclusive practice. This research offers a model of support for enacting inclusive pedagogy.

ClinFIT: ISPRM's Universal Functioning Information Tool based on the WHO's ICF

FRONTERA, Walter
et al
May 2019

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A short editorial reviews the development of ClinFit (“Clinical Functioning Information Tool”).  The expectation is that ClinFIT can be tailored to the needs of (1) rehabilitation service types along the continuum of care, (2) different patient populations across age groups and health conditions, and (3) low-, middle-, and high‑income countries

 

J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med 2019;2:19-21

DOI: 10.4103/jisprm.jisprm_36_19

Agriculture and mobile-based interventions for smallholder farmers: best practice on disability inclusion, Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Research Report No. 14

AHLENBÄCK, Veronica
LEE, Harri
COE, Sue
May 2019

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This rapid review addresses the questions: What is current best practice in addressing disability and including people with disabilities within agricultural development programming? What is current best practice in mobile agriculture programming (i.e. mobile-based interventions targeted at smallholder farmers) to include smallholder farmers with disabilities as well as empower them and address key barriers they are facing? 

Undergraduate physiotherapy students’ basic wheelchair provision knowledge: a pilot study in two universities in Colombia

TORO-HERNÁNDEZ, María Luisa
MONDRAGÓN-BARRERA, Mónica Alejandra
TORRES-NARVÁEZ, Martha Rocío
VELASCO-FORERO, Sandra Esperanza
GOLDBERG, Mary
2019

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Purpose: 

Access to an appropriate wheelchair is a human right. Only between 5–15% of people who need a wheelchair have access to one. One of the key barriers to access is the lack of appropriately trained rehabilitation professionals. The objective of this study was to evaluate basic manual wheelchair provision knowledge in final-year physiotherapy undergraduate students in two programs in Colombia.

 

Materials and methods: 

Students took the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals Wheelchair Service Provision – Basic Test which was administered online and in Spanish. The minimum score to pass the test is 70%; it assesses seven domains: Assessment; Prescription; Products; Fitting; User training; Follow-up, maintenance, and repairs; and Process.

 

Results and conclusions

One-hundred sixteen students took the test and no one passed the test. The highest median domain scores were in Assessment and Process while the lowest were in Fitting and Products. The limitations of this study include that this sample does not represent all physiotherapy programmes or students in Colombia, there may be potential errors in the Spanish translation of the outcome measure, and students encountered Internet connectivity issues during the test that may have impacted their scores. Immediate interventions are required to improve teaching and students’ learning outcomes related to basic manual wheelchair provision in these two programs. This study may serve as a foundation for future regional or national studies that assess the situation of wheelchair provision training in rehabilitation programs that will inform improvement actions. This manuscript is also available in Spanish as Supplemental Material.

Study on explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes in Iraq

NIJHOLT, Sarah
April 2019

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Handicap International (HI) commissioned a study on on explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes in Iraq. The overall objectives of the study were to:

  • Understand what explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes exist in Iraq;
  • Identify who is collecting such information, for which reasons and how it is being shared, and how it is being officially used;
  • Identify whether international victim data collection good practices and reporting standards are being followed up, and make concrete recommendations to help meet the standards;
  • Understand the successes, shortfalls, and challenges in data collection and information sharing;
  • Identify the needs of the data collection community in terms of ensuring sufficient victim reporting and data collection;
  • Identify if and how the data on victims is being collected and used by government authorities and the international fora.

 

Desk research was carried out and data collection took place in March 2019 in Erbil, Baghdad and Ninewa governorates in Iraq. In total, the qualitative researcher spent 3 days in Erbil, 4 days in Baghdad, and 6 days in Ninewa governorate to conduct interviews through a snowball approach. In total, 22 interviews were conducted with a variety of stakeholders, including humanitarian mine action actors, government officials, hospital directors, police and community leaders. This report provides an overview of the main findings.

Guidance on strengthening disability inclusion in Humanitarian Response Plans

PERRY, Stephen
LANGE, Kirstin
MITRA, Gopal
WOOD, Gavin
April 2019

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This guidance provides support to seven UN entities on how to strengthen inclusion of disability in Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) as part of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Humanitarian Investment Program. The aim of this work is to make humanitarian programming more responsive to the needs of people with disabilities affected by crisis. Humanitarian Response Plans are the product of a strategic planning process that is informed by humanitarian needs assessment activities. Therefore, this guidance focuses primarily on the steps in the humanitarian program cycle (HPC) leading to the HRP, including the process of developing the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO). This guidance has been aligned to the 2019 revision of this process

Rapport d’évaluation rapide de la situation des personnes handicapées nouvellement déplacées sur les sites de Awaridi, NGuel Madou Mai, Gorodi - Dalabouyari et Château à Diffa suite aux derniers incidents dans la commune du Gueskerou

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
April 2019

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Rapid assessment report on the situation of people with disabilities newly displaced on Awaridi sites, NGuel Madou Mai, Gorodi - Dalabouyari and Castle in Diffa following the latest incidents in the commune of Gueskerou, Niger.

The evaluation focused on elements of qualitative analysis via collective interviews (focus groups), individual interviews and testimonials on the five selected sites. A total of 169 people were interviewed, through six focus groups and 70 individual interviews. These populations are essentially composed of disabled people, women and children displaced by recent security incidents in the country.

 

Urgent, short and medium term measures are identified

Multilingualism and augmentative and alternative communication in South Africa – Exploring the views of persons with complex communication needs

TONSING, Kerstin M.
Van NIEKERK, Karin
SCHLUNZ, Georg
WILKEN, Ilana
2019

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Background: Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can assist persons with complex communication needs to communicate competently with a variety of communication partners in a variety of contexts. However, AAC systems and intervention often do not take multilingual aspects into consideration.

 

Objective: This small-scale exploratory study had three aims, namely: (1) to describe the self-reported language skills of multilingual South African adults using AAC, (2) to describe the languages and communication modalities they used in interaction and (3) to obtain their views regarding access to various languages.

 

Methods: Twenty-seven adults using AAC were recruited via an empowerment programme, as well as an email list for persons interested in AAC, and provided responses to a questionnaire. To compensate for access and written language challenges, the questionnaire was administered with help and/or as a face-to-face interview where needed. Responses were analysed using mostly descriptive statistics.

 

Results: Participants generally could not express themselves in all the languages they understood and were regularly exposed to. Speech-generating devices specifically gave access almost exclusively to English. Participants expressed a desire to increase their expressive language repertoire, and mentioned both limitations of communication technology as well as their own literacy skills as barriers to overcome in this regard.

 

Conclusion: In order for multilingual South African adults using AAC to express themselves in multiple languages, appropriate AAC systems and interventions as well as literacy learning opportunities need to be developed and provided.

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Lived experiences of caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder in Kenya

CLOETE, Lizahn G
OBAIGWA, Evans O.
2019

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Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a global public health concern. In African countries such as Kenya, there is a greater need for establishing support services for developmental disorders such as ASD. The emotional, social and economic burden of ASD on caregivers is unknown because of a number of challenges. Citizens of Kenya have a unique view of disability and inclusion.

 

Objectives: To explore the perspectives of caregivers who are responsible for caring for both family and children living with ASD and to highlight the needs of children with ASD as well as the needs of their caregivers.

 

Method: A qualitative, descriptive phenomenological study utilising focus group discussions (FGDs) was conducted. Verbatim transcription was used. QSR N ’Vivo 10 was used to organise and analyse the data. Content analysis was used to identify important ideas and concepts.

 

Results: One theme, namely ‘the burden of caring for children with ASD’, was identified. Children with ASD and their caregivers experience isolation and stigmatisation.

 

Conclusion: Occupational therapists in Kenya should collaborate with the relevant national and global stakeholders for the promotion of the inclusion of children with ASD and their families. Responsive and context-appropriate occupational therapy interventions may begin to address service barriers.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

CII launches the India Business Disability Network, a unique platform for companies to enable inclusion

ILO Global Business and Disability Network
February 2019

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The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) launched the India Business Disability Network (IBDN) at the National Conference on ‘Mainstreaming Inclusivity & Accessibility – Enabling Industry’ in Delhi on 21 January 2019.

The IBDN is a National Business and Disability Network that promotes and facilitates an inclusive, accessible and a barrier-free workplace within the corporate sector, and set up in joint partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Employers’ Federation of India (EFI). IBDN is a one stop solution to share learnings and best practices, create context-based solutions, facilitate partnerships, facilitate inclusion, and create & dissemination knowledge

Mobility Analysis of AmpuTees (MAAT 4): classification tree analysis for probability of lower limb prosthesis user functional potential

WURDEMAN, Shane R
STEVENS, Phillip M
CAMPBELL, James H
2019

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Purpose: 

To develop a predictive model to inform the probability of lower limb prosthesis users’ functional potential for ambulation.

 

Materials and Methods: 

A retrospective analysis of a database of outcomes for 2770 lower limb prosthesis users was used to inform a classification and regression tree analysis. Gender, age, height, weight, body mass index adjusted for amputation, amputation level, cause of amputation, comorbid health status and functional mobility score [Prosthetic Limb Users Survey of Mobility (PLUS-M™)] were entered as potential predictive variables. Patient K-Level was used to assign dependent variable status as unlimited community ambulator (i.e., K3 or K4) or limited community/household ambulator (i.e., K1 or K2). The classification tree was initially trained from 20% of the sample and subsequently tested with the remaining sample.

 

Results: 

A classification tree was successfully developed, able to accurately classify 87.4% of individuals within the model’s training group (standard error 1.4%), and 81.6% within the model’s testing group (standard error 0.82%). Age, PLUS-M™ T-score, cause of amputation and body weight were retained within the tree logic.

 

Conclusions: 

The resultant classification tree has the ability to provide members of the clinical care team with predictive probabilities of a patient’s functional potential to help assist care decisions.

Pedagogical Relational Teachership (PeRT) – a multi-relational perspective

LJUNGBLAD, Ann-Louise
2019

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This article presents a theoretical relational perspective of education, Pedagogical Relational Teachership (PeRT), which supports the development of new knowledge about teachers’ relational proficiencies to create opportunities for students to participate in their education and to emerge as unique individuals and speak with their own voices. Within the field of inclusive education, it is a relational approach where teaching is to be understood relationally. The fundamental bases in this inclusive perspective on education are the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Salamanca Statement. The concept of relational teachership is elaborated on to emphasise the importance of teachers’ relational proficiencies in the classroom. The article also clarifies how PeRT includes a multi-dimensional model to illuminate relational processes and relationships on different levels within the educational system. PeRT is a relational approach for scholars and practitioners, which can be seen as a new beginning and an invitation to a relational pathway that explores participation, accessibility and equity.

Communication Matters!

Light for the World
January 2019

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The research Communication Matters! shows which obstacles persons with disabilities face in accessing public information and services. The research took place in three districts in the province of Pursat. 1171 persons with disabilities in 229 villages are reached.

Due to the research, many persons with disabilities were able to share their stories for the first time. Many persons were also found for the first time, because the team made an effort to visit everyone in the village.

Deaf people in Pacific Island countries. A design for the Pacific deaf strenthening program

JENKIN, Elena
WATERS, Philip
SEN, Krishneer
ADAM, Robert
2019

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Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) is committed to advancing the rights of people with disabilities living in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Developing an evidence base to understand more about deaf children and adults’ experiences and priorities will better assist communities, DPOs, organisations and governments to plan inclusive communities, policy and programs.

 

The development of the design was deliberately planned to be highly collaborative and the team met with 161 people who shared their views. This provided opportunities for deaf people and DPOs to contribute to the design, along with representatives from government, non-government and regional organisations. This collaboration occurred in three countries in the Pacific, namely Solomon Islands, Samoa and Fiji. Within Fiji, the design team met with deaf and DPO representatives of other PIC’s along with regional multi-lateral organisations such as UNICEF and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS). Consultations also occurred remotely with supporting organisations and development workers that are focused on disability inclusion in the Pacific. The design undertook a desk review to learn what is known about deaf children and adults in the Pacific region. Participatory methods ensured the process was highly respectful of the views of deaf people. DPOs, other organisations and governments will be asked to identify to what extent deaf children, adults and their families are participating in services, programs and establishments, and to identify potential supports required to increase deaf people’s participation.  A capacity building element has been carefully built into the design. The report is divided into three parts. Part A rationalizes the design, with background information and a brief desk review to collect evidence from and about deaf children and adults in the Pacific. Part B describes the design development process and reports findings. Part C details the design for the situation analysis.  

Community knowledge, attitude, and perceived stigma of leprosy amongst community members living in Dhanusha and Parsa districts of Southern Central Nepal

SINGH, Rakesh
SINGH, Babita
MAHATO, Sharika
January 2019

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The main objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and stigma of leprosy amongst the community members living in Dhanusha and Parsa districts of Southern Central Nepal. A total of 423 individuals were interviewed using a structured questionnaire in Dhanusha and Parsa districts. Data was analyzed using both descriptive (frequency, percentage, median) and statistical inferences.

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