In recent times there has been sustained momentum to address inequalities within university faculties and improve the diversity of students. Also, in response to historical and current social injustices, universities have sought to decolonize curricula. These progressive movements have had particular significance for departments focused on development studies and related subjects because the need to be inclusive is not only the right thing to do from a moral position, but also because to be exclusive is fundamentally challenging to the conceptualization and philosophy of the discipline. Development is a contested term but addressing inequality and working towards social justice are common themes found across most definitions. This commentary provides a critical insight into the importance of inclusive universities as gatekeepers to equitable knowledge production and the development of future professionals. To play their part in addressing the challenges posed by a globalized world, universities need to be proactive in ensuring that they become fully and meaningfully inclusive. While all university departments would benefit from becoming more inclusive, departments focused on development must be the pioneers leading the way, as inclusivity is relevant to the delivery of development studies, as well as emerging as an important discourse within the discipline that continues to evolve. This commentary will explore how and why in an increasingly interconnected global society, the need for universities to leave no one behind, and challenge hegemonic and unequal structures has never been greater.
This webinar explored the impact of, and learnings from COVID-19 on Disability Innovation. We heard from those shifting their work in response to the pandemic. We also looked at how learnings from Assistive Technology (AT) are being applied to this unprecedented global environment.
Finally, there was an overview of how knowledge was captured during Ebola can support the response to this latest threat
A brief overview of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action is given. Key points of the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) roundtable meeting (Mar 2020) are summarised, along with their implications for practice during the Covid-19 response. These are: accessible formats; learning and evidence; tools; training; coordination and partnerships; strategies for organisational change and accountability.
This paper describes international actions to collaborate in the assistive technology (AT) arena and provides an update of programmes supporting AT globally.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) identifies the severe global uneven distribution of resources, expertise and extensive unmet need for AT, as well the optimistic substantial capability for innovations and developments in appropriate and sustainable AT design, development and delivery. Systems thinking and market shaping are identified as means to address these challenges and leverage the ingenuity and expertise of AT stakeholders.
This paper is a ‘call to action’, showcasing emerging AT networks as exemplars of a distributed, but integrated mechanism for addressing AT needs globally, and describing the Global Alliance of Assistive Technology Organisations (GAATO) as a vehicle to facilitate this global networking.
Partners in this Global Alliance aim to advance the field of assistive technology by promoting shared research, policy advocacy, educating people and organisations within and outside the field, teaching, training and knowledge transfer by pulling together broad-based membership organisations.
Recommendations for inclusion of marginalised and vulnerable groups in risk communications and community engangement are made. Groups considered are: children; people with disabilities; women and girls; pregnant women; persons living with HIV; gender based violence survivors; refugees and migrants; elderly; people in existing humanitarian emergencies; people with pre-existing medical conditions; sexual and gender minorities; ethnic minorities.
Humanitarian organizations and donors have committed to change the way humanitarian action is carried out and create a “Participation Revolution.” In this webinar issues addressed included:
- inclusion of the people and communities affected by humanitarian crises in practice;
- how organizations are ensuring that the voices of the most vulnerable groups considering gender, age, ethnicity, language, and special needs are heard and acted upon;
- how program activities and budgets are designed to support the changes that affected people demand
In this webinar, organized on 26 March 2020 by PHAP and the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, we took stock of the progress to date on workstream six of the Grand Bargain and heard success stories from the field that can help agencies achieve a sustained change in how they design and deliver their programs.
A full transcript is available. Webinar registrants were asked to provide what they thought, in their context, was the most important factor enabling participation in practice and what they thought was the most important factor preventing participation in practice. Answers are provided in an Annex.
A collection of practical disability inclusive COVID-19 tools such as sign-language videos, infographics, easy-read materials and accessible protection methods. (June 2020 is the 6th edition)
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
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.
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
The importance of online communities for parents of people with disabilities has been discussed by many scholars in the fields of Digital and Disability Studies, showing, for instance, the importance of social support and the formation of social ties. In order to contribute to this scholarship, this paper explores how collective identity models are built and circulated by parents of autistic people in one of the biggest Brazilian online communities about the subject, ‘Sou autista… conheça o meu mundo’ (I am autistic…get to know my world). The results were obtained through a digital ethnography, based on participant observation and an exchange of information with the members of the community studied. Based on the data collected, the study concludes that the collective identity models that circulate in this community can be grouped into legitimising, resistant, and project identities, as postulated by Castells (2010). The different views reflect how parents see autism and represent the ways it is treated in Brazilian society.
Disability and the Global South, 2018 Vol.5, No. 1
In 2013, the European Union (EU) mission in Zambia made a public statement about its financial support to the LGBTI community. In panic and fear, LGBTI leaders urged the EU office to withdraw the statement and encouraged other foreign missions to instead offer discrete support to the LGBTI community. This anecdote is illustrative of the experiential gap between geopolitical groups confronting a similar policy issue. For the EU, the rights of LGBTI persons are universally important; for the LGBTI community in the Zambian context, safety and discretion are more important. This paradox illustrates the challenges facing the transnationalizing of disability policy. How could we explain the fact that transnational disability actors have for the last two decades been trying to disseminate disability ‘knowledge’ and norms in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) without corresponding social policy and ideational success? This article examines this policy and ontological discrepancy. Advancing a constructivist argument, the article contends that transnational policy diffusion, largely built on colonial legacies of universalizing Western knowledge paradigms, has preoccupied itself with political institutional engagements at the expense of engaging contextspecific sociological and ideological factors, resulting in sterile legislative exercises. To develop a truly SSA-relevant disability policy infrastructure, the article proposes ideational bricolaging and translation, a constructivist process of carefully adhering to and negotiating with context-specific ideational factors that inform the disability experience in SSA countries.
Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2018, Vol. 5 No. 1
The ideology of Emancipatory Disability Research (EDR) reflected in the phrase ‘Nothing about us without us’, was first put forward in the 1990s. Although it aimed to place research control in the hands of the ‘researched’, i.e., people with disability, this rarely happens even today, 25 years later.
The Community Action Research on Disability (CARD) programme in Uganda embraced and modified the EDR approach, recognising the need for including people with disability in the research process from concept to outcome, and nurturing participation and collaboration between all the stakeholders in achieving action-based research. The research teams always included people with disability and staff from Disability People’s Organisations (DPOs) as well as academics and service providers. It endeavoured to generate and carry out research around issues that mattered to people with disability and their families. Leadership roles were assigned by team members. The objectives of the CARD programme were: (1) to fund teams to carry out action-based research on disability in Uganda; (2) to develop research and administrative capacity to manage the initiative within the academic registrar’s office at Kyambogo University; (3) to incorporate new knowledge generated from the studies into the ongoing local community-based rehabilitation and special education courses; and, (4) to ensure wide dissemination of research findings to all stakeholder groups.
CARD ran for 5 years, commissioning 21 action research studies in the field of disability and community-based services. This paper describes the process, presents the 12 completed studies, examines the extent to which the objectives were achieved and evaluates the experiences of the participating research teams, particularly in relation to the inclusion of its members with disability. It concludes with recommendations for future initiatives designed to promote validity, good value and inclusive approaches in disability research.
A social networking website for the disabled community. Members can join forums or groups or post blogs or videos. The MDM Club Business Membership is available for promotion of businesses (including charities and NFP) to the disability community
The CBM smartphone app 'Humanitarian Hands-on Tool' (HHoT) provides step-by-step guidance on how to implement an inclusive emergency response. With disability-inclusive humanitarian action broken down into individual task cards, which explain the basic 'how-to' details in simple language and images, this web-based tool and downloadable mobile app aims to become the ‘go-to’ field resource for all agencies planning humanitarian work that leaves no-one behind
Across the Inclusion International network, many individuals and organisations took part in workshops, surveys and interviews to report:
- what self-advocacy means to them
- what good support is
- how organisations can be more inclusive
- the vital role that families play in empowering self-advocacy.
This report provides a snapshot of work, and has some useful information for self-advocates, supporters, organisations and families. As well as containing the results from the global survey, interviews and workshops, this report also provides some useful guidance for anyone who wants to make the world more inclusive for people with intellectual disabilities.
A website (www.selfadvocacyportal.com) has been developed to share good practice and resources.
Digital technologies show promise for reversing poor engagement of youth (16–24 years) with mental health services. In particular, mobile and internet based applications with communication capabilities can augment face-to-face mental health service provision. Results of in-depth qualitative data drawn from various stakeholders involved in provision of youth mental health services in one Australian rural region are described. Data were obtained using focus groups and semi-structured interviews with regional youth mental health clinicians, youth workers and support/management staff and analysed via inductive thematic analysis. Six main themes were identified: young people in a digital age, personal connection, power and vulnerability, professional identity, individual factors and organisational legitimacy.
MHIN is a network for the global mental health community to communicate and share knowledge, experiences and resources to improve the quality and coverage of care. Provides searchable innovations and resources. The community area hosts blogs, podcasts, webinars and forums.
AuthorAid is a tool to help researchers in developing countries to network and further disseminate their work to a wider audience. The website contains links to find mentors/collaborators, a range of E-learning opportunities, funding opportunities for people working in developing countries, and a plethora of resources on topics ranging from how to write a grant proposal though to the publication process itself
This report highlights two big global challenges for the current state of data: whole groups of people are not being counted and important aspects of people’s lives and environmental conditions are still not measured; and there are huge and growing inequalities in access to data and information, and in the ability to use it. The report makes specific recommendations on how to address these challenges, calling for a UN-led effort to mobilise the data revolution for sustainable development: fostering and promoting innovation to fill data gaps; mobilising resources to overcome inequalities between developed and developing countries and between data-poor and data-rich people; leadership and coordination to enable the data revolution to play its full role in the realisation of sustainable development
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion