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Global Report on Assistive Technology

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
May 2022

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The WHO-UNICEF Global Report on Assistive Technology (AT) reveals that more than 2.5 billion people need one or more assistive products, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or apps that support communication and cognition. Yet nearly one billion of them are denied access, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where access can be as low as 3% of the need for these life-changing products.

The Global Report provides the best available evidence about the barriers currently preventing access, how access can be improved, and how enabling environments and AT can enable persons with disabilities to enjoy their human rights while generating a tremendous return on investment for governments. The report also makes 10 key recommendations for concrete actions that will improve access to AT, for everyone, that needs them. 

Access to assistive technology for children with disabilities is often the first step for childhood development, access to education, participation in sports and civic life, and getting ready for employment like their peers. Children with disabilities have additional challenges due to their growth, which requires frequent adjustments or replacements of their assistive products.

Global Disability Summit 2022 - Oslo, Norway

GLOBAL DISABILITY SUMMIT
February 2022

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The International Disability Alliance (IDA), the Government of Norway, and the Government of Ghana hosted the second Global Disability Summit on 16 and 17 February 2022 (GDS22). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure inclusive participation at the Summit, the event was held on a digital platform.

The first Global Disability Summit (GDS18), held in 2018 in London, generated an unprecedented level of focus on and commitment to disability-inclusive development. 171 national governments, multilateral agencies, donors, foundations, private sector, and civil society organisations made 968 individual commitments. More than 300 governments and organisations signed the GDS18 Charter for Change, encouraging the focused implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The Global Disability Summit 2022 (GDS22) in was built on the results achieved at the first Summit, to further accelerate much-needed progress towards the fulfillment of the rights of persons with disabilities worldwide.

The Summit led to concrete commitments that brought genuine change for persons with disabilities. GDS22 gathered a total of 1413 commitments on disability inclusion.

People with disabilities want equality through access and participation. To obtain lasting change at the country level, we seek collaboration with States, multilateral organisations, and civil society. We seek action and we seek the voices of persons with disabilities themselves.

Global Disability Youth Summit and a Civil Society Forum. was also held under the auspices of the GDS22.

 

The Chair's summary, recordings of GDS22, commitments made and the program are available.

Global Disability Youth Summit 2022

GLOBAL DISABILITY SUMMIT
February 2022

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IDA, UNICEF, and the Atlas Alliance, represented by Youth Mental Health Norway, co-hosted a Youth Summit on 14 February 2022 to ensure the inclusion of youth in the Global Disability Summit. 

All planning and decision making around the Summit were led by youth with disabilities, including through the design of a novel format to ensure the participation of youth from around the globe, from local to global.

 

The Summit showcased the innovations of organizations led by youth with disabilities. Youth with disabilities at the local, regional and global levels have created groups and activities, both online and offline, fostering a sense of community, even during the COVID-19 period. Through the Summit, the youth focused on topics that they have identified to be particularly important in this regard, such as participation of youth in OPDs and youth mainstream organizations, inclusive education, deinstitutionalization and community inclusion, access to employment, climate change, new technologies, humanitarian action, access to inclusive healthcare including sexual reproductive health and mental health, among others.

 

A working group consisting of co-hosts and selected partners was responsible for developing a Youth Charter for Change - summing up and challenging the commitments

 

Uganda's disability data landscape and the economic inclusion of persons with disabilities

Development Initiatives
November 2021

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This report looks at the landscape of data on disability in Uganda – summarising what data on persons with disabilities is available, who produces and uses it, and how – as well as what this means for the economic inclusion of persons with disabilities.

 

For persons with disabilities to benefit from and contribute to society and the economy there needs to be effective policies, programmes and services that support their inclusion, particularly in employment. Reliable information and data on persons with disabilities, known as ‘disability data’, is essential to planning and for decision-making. When it is of high quality, accessible and used effectively, disability data can help organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), civil society, government and businesses better understand and prioritise interventions that are vital for supporting persons with disabilities and ensuring their inclusion.

 

OPDs, civil society and the government have an important role to play in strengthening the landscape of disability data. Developed as part of Development Initiatives’ work on data to support disability inclusion, in consultation with Uganda’s disability rights movement, this report presents an analysis of Uganda’s landscape of disability data. It highlights important data sources, challenges and recommendations, providing a valuable evidence base to inform efforts aimed at strengthening the enabling environment for disability inclusion.

The Globalization of the Diabetes Epidemic

BONNEAU, Claire
2021

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As globalization continues to bring everyone and everything closer together, not all of the trade-offs are necessarily positive. As we export our unique cultures and experiences around the globe, we also increase the spread of chronic health problems.

For much of the 20th century, a person’s likelihood of developing a chronic health disease like type II diabetes depended on the wealth of the country they lived in equally as much as their own biology and genetic factors. In wealthy, developed countries, people are much more likely to survive to old age and eventually pass away from diseases of affluence — chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes that primarily impact the ageing population. In contrast, people living in developing nations are much more likely to experience malnourishment, violence, and communicable diseases that have a major impact on their overall health and quality of life.

This distinction has proven to be true across many developed countries, including globalization giants like the United States. Even in the more economically disadvantaged areas of America, hardly anyone dies as a result of communicable diseases like tuberculosis, a disease that is still a serious problem in lesser developed nations. Alternatively, in low to middle-income countries, these types of health concerns are still a going concern. Alongside the increased risk of encountering a communicable disease, people living in these areas are also at a higher risk for developing diseases of affluence such as type II diabetes. In this way, people living in developing nations are more likely to experience cancer while also battling cholera infections, and someone living with diabetes is also more likely to be struggling with chronic malnourishment. This lack of distinction between diseases of affluence and communicable diseases puts people living in developing nations at a disadvantage.

In this new global landscape of health and disease, the impact of diabetes is truly overwhelming. Since 1980, the number of people living with diabetes has almost doubled from 152 million to between 285-347 million (1). As a result of this dramatic increase, health spending and global costs have also had to increase to meet the growing demand for care. In 2019, it is estimated that diabetes caused over 760 billion USD in health expenditures, making up about 10% of all global spending on adults (2).

As the prevalence of diabetes continues to grow around the world, we need to shift our attention to finding global solutions to this invisible epidemic. Understanding the connection between obesity, globalization, and diabetes is a great starting point in order to tackle this ever-growing global health problem.

“No One Represents Us” Lack of access to political participation for people with disabilities in Iraq

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
September 2021

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This report documents that Iraqi authorities have failed to secure electoral rights for Iraqis with disabilities. People with disabilities are often effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places and significant legislative and political obstacles to running for office.

Between January and August, Human Rights Watch interviewed 14 people with disabilities as well as activists, authorities, and the staff of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).

While the Iraqi government has not collected any reliable statistics on the number of people with disabilities, in 2019, the United Nation’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said that Iraq, plagued by decades of violence and war, has one of the world’s largest populations of people with disabilities.

Labour Market Assessment: Bangladesh 2021 refresh

INCLUSIVE FUTURES
BROWN, SIMON
August 2021

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This Labour Market Assessment for Bangladesh is a refresh of the initial assessments done in 2019 for the Inclusion Works programme. The assessment adopts a Markets for Poor (M4P) approach to mapping demand for and supply of labour, supporting functions and regulatory frameworks; recognising that labour markets conditions will have evolved since 2019, especially in light of COVID-19. The perspectives of jobseekers, employers, and organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) are also included in this analysis. The report provides insights into market changes and recommendations to enable Inclusion Works programming to adapt and be more effective in their interventions.

Labour Market Assessment: Kenya 2021 refresh

INCLUSIVE FUTURES
BROWN, SIMON
OBOSI, Shikuku
August 2021

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This Labour Market Assessment for Kenya is a refresh of the initial assessments done in 2019 for the Inclusion Works programme. The assessment adopts a Markets for Poor (M4P) approach to mapping demand for and supply of labour, supporting functions and regulatory frameworks; recognising that labour markets conditions will have evolved since 2019, especially in light of COVID-19. The perspectives of jobseekers, employers, and organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) are also included in this analysis. The report provides insights into market changes and recommendations to enable Inclusion Works programming to adapt and be more effective in their interventions.

A Global Agenda for Inclusive Recovery: Ensuring People with Intellectual Disabilities and Families are Included in a Post-COVID World

Inclusion International
June 2021

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This report documents the experience of exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences reveal pre-existing structural inequalities that affected the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families before COVID-19, during the pandemic, and beyond, and this report raises up the voices of those most excluded in a time of global crisis and demands an inclusive COVID-19 recovery.

 

This report includes the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and families across eight different issue areas. Across these themes, we examined how and why people with intellectual disabilities were left out and excluded in pandemic responses, what pre-existing conditions and inequalities contributed to their vulnerability and exclusion, and how future policy structures could begin to address both this immediate and systemic exclusion.

 

Together, these experiences and policy solutions form our global agenda for inclusive COVID-19 recovery, an action plan to ensure that government efforts to ‘build back better’ are inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Disability and Indigeneity: intersectionality of identity from the experience of Indigenous people at a global level

GILROY, John
UTTJEK, Margaretha
LOVERN, Lavonna
WARD, John
2021

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The authors of this paper have protested, fought, written extensively and represent the broader theoretical foundations of Indigenous and disability research by focusing on their standpoint perspectives informed by their ancestral spirits and knowledge. Based on our knowledge, cultures, and advocacy skills, this paper collectively explores and compares the intersections of Indigeneity and disability as an embodied identity in four countries: USA, Canada, Sweden, and Australia. This is accomplished by beginning with a brief synopsis of colonization to provide context and then examine the consequences of Western assimilation practices, including academic support of the Western status quo. The paper will then turn to the impact of both colonization and academic constructs on Indigenous epistemologies and ideas of self in disability dialogues. Finally, the paper will focus on Indigenous concepts of difference to not only advance Western disability discussions, but also as a way for Western dialogue to overcome its predilection to hierarchical binaries.

Social protection measures for persons with disabilities and their families in response to the COVID-19 crisis: An updated overview of trends June 2021

UNPRPD
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION (ILO)
June 2021

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An overview of social protection measures announced in response to COVID-19 that have made specific reference to persons with disabilities. Rather than seeking to provide an exhaustive survey of measures, it identifies the main characteristics and trends for social protection responses that specifically sought to support persons with disabilities during the crisis. This brief focuses on specific crisis response measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledging that persons with disabilities also benefited from access to health care and income support provided through pre-existing social protection schemes and programmes. The document provides an update to an initial analysis in May 2020 (UNPRPD, 2020).

 

This overview draws on a database of social protection measures specifically relating to disability, which is provided as an Annex to this paper. 

Vihiga county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This briefing tracks the inclusivity of Vihiga county budgets from financial years (FY) 2016–17 to 2020–21 towards persons with disabilities. It begins with an overview of disability prevalence in the county, then looks at county investments in disability inclusion. It concludes by looking at the critical financial gaps in the disability sector and providing actionable recommendations to be taken up by both the county government and disabled persons organisations (DPOs).

Trans Nzoia county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This is part of a series of briefings that track the disability inclusivity of county budgets. In this briefing, we present the inclusivity of Trans Nzoia County budgets towards persons with disabilities between financial years (FY) 2016–17 and 2020–21. It should be noted that this briefing has utilised data from only three FYs, as opposed to five as planned, due to the unavailability of budget data. The three FYs with available budget data are FY2017–18, FY2018–19 and FY2020–21. For the two FYs without budget data, we have used projections from the previous years.

Kakamega county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This briefing tracks the inclusivity of Kakamega county budgets towards persons with disabilities from financial year (FY) 2016–17 to 2020–21. It begins with an overview of disability prevalence in the county, and then looks at county investments on disability inclusion. It concludes by looking at the critical financial gaps in the disability sector and providing actionable recommendations to be taken up by both the county government and persons with disabilities.

Bungoma county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This briefing presents research that was undertaken as part of Development Initiatives’ work on data to support disability inclusion. It is part of a series of publications that track disability inclusion in county budgets in Kenya. This briefing looks at the inclusivity of Bungoma county budgets towards persons with disabilities between the financial years (FY) 2016–17 and 2020–21. It begins with an overview of the disability prevalence rate in the county, then looks at county investments towards disability inclusion. It concludes by outlining the critical financial gaps in the disability sector and provides actionable recommendations for both the county government and disabled persons organisations (DPOs).

Busia county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This briefing tracks the inclusivity of Busia county budgets from financial years (FY) 2016–17 to 2020–21 towards persons with disabilities. It begins with an overview of disability prevalence in the county, and then looks at county investments in disability inclusion. It concludes by looking at the critical financial gaps in the disability sector and providing actionable recommendations to be taken up by both the county government and disabled persons organisations (DPOs).

What progress has been made to operationalise the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) framework to promote inclusive employment? - Evidence Brief

LAMBERT, Felix
May 2021

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Employment contributes to well-being and dignity. Additionally, it can break the vicious cycle of poverty and the resulting negative mental health. However, nearly two-thirds of persons with disabilities aged 15 years and over are unemployed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The ratio of persons with disabilities in employment compared to the general population in employment is almost half. Furthermore, among people with disabilities who are employed, two-thirds continue to experience workplace barriers. Inequality and discrimination in employment deprive persons with disabilities of their rights. Goal 8 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly calls for “promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.” The United Nations’ ‘Disability and Development’ report highlights the international frameworks relevant to optimize opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in employment, to achieve Goal 8.  This brief will provide an overview of the available literature on LMICs’ efforts to promote inclusive employment underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) framework.

How to design disability-inclusive social protection

UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
April 2021

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This is the fifth in a series of policy guides developed to support policymakers and practitioners in Asia and the Pacific in their efforts to strengthen social protection.

This policy guide explains why social protection is important for persons with disabilities 
and introduces key concepts and schemes that are necessary for disability-inclusive social protection.

A National Survey of the Social and Emotional Differences Reported by Adults with Disability in Ireland Compared to the General Population

McCONKEY, Roy
2021

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The disadvantages experienced by adult persons with disabilities are well documented. However, limited evidence is available on the extent of differences in comparison with the non- disabled population. In this study, selected indicators of social status and mental wellbeing derived from past research, were used with national samples of adult persons in Ireland with a disability (n = 440) and without a disability (n = 880) recruited through household quota sampling. In addition, comparisons were drawn with equivalent data derived from a contemporaneous national census. Although many of the differences were statistically significant, the effect sizes were mostly medium to low. Moreover, when the inter-relationships among the various indicators was taken into account using Discriminant Analysis, persons with disabilities were less likely to be employed; they reported lower levels of social engagement and had poorer emotional wellbeing. They were also older, more likely to be single and have no children. The study illustrates the potential of using comparative data to monitor the impact of national actions taken to reduce the inequalities experienced by persons with disability as well as highlighting the arenas into which professional supports need to be focused.

Disability inclusive Universal Healthcare

CENTRE FOR INCLUSIVE POLICY
March 2021

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The inclusion of direct medical costs, indirect medical costs and indirect costs incurred by people with disabilities into Universal Healthcare is discussed. The importance of including assistive devices, rehabilitation and extra transportation costs in the system is highlighted. Social protection measures are also highlighted.

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