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The association between tactile, motor and cognitive capacities and braille reading performance: a scoping review of primary evidence to advance research on braille and aging

MARTINIELLO, Natalina
WITTICH, Walter
English
2020

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PURPOSE

As the prevalence of age-related visual impairment increases, a greater understanding of the physiological and cognitive capacities that are recruited during braille reading and the potential implications of age-related declines is required.

 

METHODS

This scoping review aimed to identify and describe primary studies exploring the relationship between tactile, motor and cognitive capacities and braille reading performance, the instruments used to measure these capacities, and the extent to which age is considered within these investigations. English peer-reviewed articles exploring the relationship between these capacities and braille reading performance were included. Articles were screened by two researchers, and 91% agreement was achieved (kappa = 0.84 [0.81, 0.87], p < 0.01).

 

RESULTS

 2405 articles were considered of which 36 met the inclusion criteria. Fifteen investigated the relationship between tactile capacities and braille reading performance, 25 explored motor capacities, and 5 considered cognitive capacities. Nineteen instruments were used to measure tactile capacity, 4 for motor dexterity, and 7 for cognitive capacity. These studies focus on younger participants and on those who learned braille early in life.

 

CONCLUSIONS

  • Although this overview underscores the importance of tactile perception and bimanual reading, future research is needed to explore the unique needs of older adults who learn braille later in life.
  • The studies in this review underscore the importance of developing both haptic tactile perception and efficient hand reading patterns early in the braille learning process.
  • Practitioners should consider whether specific pre-braille readiness activities can be used to address the unique needs of older adults who may experience tactile, motor or cognitive declines.
  • Most of the studies in this review require replication before they should serve as reliable clinical guidelines; however, braille reading (like print) is a complex process that draws on multiple capacities that should be developed in unison.
  • The studies in this review focus heavily on younger participants and on those who learned braille early in life, and highlight the need for future research on braille and aging.

Quality of wheelchair services as perceived by users in rural Bangalore district, India: a cross-sectional survey

GEILEN, Bart G
DE WITTE, Luc
NORMAN, Gift
GEORGE, Carolin Elizabeth
English
2020

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Background and aim:

This study investigated the current state of wheelchair services in Bangalore Rural district, as provided by Bangalore Baptist Hospital, and identified areas for improvement.

 

Method:

a cross-sectional survey was held among 50 wheelchair users. Data was collected on demographics, satisfaction, wheelchair skills and level of disability using QUEST, WST-Q and CHART-SF questionnaires.

 

Result:

Overall satisfaction can be described as more or less satisfied, scoring 3.8 out of 5. Wheelchair users were less satisfied with the services compared to the wheelchair itself. The skills a wheelchair users had were strongly correlated with satisfaction scores (p < 0.01). Differences in satisfaction between genders were observed and related to multiple factors.

 

Conclusion:

Wheelchairs should be easy to use with support services being easily accessible. A wheelchair should be delivered together with a training program to provide the user with the skills to operate and maintain the wheelchair. There are gender-wise differences in satisfaction towards wheelchair services that influence satisfaction.

Impact of the FindMyApps program on people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia and their caregivers; an exploratory pilot randomised controlled trial

BEENTJES, Kim M
NEAL, David P
KERKHOF, Yvonne J F
BROEDER, Caroline
MOERIDJAN, Zaïnah D J
ETTEMA, Teake P
PELKMANS, Wiesje
MULLER, Majon M
GRAFF, Maud J L
DRÖES, Rose-Marie
English
2020

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Purpose

FindMyApps is a web-based selection-tool and errorless learning training program to help people with mild dementia/Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and caregivers find user-friendly apps. In preparation of a definitive trial, the impact and feasibility of the FindMyApps intervention on self-management and engagement in meaningful activities, including social participation, was explored.

 

Materials and methods

An exploratory pilot randomised controlled trial (trial registration approval number: NL7210) with pre/post measurements was conducted with community-dwelling people with mild dementia/MCI and their caregivers (n = 59) in the Netherlands. Dyads in the experimental group (n = 28) received training to use the tablet and FindMyApps, and the errorless learning method was taught to their caregivers. Control group dyads (n = 31) received a tablet (without FindMyApps), instructions on tablet-use and links to dementia-friendly apps. Validated instruments were used to assess person with dementia’s self-management, meaningful activities and social participation, caregiver’s sense of competence and both their quality of life.

 

Results and conclusions

No statistical significant group differences on the outcomes were found. Small to moderate effect-sizes in favour of the FindMyApps group were found for self-management and social participation. Caregivers tended to have more positive care experiences. Subgroup analyses showed that people older than 70 benefitted more from FindMyApps regarding self-management and higher educated people benefitted more regarding social participation. FindMyApps is feasible for the target group and may have potential to improve self-management and social participation. For a future definitive effectiveness trial a larger sample size is recommended, as well as taking into account the possible impact of education and age.

Moral distress and ethical decision-making of eldercare professionals involved in digital service transformation

FRENNERT, Susanne
English
2020

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Aim

Technology affects almost all aspects of modern eldercare. Ensuring ethical decision-making is essential as eldercare becomes more digital; each decision affects a patient’s life, self-esteem, health and wellness.

 

Methods

We conducted a survey and interviews with eldercare professionals to better understand the behavioural ethics and decision making involved in the digital transition of eldercare.

 

Conclusion

Our qualitative analysis showed three recurrent roles among eldercare professionals in regard to digital service transformation; makers, implementers and maintainers. All three encountered challenging and stressful ethical dilemmas due to uncertainty and a lack of control. The matter of power relations, the attempts to standardize digital solutions and the conflict between cost efficiency and if digital care solutions add value for patients, all caused moral dilemmas for eldercare professionals. The findings suggest a need for organizational infrastructure that promotes ethical conduct and behaviour, ethics training and access to related resources.

Postural asymmetries, pain, and ability to change position of children with cerebral palsy in sitting and supine: a cross-sectional study

CASEY, Jackie
ROSENBLAD, Andreas
RODBY-BOUSQUET, Elisabet
English
2020

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Purpose: To examine any associations between postural asymmetries, postural ability, and pain for chil- dren with cerebral palsy in sitting and supine positions.

 

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 2,735 children with cerebral palsy, 0-18years old, reported into the Swedish CPUP registry. Postural asymmetries, postural ability, the gross motor function classification sys- tem levels I–V, sex, age and report of pain were used to determine any relationship between these variables.

 

Results: Over half the children had postural asymmetries in sitting (n1⁄41,646; 60.2%) or supine (n1⁄41,467; 53.6%). These increased with age and as motor function decreased. Children were twice as likely to have pain if they had an asymmetric posture (OR 2.1–2.7), regardless of age, sex and motor func- tion. Children unable to maintain or change position independently were at higher risk for postural asym- metries in both supine (OR 2.6–7.8) and sitting positions (OR 1.5–4.2).

 

Conclusions: An association was found between having an asymmetric posture and ability to change position in sitting and/or lying; and with pain. The results indicate the need to assess posture and provide interventions to address asymmetric posture and pain.

Covid-19 Income loss, risk of violence and the response of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Uganda

ADD International
English
November 2020

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Findings from this report show evidence that some persons with disabilities face multiple types of jeopardy during Covid-19: they are at an increased risk of violence and are suffering a dramatic loss in household earnings. They are also taking action: many plan to adapt their livelihood and are mobilising resources for their communities. Persons with disabilities ask government and NGOs to do more and to be more inclusive in their response to the crisis.

● Three of four respondents report increased risk of violence since the pandemic began. 77% of women and 80% of men report an increase in economic, physical, psychological and/or sexual violence after Covid-19.

● One in three women respondents report experiencing an increased risk of physical and/or sexual violence.

● Livelihood support could reduce violence risk. Three in four (76%) of respondents say livelihood support, such as start up capital for small business, would be very or extremely useful to them in order to reduce their risk of experiencing violence during Covid-19.

● Respondents report losing 64% of their monthly household income since the outbreak. After adjusting for purchase power parity, this is the equivalent of falling from 181 GBP to 65 GBP per month.

● Covid-19 support is unequal and insufficient for many. Where support has been distributed, one in two report that they do not receive the same protection support (ie PPE) as others; one in four report that they do not receive the same Covid-19 survival support (ie food); one in three report they do not receive the same Covid-19 information; and one in three say that support does not meet need.

● Most respondents will try something new. 59% indicate that they will start something new to make ends meet if the situation continues.

● OPDs are obtaining food support through lobbying, providing vital psychosocial support and information.

● Some OPDs are not able to respond because they are capacity-constrained.

● Government and NGOs can do more.


From these interviews and findings, some recommendations emerge for government and NGOs:

● Support livelihood to reduce violence risk and increase survival strategies.

● Increase access to capital.

● Meaningfully engage persons with disabilities and their respective organisations in response planning and implementation.

● Ensure distribution of support reaches persons with disabilities, more specifically the underrepresented groups.

● Change attitudes toward and increase knowledge about persons with disabilities.

WHO launches assistive technology capacity assessment (ATA-C)

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
English
November 2020

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WHO has developed the assistive technology capacity assessment (ATA-C) tool, a system-level tool to evaluate a country’s capacity to finance, regulate, procure and provide assistive technology. The ATA-C tool enables countries to better understand the current status and identify key actions to improve access to assistive technology: it can be used for awareness raising, policy and programme design and ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

The ATA-C is part of the WHO Assistive Technology Assessment (ATA) Toolkit, helping countries to collect effective and relevant data on assistive technology

Teachers’ and parents’ attitudes towards inclusion of pupils with a first language other than the language of instruction

KAST, Julia
SCHWAB, Susanne
English
2020

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Due to the rising linguistic heterogeneity in schools, the inclusion of pupils with a first language other than the language of instruction is one of the major challenges of education systems all over the world. In this paper, attitudes of in-service teachers, pre-service teachers and parents towards the inclusion of pupils with a first language other than the language of instruction are examined. Additionally, as the paper focused on how the participants perceive the development of this pupils in different school settings (fully included, partly included, fully segregated).


Data from 1501 participants were investigated. Descriptive results showed that pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusive schooling of pupils with different language skills in composite classes were rather positive, while attitudes of in-service teachers and parents rather tend to be neutral. Regarding the results concerning the participants’ attitudes towards the pupils’ development in different school settings, all three sub-groups belief that pupils with German as first language would develop in a more positive way, compared to pupils without German as first language. Moreover, the migration background of pre-service teachers and parents had a positive influence on the participants’ attitudes.
 

Do both ‘get it right’? Inclusion of newly arrived migrant students in Swedish primary schools

TAJIC, Denis
BUNAR, Nihad
English
2020

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The aim of this article is to advance knowledge on how Swedish primary schools organise education and what strategies they deploy to ensure inclusion and attainment of newly arrived migrant students. The article is based on semi-structured interviews with 30 teachers and school administrators, and one-year of fieldwork undertaken in two multicultural urban primary schools in the Stockholm region. One of the schools initially places students in separate classes, while the other one places them directly into mainstream classes. Both are evoking inclusion and attainment as a reason for using their respective models. As such, do both ‘get it right’? Using inclusion as the theoretical and conceptual framework this article addresses the broader question: How is the meaning of inclusion constructed in the processes of its practical implementation in these two schools? The results show the ambitious tale of inclusion in both schools was, in the process of the construction of its meaning and implementation, reduced to some of its aspects. Teachers and school administrators are allowed to include or leave out of their model whatever they deem necessary, obsolete, expensive or unrealistic and still fitting under the umbrella of inclusion. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not, and both schools ‘get it right’ and ‘wrong’ in some aspects.

Teaching for inclusion – a review of research on the cooperation between regular teachers and special educators in the work with students in need of special support

PAULSRUD, David
NILHOLM, Claes
English
2020

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This article presents a review of qualitative research on interprofessional cooperation between regular teachers and special educators published from 2005 to 2019. The aim of the review was to gain knowledge about how different forms of cooperation take shape and about factors at multiple levels that facilitate or constrain cooperation as a means of achieving inclusion. In total, 25 studies were selected. The results are discussed in relation to Thomas Skrtic’s theory of bureaucracies within the school organisation in order to compare and analyse different forms of interprofessional cooperation and schools’ organisations of special educational work. Cooperative teaching, special educational consultations and mixed forms of cooperation were found to entail different benefits and challenges related to communication and the cooperating actors’ roles. Facilitating factors included personal chemistry, an equal distribution of power and responsibilities and support from the school management through provision of professional development and adequate planning time. In several studies, a flexible cooperation was argued to be hindered by curricular constraints and standardised testing. Education policy is therefore emphasised in this review as important for understanding the conditions under which school staff are responsible for inclusion.

Being a girl & disabled in West Africa : the educational situation in question Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso

Humanity & Inclusion
English
October 2020

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Questions de recherche

1 / Dans quelle mesure le handicap — en interrelation avec le genre — influence-t-il les parcours de scolarisation des filles handicapées?

2 / Quelles spécificités liées aux types et au degré de handicap (physique, visuel, auditif, intellectuel) peuvent être observées?

3 / Quelles sont les spécificités liées à l’âge des filles handicapées?

4 / A quels enjeux, notamment en matière de protection de l’enfance, les jeunes filles handicapées sont-elle exposées ?

5 / Quelles spécificités contextuelles émergent dans les trois pays, objet de l’étude et dans les différents terrains d’étude?

6 / Quel rôle joue la religion et les croyances populaires dans l’accentuation des discriminations à l’égard des filles handicapées?

7 / Quels éléments facilitateurs (familiaux/communautaires/institutionnels/politiques/etc.) pour l’éducation des filles handicapées pourraient être identifiés dans les différentes zones d’étude?

Towards more inclusive practices: A Disability, Gender and Age Intersectional Resource

BRIGDEN, Stephanie
AHLUWALIA, Kanwal
English
2020

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This Disability, Gender and Age Resource aims to support staff to better understand intersectionality. An intersectional approach reminds us of the need to look deeper at the way multiple individual characteristics and societal factors intersect to compound discrimination in any given context. This resouce is split into w main sections:

 

In Section A, we introduce the concept of intersectionality, its use as a lens to understand vulnerability and the relevance of ‘context’. Section A also introduces a few critical concepts: the fact that disability, gender and age are all social constructs, the centrality of power and the need to transform unequal power relations.

 

In Section B, we provide some guidance on inclusion and bias; the need to consider the wider environment; how to work with social norms; how to understand power differently; and empowerment and participation processes.

Empowering Women with Disabilities : moving from charity to right based model

Humanity & Inclusion
English
2020

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HI Pakistan has recently completed a UN Women funded project ”Empowering women with disabilities (EWwD)” focusing on the social and economic empowerment of the women with disabilities. The project was implemented at Islamabad capital territory (ICT), Peshawar, Nowshera and Karachi. This project has directly benefited more than 600 women with disabilities , whereas about 30 DPOs and a number of public private departments / institutions have also been engaged and benefitted.

 

HI Pakistan collected the stories of project beneficiaries and published to highlight the impact of the project and to integrate the lesson learnt in program cycle management.

Disability Data advocacy toolkit

LOCKWOOD, Elizabeth
English
et al
October 2020

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This toolkit was created in response to increasing interest and requests from persons with disabilities and their representative organizations from all over the world. The aim of this toolkit is to contribute to the growing global dialogue on the importance of data on persons with disabilities, specifically to provide some basic knowledge on data collection, analysis, and use of data for evidenced based advocacy to influence policy and decision makers. The toolkit discusses the use of the WG questions as best practices to be employed in data collections and disaggregating data by disability.

"Autism is me": an investigation of how autistic individuals make sense of autism and stigma

BOTHA, Monique
DIBB, Bridget
FROST, David M
English
2020

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There are many different perspectives for understanding autism. These perspectives may each convey different levels of stigma for autistic individuals. This qualitative study aimed to understand how autistic individuals make sense of their own autism and experience the stigma attached to autism. The study used critical grounded theory tools. Participants (N1⁄420) discussed autism as central to their identity, and integral to who they are. While participants thought of autism as value neutral, they expressed how society confers negative meanings onto autism, and thus, them. The findings also indicate that different understand- ings of autism confer different levels of stigma. Participants expressed constant exposure to stigma and managed this stigma in different ways. Such methods included reframing to more positive understandings of autism, the reclamation of language, and using concealment and disclosure stra- tegically. The implications of these findings are discussed further in the article.

Covid-19: Violence risk and loss of income among persons with disabilities

ADD International
English
October 2020

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This report presents findings from telephone interviews with 87 members from Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) partners and 10 DPO/Self-Help Group (SHG) leaders from organisations with 1,998 members in 10 districts across 7 provinces of Cambodia, to ask about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities.

 

Three patterns emerge from these interviews: there is a pattern of compounding vulnerability to violence; a pattern of significant livelihood loss that is felt differently by disability type and gender; and a link between livelihood loss and pronounced increase in economic and psychological violence against women and girls with disabilities.

 

Evidence from these interviews suggests that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, some women with disabilities are at increased risk of violence and suffering a dramatic loss in household earnings. Reported violence risk increase is mostly psychological and economic, higher among older respondents and most pronounced among those who already experienced medium to high risk of violence before COVID-19.

Action on COVID-19 Evidence on the Response of Disabled People’s Organisations during Pandemic

ADD International
English
October 2020

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In June 2020, ADD International conducted structured interviews with leaders from ten Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) which are participating in the Inclusion Works programme in three districts in Bangladesh to understand impact of and response to Covid-19 among DPOs.

 

Evidence from these interviews suggest that the economic impact of Covid-19 on persons with disabilities has been acute, and DPOs are taking critical action. DPOs are engaging with power holders to make relief, livelihood support and information accessible to persons with disabilities. DPOs are in touch with their members, but they face barriers in doing their work during this time, and more could be done to reach the most excluded.

Disability rights during the pandemic. A global report on findings of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor

BRENNAN, Ciara Siobhan
English
October 2020

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This report presents the findings from a rapid global survey of persons with disabilities and other stakeholders which took place between April and August 2020. The organisations behind the study seek to “catalyse urgent action in the weeks and months to come,” as transmission rates of COVID-19 continue to rise in many countries and persons with disabilities are again subjected to restrictions which have already had severe consequences.

The report analyses over 2,100 responses to the survey from 134 countries around the world. The vast majority of responses were from individuals with disabilities and their family members. Within the questionnaire responses respondents provided more than 3,000 written testimonies documenting the experiences of persons with disabilities and their family members during the pandemic. The qualitative and quantitative data provide in-depth, comprehensive insights into the experiences of persons with disabilities and the consequences of government actions or inactions on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The report is organised around four themes which emerged during the process of analysing responses received to the survey. These themes are:

1. Inadequate measures to protect persons with disabilities in institutions

2. Significant and fatal breakdown of community supports

3. Disproportionate impact on underrepresented groups of persons with disabilities

4. Denial of access to healthcare

 

A webinar was held to mark the launch of the report

From words to actions: systematic review of interventions to promote sexual and reproductive health of persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries

HAMEED, Shaffa
MADDAMS, Alexander
LOWE, Hattie
DAVIES, Lowri
KHOSLA, Rajat
SHAKESPEARE, Tom
English
2020

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Persons with disabilities have the same sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as non-disabled persons. Yet they face numerous barriers in their access to sexual and reproductive health services and their rights are often not met. Evidence on SRHR for persons with disabilities is sparse, particularly evaluations of interventions demonstrating ‘what works.’ This systematic review assessed interventions to promote SRHR for persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries.

The method involved searching for qualitative, quantitative or mixed method observational studies representing primary research, published between 2010 and 2019, using MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, Global Health and CINAHL Plus

 

BMJ Global Health 2020;5:e002903.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-002903

Long-term outcomes for children with disability and severe acute malnutrition in Malawi

LELIJVELD, Natasha
GROCE, Nora
PATEL, Seema
NNENSA, Teresa
CHIMWEZI, Emmanuel
GLADSTONE, Melissa
MELLEWA, Macpherson
WELLS, Jonathon
SEAL, Andrew
KERAC, Marco
English
October 2020

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Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and disability are major global health issues. Although they can cause and influence each other, data on their co-existence are sparse. This study aims to describe the prevalence and patterns of disability among a cohort of children with SAM.

A longitudinal cohort study in Malawi followed SAM survivors up to 7 years postdischarge. Clinical and anthropometric profiles were compared with sibling and community controls. Disability at original admission was identified clinically; at 7-year follow-up a standardised screening tool called ‘the Washington Group Questionnaire’ was used.

 

BMJ Global Health 2020;5:e002613

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-002613

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