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Disability inclusion annual report 2020

UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY (UNRWA)
December 2020

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The number of Palestine refugees registered by UNRWA recently grew to 5.7 million (from 5.5 million in 2019) in all its five field of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. Among them are Palestine refugees with disabilities, who have long-term impairments, which in interactions with attitudinal, institutional, and environmental barriers prevent their full and effective participation on an equal basis with others in society. Persons with disabilities constitute an estimated 15 per cent of the global population1, and may constitute a higher percentage in humanitarian contexts, such as Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, in particular, which are UNRWA fields of operations.

 

The main actions undertaken in 2020 discussed in the report are:

  • targeted and disability-specific services for persons with disabilities
  • disability inclusion through programmes
  • inter-agency coordination
  • international protection advocacy

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
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.

A glimpse into smartphone screen reader use among blind teenagers in rural Nepal

SANKHI, Prakash
SANDNES, Frode Eika
2020

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Purpose

Access to appropriate assistive technology is a challenge worldwide and especially in low GDP-per-capita countries. Nepal is one example of a country with several coinciding challenges: some claim having a high rate of blindness in the general population, a low-GDP-per capita and some studies claim it has a low literacy rate, especially in rural areas. Without appropriate assistive technology, some disabled youth may not get full access to education.

 

Methods

To gain insight into assistive technology use in rural Nepal, five blind teenagers in a mixed secondary school with disabled and non-disabled students in rural Nepal were interviewed about their daily smartphone use.

 

Results

The results show that all the participants used screen readers on donated smartphones. None of the participants had received formal training in using smartphone screen readers and therefore lacked knowledge about basic and essential operational aspects of the devices as well as misguided expectations about the technology.

 

Conclusions

One implication of the findings is that smartphone accessibility features training material needs to be made easily available to schools and all disabled youth worldwide, as smartphones are increasingly becoming available in low-income remote regions with low literacy rates. The built-in accessibility features of smartphones promise disabled youth a non-stigmatizing platform for social participation and access to the information society.

Disability Inclusive Development - Kenya Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Kenya?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Kenya. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Kenya, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Jordan Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Jordan?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Jordan. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Jordan, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

Access to age-assistive technology: A resilience building measure for older people

HISCOCK, Diana
MALIK, Deepak
June 2020

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The intersection between age, gender and disability and the use of assistive technology (AT) by older people, in emergency response and as a tool for disaster risk reduction (DRR) is explored. The report shows that AT can have a positive impact on independence, vulnerability reduction and resilience building for older women and men in humanitarian crises. This report urges for sensitization and capacity building of humanitarian organizations for the inclusion and promotion of assistive product (AP) provision in humanitarian response and offers insight into key areas to enable AT provision to successfully meet the needs of older people.

 

The study employed primary research methods to gather both quantitative and qualitative information through a semi-structured survey with HelpAge programme beneficiaries in five countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. The survey incorporated the Washington Group short set of questions (WGQs), designed to identify people with functional difficulties in six core functional domains: mobility, vision, hearing, cognition, self-care and communication (Washington Group on Disability Statistics, 2016). The report also summarises secondary research including a literature review, information from rapid needs assessments carried out by HelpAge, and maps out relevant policy changes which have led to better recognition of the intersectionality and importance of AT for older men and women.

Access to basic needs and health care for Malawian prosthetic and orthotic users with lower limb physical disabilities: a cross-sectional study

MAGNUSSON, Lina
FINYE, Clifford
ENSTEDT, Catrin
May 2020

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The aim of this study was to investigate access for Malawian prosthetic and orthotic users with lower limb disabilities to basic human rights such as health and a standard of living adequate for health, education, work, marrying and establishing a family, and voting. A further aim was to investigate differences among subgroups based on gender, level of income, and residential location.

A cross-sectional design and a questionnaire were used to collect data from 83 participants.

 

Disability and Rehabilitation

https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2020.1752316

Recycling of plaster of Paris

SHIYO, Servas
NAGELS, Joseph
SHANGALI, Harold G.
May 2020

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Background: Plaster of Paris (POP) is being used in different ways in the field of medicine, dentistry and rehabilitation. One of its uses is in the manufacture of models of body segments in prosthetics and orthotics. It is used as a one-off procedure in which the used material is dismantled and discarded. The disposal of discarded materials does not allow easy decomposition which then pollutes the environment. It is not known whether this material could be reused if recycled.

 

Objectives: The main objective of the study was to recycle POP models and determine its reuse in producing models with identical qualities, and thus reduce environmental pollution.

 

Method: The procedure adopted was to break discarded models into small pieces, remove impurities and dirt; then the sample models were milled, washed, dried and pulverised. The POP models were heated to evaporate crystalline water in order to determine for how many times it could be recycled while retaining the desired strength, setting time and working characteristics.

 

Results: The recycled POP reached higher setting temperatures and was stronger in terms of compressive strain and strength than the virgin POP. The highest temperature recorded for recycled POP was 40°C, which was higher than that for virgin powder (32.5°C). Testing compressive strength of all cylinders in all groups showed that the average compressive strength of the recycled powder mixed with water in a ratio of 1:1 was 2407 KN/m² and the ratio of 2:3 resulted in a compressive strength of 1028 KN/m², whereas the average compressive strength of virgin POP powder mixed with water in a ratio of 1:1 was 1807 KN/m² and the ratio of 2:3 resulted in a compressive strength of 798 KN/m². There were no differences in working properties between the recycled POP and the virgin POP.

 

Conclusion: It was therefore concluded that under controlled conditions, such as grinding size, heating temperature, time and avoidance of contamination, used POP could be continuously recycled, resulting in stronger and workable casts.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol. 9, 2020

Access to basic needs and health care for Malawian prosthetic and orthotic users with lower limb physical disabilities: a cross-sectional study

MAGNUSSON, Lina
FINYE, Clifford
ENSTEDT, Catrin
May 2020

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Purpose: To investigate access to basic human rights such as health, a standard of living adequate for health, education, work, marrying and establishing a family, and voting for prosthetic and orthotic users with lower limb disabilities in Malawi.

 

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional design and a questionnaire were used to collect data from 83 participants.

 

Results: Most participants reported their overall physical and mental health as good (60 [72%] and 50 [60%], respectively) and said they could access medical care (69 [83%]). Fifty (60%) participants had access to food, 72 (87%) had access to basic water, and 55 (66%) lived in housing adequate for their health. Most participants had studied in school (74 [89%]) but only 27 (33%) of the participants were working. Forty-three (52%) were married and 53 (64%) had children. Seventy-six (92%) participants could vote if they wished.

 

Conclusions: Rurality and high costs of transport and medication increase the barriers to accessing several basic human rights for people with lower limb physical disabilities. Interventions to target these barriers and increase access to secondary school, employment, and income could improve health equity for people with physical disabilities in Malawi and similar contexts.

Experiences accessing and using rehabilitation services for people with physical disabilities in Sierra Leone

AENISHANSLIN, Justine
AMARA, Abu
MAGNUSSON, Lina
April 2020

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Purpose: To explore the experiences of persons with physical disabilities accessing and using rehabilitation services in Sierra Leone.

 

Materials and methods: Interviews of 38 individuals with differing physical disabilities in three locations across Sierra Leone. An inductive approach was applied, and qualitative content analysis used.

 

Results: Participants faced several barriers to accessing and using rehabilitation services. Six themes emerged: The initial and ongoing need for rehabilitation throughout life; challenges with the cost of rehabilitation and transportation to reach rehabilitation services; varied experiences with rehabilitation staff; coming to terms with disability and encountering stigma; the struggles without and opportunities with rehabilitation services; and limited knowledge and availability of rehabilitation services.

 

Conclusions: There is a continued need to address the barriers associated with the affordability of rehabilitation through the financing of rehabilitation and transportation and exploring low-cost care delivery models. Rehabilitation services, assistive devices, and materials need to be available in existing rehabilitation centres. A national priority list is recommended to improve the availability and coordination of rehabilitation services. Improved knowledge about disability and rehabilitation services in the wider community is needed. Addressing discriminatory health beliefs and the stigma affecting people with disabilities through community interventions and health promotion is recommended.

Disability inclusion annual report 2019

UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST
December 2019

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United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) adopts a twin-track approach to ensure the full inclusion of Palestine refugees with disabilities. This entails ‘disability mainstreaming’, whereby all UNRWA programmes and services are universally designed to ensure that they are usable by and/or reach beneficiaries with disabilities, coupled with the provision of ‘targeted/tailored interventions’. During 2019, UNRWA implemented the following activities to address the specific needs of Palestine refugees with disabilities:

  • Direct Specialized Services for Persons with Disabilities
  • Disability Inclusion through Programmes
  • International Cooperation

Coordination between health and rehabilitation services in Bangladesh: Findings from 3 related studies

PRYOR, Wesley, HASAN Rajib
MARELLA, Manjula
NGUYEN, Liem
SMITH, Fleur
JALAL, Faruk Ahmed
CHAKRABORTY, Ripon
HAQUE, Mazedul
MOSTOFA, Golam
HASAN, Rajib
April 2019

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The unmet need for rehabilitation is profound and is likely to worsen as population health shifts towards longer lives lived with more ill-health and disability. The WHO Global Action Plan on Disability and the Rehabilitation 2030 framework [1] call for quality evidence to inform targeted responses.
The intent of this work is to examine six IDSCs (Integrated Disability Service Centres) in detail but to use the results to inform new activities through the network of more than 100 Integrated Disability Service Centres, with potential to influence practice in other services. As such, results of this work have the potential to directly inform policy decisions concerning future investments in rehabilitation services in Bangladesh and bring awareness to key stakeholders on current challenges and potential solutions.

Research was conducted during March-October 2018 in Kurigram, Tangail, Manikgonj, Dhaka and Narsingdi districts of Bangladesh to map out the current trends and determinants of good coordination
between health and rehabilitation, emphasising quantitative measures of: timeliness, continuity, acceptability, availability and integration

Disability and global health: Special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

KUPER, Hannah
POLAK, Sarah
Eds
2019

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Papers included in this special issue are:

 

An integrated approach to victim assistance in Cambodia & the role of Australia as supporting state

De BEAUPUIS, Gaetan
HOTTENOT, Elke
November 2018

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The objective of this case study was to review how Cambodia, as an affected state, and Australia as a donor, promote the provision of victim assistance in sectors including health, rehabilitation, disability, socio-economic development and poverty reduction. It documents promising practices and proposes next steps to ensure the sustainability of victim assistance provision in the near and long-term future. This study aims to inspire the mine action community in both affected and donor states to increase its contribution to victim assistance. This case study focuses on both prongs of the integrated approach to victim assistance by describing: i) Broader multi-sector efforts that reach casualties, survivors and indirect victims; and ii) Specific victim assistance efforts to improve victims’ quality of life deployed by mine action stakeholders, other actors in charge of coordinating victim assistance in Cambodia, and Australia as a donor state. An analysis of these specific efforts revealed that they fall into one of two of the following categories: a) Bridging gaps in data collection and service provision, or b) Advocating for, and facilitating, a multisector response.

 

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) conducted the study in November 2017 in seven provinces. The methodology comprised three steps: a desk review of project documents, national plans and policies from a range of sectors with a focus on programmes funded by Australia; interviews with key personnel from the mine action and the disability sectors; and a field survey comprising 31 individual indepth interviews with 19 survivors and 12 other persons with disabilities (23 male and 8 female), 12 focus group discussions as well as field visits to observe the initiatives described in this publication. 

 

 

Missing millions: How older people with disabilities are excluded from humanitarian response

SHEPPARD, Phillip
POLACK, Sarah
McGIVERN, Madeleine
July 2018

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The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of older people with disabilities across a range of humanitarian settings, considering:

  • whether older people with disabilities have additional needs and challenges accessing humanitarian assistance and protection
  • what factors facilitate or limit access by older people with disabilities to humanitarian assistance and protection
  • to what extent is humanitarian response inclusive of older people with disabilities

A systematic literature review of published studies was conducted. Key online humanitarian guidelines were explored to review how far they explicitly address older people with disabilities. Data from six population-based disability surveys comparing the living situation of older people with and without disabilities were analysed. These included databases from two crises-affected populations in Haiti (post-earthquake) and Palestine. Data from four non-humanitarian settings was also reviewed to explore more broadly the situation for older people with disabilities – India, Guatemala, Cameroon and Nepal. Interviews were held with older people with disabilities, members of their families and local key informants in two conflict-affected populations in Ndutu and Mtendeli refugee camps in Western Tanzania, and Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Eastern Ukraine to find out about their experiences. Staff of five international agencies working in humanitarian response were also interviewed. 

 

Findings highlight particular issues facing older people with disabilities in humanitarian crises: more risk escaping from danger;  barriers to accessing social protection and work; barriers to accessing health and rehabilitation services; barriers to accessing food and other essentials; unsuitable housing and poor living conditions;  insecurity and discrimination; threats to dignity and independence; social isolation and loneliness; risks to mental health; and missing from humanitarian response.

 

A table brings together the findings from the different components of the research to show the needs, risks, barriers and enablers for older people with disabilities identified in the research. Recommendations are provided to humanitarian donors, policy makers and practitioners

Removing barriers - The path towards inclusive access. Disability assessment among Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Jordan report

ASAI, Yahoko
et al
July 2018

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Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and iMMAP conducted a study concerning with the lack of disability data in the Syria crisis context,  which aimed to:

  • Provide statistically reliable prevalence of disability as well as disability disaggregated data indicators on access to services.
  • Increase understanding of the situation of Syrian refugees with disabilities and their households, compared to their peers without disabilities, in relation to the access to services including education, and key barriers experienced in accessing these services.
  • Recommend inclusive actions to be prioritized by humanitarian actors.

The study conducted a literature review, quantitative data collection as well as qualitative data collection. Quantitative data was collected from 6,381 persons of randomly sampled 1,159 households in Azraq and Zaatari camps and Irbid between October 2017 and January 2018. Twenty-five Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and 3 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were also conducted between November 2017 and January 2018 to elicit deeper insights on the educational situation of children with and without disabilities

Removing barriers - The path towards inclusive access. Disability assessment among Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Lebanon report

ASAI, Yahoko
et al
July 2018

Expand view

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and iMMAP conducted a study concerned with the lack of disability data in the Syria crisis context,  which aimed to:

  • Provide statistically reliable prevalence of disability as well as disability disaggregated data indicators on access to services.
  • Increase understanding of the situation of Syrian refugees with disabilities and their households, compared to their peers without disabilities, in relation to the access to services including education, and key barriers experienced in accessing these services.
  • Recommend inclusive actions to be prioritized by humanitarian actors.

The study conducted a literature review, quantitative data collection as well as qualitative data collection. Quantitative data was collected from 2,495 persons of randomly sampled 506 households in the urban setting in Bar Elias as well as Informal Tented Settlements (ITS) in Bar Elias and Arsal in December 2017. Fourteen Key Informant Interviews (KII) were also conducted in December 2017 to elicit deeper insights on the educational situation of children with and without disabilities.

Systems thinking for assistive technology: a commentary on the GREAT summit

MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
SCHERER, Marcia J
2018

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The area of assistive technology has a long history of technological ingenuity and innovation. In order to ensure that the benefits of assistive technology are equitably distributed across the population and life course, it is necessary to adopt a systemic approach to the area. We describe examples of systems thinking and non-systems thinking across 10 Ps. These Ps are People (or users, as the primary beneficiaries of assistive technology), Policy, Products, Personnel, Provision (as key strategic drivers at systems level); and Procurement, Place, Pace, Promotion and Partnership (as key situational factors for systems). Together these Ps should constitute a framework for an “open” system that can evolve and adapt, that empowers users, inter-connects key components and locates these in the reality of differing contexts. The adoption of a stronger systems thinking perspective within the assistive technology field should allow for more equitable, more resilient and more sustainable assistive technology across high, middle- and low-income contexts and countries.

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