Benefits are broken

Latest disability news from nearly 60 countries

Hello Debriefers,

In the last month, did you burn an effigy of the government department director that's stopping you getting what you need? A group of disabled people in Kashmir did.

That's one of the stories highlighted today, in a tour of disability news form nearly 60 countries. Picking up from last time we see how benefit systems are broken and the ways they're being protested.

We also have ever-growing evidence on how disabled people are hit “first and worst” by disasters and some news on the awful conditions disabled people are kept in, including near my home in England.

And we find out what happens in Sweden if you apply to a job and tell them you use a wheelchair.

Some good news for the Debrief: Our work has just gotten support from the Ford Foundation. They join the individuals and organisations whose contributions make this work possible. Thank you!

Disability Debrief is made on a pay-as-you can basis. This edition has support from Sightsavers and Center for Inclusive Policy.

Benefits are broken

Disabled people are taking to the streets to protest limited government support. In Bangladesh, the Aggrieved Disabled Civil Society confronted police as they marched to the Prime Minister's Office, asking for a big increase in the disability benefit.

Meanwhile, in India, authorities banned protests in the islands of Lakshadweep, because they didn't want disabled people making a scene during a G-20 meeting. Lakshadweep Disableds’ Welfare Association protested anyway, and got arrested. In Jammu, Kashmir, disabled people protested delays in payment of benefits, including by burning an effigy of the Social Welfare Department director.

Systems supposedly supporting disabled people also face profound challenges in richer countries. There are often extensive barriers to access them, and then, when you have, you can fall under the system's control.

In the United States, half of children who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) lose it when they're 18. What happens to them? “Youth who lost benefits at 18 were twice as likely to be charged with a crime as they were to hold a job.” And for adults who apply to Social Security Disability Insurance only a third of applications that are approved on the first try, and that percentage is decreasing each year.

In Australia, service providers can end up controlling disabled people's lives to such an extent that it's described as “kidnapping”. Restricting freedom of movement is meant to be a last resort, but the practice has spiralled out of control, reaching 1.4 million unauthorised cases. The neglect disabled people face is illustrated by one woman, with a state guardian, who was left without a heart monitor for 18 months.

In Canada, it's easier to get support to end your life than it is to live well. A growing number of cases report applying to medical assistance in dying because of barriers to support to live well. That said, the government did just pass Canada Disability Benefit legislation, which is seen as a “game changer” for disabled people in poverty.

Hit first and worst

UN-chief António Guterres recently warned that the progress made on rights of disabled people is “at risk of reversing.” In the “cascade of crises” that the world faces, disabled people “are often hit first and worst.”

Unfortunately the news confirms these words. In May, the floods in Italy trapped older and disabled people in their homes and those in Rwanda left some with “nothing”. Two blind men talk about life after the recent Syrian earthquake: “Where are we going? To heaven?”

Research on last year's crises shows that flooding in Bangladesh left disabled people without assistance and the heatwave in Spain caused them great hardship. In both cases people faced impacts on their mental health, too.

In the US, advocates are also pushing for inclusion in federal response to disasters. And following the cold storm that knocked out electricity in Texas two years ago, disabled people are suing the city of San Antonio for leaving them out of emergency planning and response.

A study in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Nepal looks at the climate crisis and its impact on disability rights. In the UK, there's a new briefing for civil society on how the nature and climate crises will impact older and/or disabled people. And a recent editorial calls for global disaster response to be inclusive: “disability should not be a death sentence.”

They took me to hospital

Further news on the abuse and neglect disabled people face. Again, in the world's richest countries.

“They took me to hospital without telling me anything.” A new documentary on how forced sterilisation of women with disabilities still happens across European countries. In both Hungary and France it is often an unwritten practice it to be done to women and girls before they go into the group homes or institutions meant to look after them.

“Putting them in a dustbin”. In England, near the town where I live, disabled asylum seekers have been “abandoned” without support. One advocate commented it was “like putting them in a dustbin and putting the lid on. But what they need is help.”

Call me, maybe

Disabled people still aren't expected in the workplace, and we're not seen when we're there.

Call me, maybe. In Sweden, researchers sent out 2,000 job applications, randomly assigning information about whether the applicant used a wheelchair. Guess what? “Non-disabled applicants receive 33% more callbacks than similarly qualified wheelchair users despite applying for jobs where the impairment should not interfere with performance”.

Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice. A survey across large companies in 16 countries finds that management thinks that less than 10% of their workers have disabilities, but on average 25% of employees had a disability or health condition that impacted their lives.

“I Don’t See the Wheelchair, I Just See You”. As ever satire site Squeaky Wheel gets it. They confronted the coworker that claims to just see the person and not the wheelchair.

Are these illusions important to life?

Further highlights and new research from the last month in disability news...

Just around the corner. In Kenya, Harun Hassan reviews the last sixty years of disability inclusion, from colonial times till now. “A fully accessible society for people with disabilities is just around the corner, but only if we keep up the good work.”

New reports:

A World Disability Organization? This went slightly under the radar, but the centenary declaration of Rehabilitation International included a call on the UN to make a World Disability Organization. I for one would need plenty of rehabilitation to think another UN agency was a good idea.

A mother's reflection. In South Africa, first-person reflections on the importance of social support to a mother of a child with disability. “I avoided public areas because I did not want the community to know that my child was disabled”.

“New home for disability culture”. In New Zealand, disability magazine D*List has just launched with an “unapologetic and replenishing editorial vision”.

My prayer to failure. If you didn't see it, catch-up with my piece on the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. A tale of a parrot and how I work through my part in the international response.

“Are those illusions important to life?” In Malaysia, Debrief illustrator Tan Kuan Aw was profiled in the Penang press. (In Chinese, translate does a good job).

These were the highlights I found in the curated links below. Take a look in your area of interest and let me know what you find.



People find the Debrief through word-of-mouth, so please forward to a friend. On socials we're on Linkedin, twitter at @DisDebrief and I'm @desibility. And hit reply to say hello!

Curated News


We have 202 links from 59 countries and regions, organized by these topics:

Accessibility and Design

Back to contents.

In India, India Has Made Progress in Improving Accessibility, But Needs To Up the Ante. (May, The Wire)

Assistive Technology

Back to contents.

In International News:

WHO releases new Wheelchair provision guidelines (Jun, WHO)

Walking naturally after spinal cord injury using a brain–spine interface: “a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord that enabled an individual with chronic tetraplegia to stand and walk naturally in community settings” (May, Nature)

‘Care bots’: a dream for carers or a dangerous fantasy? (May, the Guardian)

In Indonesia, Assistive Technologies for Children with Disabilities in Inclusive and Special Schools in Indonesia (May, World Bank)


Back to contents.


In Nepal, Adolescents with Disabilities and Caregivers Experience of COVID-19 in Rural Nepal (Jun, IDS)

Living with COVID

In the United States, NYC Has Left People With Long COVID Behind Living with long COVID in NYC means living an increasingly lonely existence. (Jun, Hell Gate)

Civil Society and Community

Back to contents.

In International News:

Leave no one behind: a promise in peril. A campaign to keep the Sustainable Development Goals on track. (Jun, Sightsavers)

How representative are organisations of persons with disabilities? Data from nine surveys suggest that “about a third of people with disabilities were aware of OPDs and fewer than 15% were members”. Personally I have doubts that the outcome measures justify this finding, as they seem to be about disability organizations more generally. (Jun, Disability & Society)

Beyond Identity Funding: Rethinking Social Justice Philanthropy. A thoughtful and personal exploration of what funders can do differently. (May, NPQ)

In Bangladesh, Police intercept disabled people’s demo heading for Prime Minister's Office to demand for a big increase in the disability allowance. (Jun, New Age) See also further reaction to the recent budget. (Daily Sun)

In Brazil, Ableist offensives and the fear of a crippled planet: challenges for disability activism. (In Portuguese, Jun, Athenea Digital)

In France, A disabled woman in Paris goes on hunger strike to demand accessible housing. (In French, Jun, France Info)

In India,

In Mexico, A directory of organizations for and of persons with disabilities in Mexico. See notes on its launch. (May, Yo También)

In the United Kingdom, Disabled Virgin Mary in Peterborough Cathedral art exhibition. (May, BBC)

Climate Crisis and Environment

Back to contents.

In International News:

Discussion paper on climate change and disability rights. A study in Bangladesh, Kenya and Nepal. “Lack of transparency of government budgets both centrally and decentralised across different ministries makes it difficult to understand where money is being spent and potentially being re-allocated during times of climate crisis.” See also videos from Malawi and Zimbabwe. (Jun, CBM UK)

In Bangladesh, Protect People Most At Risk During Monsoon Season International Funding Needed to Ensure Climate Action is Inclusive of People with Disabilities, Older People. “Everyone interviewed said the flooding significantly affected their mental health, with many describing extreme fear, anxiety, and distress, but none had access to psychosocial services.” (Jun, Human Rights Watch)

In Burundi, Driving change for a resilient future: national dialogue paves way for disability-inclusive climate action. (Jun, World Council of Churches)

In Rwanda, ‘I Am Left With Nothing’ Rwandans with Disabilities are Disproportionately Impacted by Flooding From Climate Change. (May)

In Spain, Inadequate Response to Heatwaves Support People with Disabilities at Risk to Climate Change – study of 2022 heatwaves in Andalusia. (Jun, Human Rights Watch)

In the United Kingdom, Briefing for charities and funders on how the climate and nature crises impact older and disabled people (Jun, NPC)

Communication and Language

Back to contents.


In International News:

Complex to Clear: Tips for Easy-to-Understand Communication (Jun, Inclusion International)

Journal of Critical Study of Communication and Disability First edition in 2023. (May, JCSCD)

In Europe, Speech Impairment and Yiddish Literature, or: On the Obligation to Communicate and the Responsibility to Listen (May, Journal of Critical Study of Communication and Disability)

In Palestine, Communication, inclusion and psychological wellbeing among deaf and hard of hearing children: A qualitative study in the Gaza Strip. “Key themes identified in the analysis included lack of accessible communication, community exclusion, negative attitudes towards hearing impairment and deafness and the impact on deaf and hard of hearing children's sense of self, and limited family knowledge on hearing impairment and deafness.” (Jun, PLOS Global Public Health)

In the United States, How tactile graphics can help end image poverty. “Tactile graphic design is an art of transformation: what appeals to the eye may be cluttered and chaotic to the fingertips.” (Jun, MIT Technology Review)

Sign Languages

In the United Kingdom, Review of Signs for Change a beautiful documentary by Rose Ayling-Ellis. See also an interview with Rose: “Nobody deaf in this country has the profile I have. I just want to get it right.” (Jun, the Guardian)

Culture, Entertainment and Media

Back to contents.


In Australia, ‘I don’t care, I know I look good’: Australian dancer Dan Daw on kink, disability and ‘powerful crip joy’. (May, the Guardian)

In Brazil, Guidance for accessibility in museums (In Portuguese, Jun, SISEM-SP )

In India, Profile of queer disabled artist Ritika Gupta: on the significance of the digital medium for neurodivergent artists and why community networks for disabled artists must thrive (Jun, BehanBox)

In the United States,

TV and Film

In International News:

Unilever calls for production crews to be more inclusive of disability community “For shoots costing more than €100,000 the brand wants to see at least one person who has a disability as a member of the crew.” (May, Campaign)

In Germany, Meet Elin, The German Sesame Street's First Muppet with a Disability. (Jun, ABILITY Magazine)

In the United States,

  • Human Resources a character based on Alice Wong features in the second season. (Jun, HITC)
  • Why the 1932 Movie ‘Freaks’ Is a Touchstone for Disability Representation. “Though it has detractors, scholars and advocates have largely embraced this film for the way it shows people just living their lives while disabled.” (Jun, New York Times)
  • For disabled writers, the WGA strike stakes couldn’t be higher. “This is true even on the picket lines themselves, where disabled writers have had to advocate for the accommodations they need to participate.” (May)


In International News:

Evidence Brief on how to improve portrayals of people with disabilities in the media. (Jun, Disability Evidence Portal)

In Australia, Vanessa Vlajkovic is a subeditor at ABC News. She's also Deafblind, here's how she does her job. (Jun, ABC News)

In New Zealand, D*List editorial values launching a new disability magazine. (Jul, D*List) The new home of disability culture in Aotearoa. (The Spinoff)

In the United States,

Data and Research

Back to contents.


In International News:

Disability Data Report 2023 reviews available disability data internationally and explores indicators for 15 countries. (Jun, Disability Data Initiative.)

A learning brief on using the Washington Group questions on disability in development programs. (Jun, CBM Global)

In Cambodia, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Guatemala, Exploring census data. (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Haiti, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In India, Lack of data is denial of rights for persons with disabilities. Disability questions dropped from upcoming National Family Health Survey (NFHS-6). (Jun, H-Leads)

In Kenya, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Lebanon, Disability Inclusion Survey Results (Jun, Relief Web)

In the Maldives, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Mali, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Mauritania, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Nigeria, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Pakistan, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Rwanda, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Senegal, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In South Africa, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Timor Leste, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Tonga, Exploring census data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)

In Uganda, Exploring demographic and health survey data (Jun, Disability Data Initiative)


In International News:

Interview with Arseli Dokumaci on his book "Activist Affordances: How Disabled People Improvise More Habitable Worlds". (With transcript, Jun, Newbooks Network)

Research Handbook on Disability Policy “Examining how policy affects the human rights of people with disabilities, this topical Handbook presents diverse empirical experiences of disability policy and identifies the changes that are necessary to achieve social justice.” List price $425. (Jun, Elgar)

Digital Accessibility and Technology

Back to contents.


In International News:

Google Meet grows more inclusive with new closed captioning languages. (Jun, Android Police)

How friendship between NVDA founders Mick Curran and Jamie Teh is changing lives for thousands of blind people. (Jun, ABC News)

Artificial Intelligence

In International News:

No, ‘AI’ Will Not Fix Accessibility “Accessibility is about people. It is not a strictly technical problem to be solved with code.” (Jun, Adrian Roselli)

To chat or bot to chat: Ethical issues with using chatbots in mental health (Jun, Digital Health)

Microsoft leverages power of AI to improve accessibility for disabled people (May, AT Today)

In Europe, Artificial Intelligence Act: European Parliament misses chance to ensure accessibility. (Jun, EDF)

In the United Kingdom, Making AI delivery robots disability-friendly “As a robot designed to use pavements, it could have become another frustrating obstacle for disabled people to navigate.” (May, BBC)

Online Accessibility

In the United Kingdom, Accessibility as a cyber security priority Want security that works better for people? Make it accessible. (May, NCSC)


In International News:

The iPad was meant to revolutionize accessibility. What happened? “For people who can’t speak, there has been depressingly little innovation in technology that helps them communicate.” (Jun, MIT Technology Review)

Life is About to Come with Subtitles “Automated live captions used to be terrible. But they’re becoming transformative for people who can’t hear.” (May, The Atlantic)

Social Media

In International News:

Why disabled users joined the Reddit blackout “Some disabled users fear the API changes will threaten their ability to access the site. Because both Reddit’s website and its official app fall short of their needs, they rely on third-party applications to navigate Reddit.” (Jun, The Verge)

Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Response

Back to contents.

In International News:

Disability should not be a death sentence: global disaster response must be inclusive. (Jun, The BMJ)

In Indonesia, UNDP's DX4Resilience project in Indonesia: leveraging digital technologies for collecting disability-disaggregated data in disaster risk assessment. (May, UNDP)

In Italy, Death toll mounts in Italy’s worst flooding for 100 years Older and disabled people trapped in homes as rescuers battle harsh conditions in Emilia-Romagna region (May, the Guardian)

In Syria, Two blind men speak about experiences of the earthquake and life afterwards. (In Arabic, with English subtitles, Jun, Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

In the United States,

  • What People With Disabilities Know About Surviving Climate Disasters Those with disabilities have long been ignored in emergency planning, despite the higher risks they face. Extreme weather is making this gap more deadly. “We’re not given survival mechanisms. So of course, we don’t survive.” (Jun, Bloomberg)
  • Disability and disaster: Federal lawsuit charging the city of San Antonio with discrimination by “by denying equitable opportunities, outcomes, or even consideration in disaster and emergency planning, response, and recovery programs” (May, Deceleration)

Economics and Social Protection

Back to contents.


In Georgia, The Cost of Raising a Child with Disabilities The Goods and Services Required for the Equal Participation of Children with Disabilities. (Jun, UNICEF)

In the United Kingdom, ‘I live in fear of debt collectors’: disabled people in England tell of toll of soaring care costs. (Jun, the Guardian)

Social Protection

In International News:

Evidence brief on ensuring older men and women with disabilities are equally included in social protection programmes. (Jan, Disability Evidence Portal)

Guidance note for consultation: Towards Inclusive Social Protection Systems Enabling Participation and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (Jun, UNICEF / ILO)

In Australia,

In Canada,

In Europe, Disabled people and the right to personal assistance Coming EU guidance on independent living should not squander the chance to improve the lives of millions of disabled people. (Jun, Social Europe)

In Kenya, Integrated cash transfers promoting inclusion of children with disabilities in Mombasa. (May, UNICEF)

In the United States,

  • Booting 18-Year-Olds From Disability Rolls “About 80,000 kids on SSI turn 18 each year, and, like Gabriel, about half will lose benefits.” And it has has lifelong consequences: “Youth who lost benefits at 18 were twice as likely to be charged with a crime as they were to hold a job.” (Jun, Mother Jones)
  • Review of Todd Carmody's book Work Requirements on Race, Disability, and the Print Culture of Social Welfare. “For Carmody, there is a direct line that connects the victimization of those at the periphery in early America with the current ideological divide that separates morally superior workers from the lazy, no-good, physically and mentally ill, criminal, visible minorities of American society.” (Jul, H-Disability)
  • The Application Process for Disability Benefits Shuts Out People in Need “Most who apply for disability benefits are initially turned down. In fact, as per the SSA, only about a third on average get approved on their first try applying for SSDI, and the percentage of those who are initially approved has decreased each year.” (Jun, The Century Foundation)

Education and Childhood

Back to contents.


In International News:

Evidence brief on impact of collaboration between parents and teachers on children with disabilities in school. (Apr, Disability Evidence Portal)

Focused interventions for girls with disabilities fuelled ‘life-changing’ impact on aspirations and self-esteem. An evaluation of the Girls’ Education Challenge Phase II. (May, Cambridge) See also a blog discussing its results.

In China, Investigation of sexual assault case at a school for disabled children in Hubei Province (In Chinese, Jun, Weixin)

In Ethiopia, Research finds “double burden” for high school students with disabilities in conflict affected Oromia region. (Jun, Addis Standard) Research is on the impact of political instability on inclusive education.

In Indonesia, Policy Note on Inclusive Early Childhood Education for children with disabilities. “Inclusion in preschools needs to mean more than just access to the school building.” (Jun, Inclusive Education Initiative)

In Kenya, STEM Courses in Rural Kenya Open Doors for Girls With Disabilities (Short video, May, Voice of America)

In Malawi, A New Challenge Chrissy Matumba Becomes the First DeafBlind Student at Prestigious Malawian Secondary School (Nov, Disability Justice Project)

In Middle East and North Africa, Hard Lessons: An inquiry into children with disabilities’ exposure to protection risks in Lebanon and Northwest Syria. (Jun, World Vision)

In South Africa, Inclusion of learners with learning disabilities in the Vaal Triangle mainstream classrooms. “This study argues that for learners with learning disabilities to be more included in mainstream classrooms, the learner population should be reduced to a maximum of 30 learners per class, and collaboration with parents should be enhanced.” (Jun, African Journal of Disability)

In the United States, No Power but Deaf Power: Revitalizing Deaf Education Systems via Anarchism (May, Social Inclusion)

Higher Education

In the United Kingdom, What I’ve learned from a decade of working with a disability in academia “climbing the academic ladder in an able-bodied world” (Jun, Times Higher Education)

In the United States, Being Black and Disabled in University “Pursuing an education at the intersection of ableism and racism, Black male students with disabilities develop strategies to silence negative cultural narratives.” (Jun, JSTOR Daily)

Employment, Business and Work

Back to contents.

In International News:

Your Workforce Includes People with Disabilities. Does Your People Strategy? “Most organizations report that their workforce includes relatively few employees with disabilities: just 4% to 7% on average. But in our survey of nearly 28,000 employees in 16 countries, some 25% of people said they have a disability or health condition that limits a major life activity.” (May, BCG)

Why disability-inclusive employment benefits all of us blog discussing programming promoting inclusive employment. (Jun, Sightsavers)

The right to work versus the right to retire “Ageism is still pushing older workers out of the labor market” - a report exploring international trends in older persons work and retirement. (Apr, Allianz)

In Australia, Employment and mental health for people with and without disability. The beneficial mental health effects of part- or full-time employment were larger for disabled people. (Sep, Population Health)

In Bangladesh, Learning Document: Towards inclusion of persons with disabilities within BRAC’s Skills Development Programme. (May, Light for the World International)

In Europe, Updated guide on disability in sustainability reporting. (Jun, GRI)

In Kenya, Platform livelihoods for youth with disabilities (May, AllAfrica)

In Sweden, Disability, Gender and Hiring Discrimination: an experimenting sending 2,000 job applications found that “nondisabled applicants receive 33 percent more callbacks than similarly qualified wheelchair users despite applying for jobs where the impairment should not interfere with performance” (Jun, IZA Institute of Labour Economics)

Gender Equality and Women with Disabilities

Back to contents.

In International News:

Resource guide on strengthening gender inclusion in disability rights spaces. (Jun, Women Enabled)


Back to contents.


In International News:

Evidence brief on how to remove access barriers to healthcare for people with psychosocial, developmental, and neurological disabilities. (May, Disability Evidence Portal)

Disability is central to discrimination in health “Overlooking disability issues is not just a question of omitting one diversity marker among many. Disability brings with it a range of embodied challenges, with implications regarding functional limitations, compromised access to health care and information, and resultant health outcomes.” (Jun, The Lancet)

In India, Power of touch: how blind women are helping detect breast cancer in India. (Jun, the Guardian)


In International News:

Centenary declaration from Rehabilitation International to promote “Equal Participation and Well-rounded Development of Persons with Disabilities.” Calls on the United Nations to “establish a World Disability Organization (WDO) to strengthen the coordination and advocacy for disability rights.” (Jun, Rehabilitation International)

History and Memorial

Back to contents.

In Nigeria, Demise of Danlami Bashir “Danlami will be remembered as one of the great leaders of the disability movement in Africa and in his country of Nigeria, where he was promoting the rights of people with disabilities, especially focusing on blind and deaf communities.” (Jun, IDA)

In Sweden, Why did Sweden sterilise up to 30,000 people against their will? ‘Sweden set up a eugenics plan, grounded in the science of racial biology, between 1934 and 1976. “They wanted to get rid of a certain type of people: The weaker ones”.’ (Jun, Euronews)

In the United States,

  • Don Triplett, the first person diagnosed with autism, dead at 89. (Jun, WLBT)
  • Juneteenth and the legacy of disabled Black slaves “Finding firsthand accounts of disabled, enslaved African Americans proves to be a daunting task, but it is evident that many were unable to leave forced labor camps after the Civil War ended and remained within the institution of slavery (or its rebranding, sharecropping).” (Jun, AWN)

In Zimbabwe, Henry Maysa an advocate for rights of disabled people, passed away. (Jun, Temba Mliswa)

Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

Back to contents.


In International News:

Profile of Aleema Shivji her work in humanitarian response and inclusion of persons with disabilities. (May, The New Humanitarian)

In Europe,

In Syria, Home Modification Project Brings Hope to Palestine Refugees with Disabilities. (Jun, UNRWA)


In Taiwan, Disability inclusion petition launched for foreign residents in Taiwan. “Petition calls on health ministry to enable foreign permanent residents to qualify for disability certificate” (May, Taiwan News) Government mulls over how to respond. (Focus Taiwan)

In the United Kingdom, Asylum seekers with disabilities ‘abandoned’ in former Essex care home. One advocate described this as “putting them in a dustbin and putting the lid on. But what they need is help. What is going on is unpardonable”. (Jun, the Guardian)

Indigenous People and Minority Communities

Back to contents.

In Kenya, Eviction, flooding and disability in Baringo County (Jun, Minority and Indigenous Trends 2023)

In the United States, Indigeneity and Disability: The Teachings of our Ancestors. “In my Indigenous community, Diné (Navajo) ancestral teachings of disability are a relational concept that embodies a sophisticated value system of care” (Jun, Disability Visibility Project)

Institutions and Deinstitutionalization

Back to contents.

In France, In France, the debate over closure of establishments for disabled people has stalled. “Emmanuel Macron recently advocated "deinstitutionalization", while emptying the term of its meaning.” (In French, Jun, Libération) See discussion on the Debrief.

In Spain, A fire in a care home for disabled people killled one person and injured ten more. (Jun, RTVE)

International Cooperation

Back to contents.

In International News:

Re-thinking disability inclusion for the SDGs (Jun, UNDP)

In Bangladesh, On the Debrief: Prayer to failure Reflections 10 years after the Rana Plaza building collapse (Jun, Disability Debrief)

In Ghana, The work we began on disability inclusion will continue: reflections on working with organizations of persons with disabilities. (Jun, Sightsavers)

In Netherlands, Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development Annual Report 2022 (Link to pdf, May)

Back to contents.

In Colombia, ABC of Legal Capacity a podcast exploring the concept and what you need to know. (In Spanish, May, Asdown Colombia)

In Mexico, Two brothers imprisoned because of their disability their intellectual disabilities a primary factor in how they were treated by police. (In Spanish, May, Yo También)

In the United Kingdom, Are we receiving the justice we deserve? With support from disabled magistrates, a report on inaccessible courtrooms. (Jun, Magistrates Association)

Lived Experience and Opinion

Back to contents.

In Africa, Young people with albinism call for acceptance conversations with three advocates. (Jun, UNICEF)

In Argentina, Julia risso, podcaster and activist: “I hate the word inclusion. I don't want to be included anywhere, I'm already here.” (In Spanish, Jun, BBC News)

In Australia,

In Canada, Dispatches from Disabled Country a book by Catherine Frazee, “a poetics of identity, an ethos of empathy, and a sanctuary from philosophies of greed and utility.” (May, UBC Press)

In India, Reclaiming Consent As A Non-Visibly Disabled Trans Survivor (Jun, Revival Disability Magazine)

In Japan, Profile of Yui Yuda and the care that supports her independent living. (Jun, The Japan Times)

In Malaysia, Profile of Debrief illustrator KA Tan "Painting makes me reflect and reflect. When society is progressing, what should life be like and what is its meaning? Are those illusions important to life?" (In Chinese, Jun, Penang China Press)

In Nigeria, Interview with Olawale Alade Olawale Alade is a Nigerian Deaf nurse in the United Kingdom where he attends to Deaf adults with varying degrees of mental health challenges. (Jun, BO News)

In the Philippines, Notes on Paralysis “Becoming disabled saved my life”. (Jun, Protean Magazine)

In South Africa, Parenting a child with disability: A mother’s reflection on the significance of social support. “I avoided public areas because I did not want the community to know that my child was disabled and I was shy.” (May, African Journal of Disability)

In the United Kingdom, The 90s are back why disability simulations are harmful. (Jun, The Accessible Link)

In the United States,

  • My Son & I Both Have Autism. My Wordless Days With My Son Are Filled With Love (Jun, Romper)
  • ‘I Don’t See the Wheelchair, I Just See You,’ Says Lying Coworker Who Does See Wheelchair. (Jul, The Squeaky Wheel)
  • Our Son Has Down Syndrome. Then we started to hear a line that many parents of a child with a disability hear: “God only gives a burden to those he knows who can handle it.” (Jun, Huffpost)
  • Activism, Adaptation, or Awareness? Different modes of action in modern disability culture. (Jun, Disability Thinking Monthly)
  • Low and Slow A series on the joys and pleasures of eating, cooking, and sustenance (Jun, Eater)
  • Quad moms: Portraits of mothers with disabilities (Jun, CBS News)
  • Honoring All of Ourselves: On Disability and Transness. “Transness and disability are frequently linked and presented as a danger by state legislatures as they dehumanize trans people and deny rights” (Jun, Disability Visibility Project)
  • "All the parts work together": Author Sara Nović on Identity, Adoption, and Falling Short as a Parent. (Jun, Mutha Magazine)
  • How A Disabled Chinese Immigrant Turned Polio And Ableism Into Becoming An Apple Executive And Author (May, Forbes)
  • Crip Negativity an open-access book by J. Logan Smilges. “Smilges asks and imagines what horizons might exist for the liberation of those oppressed by ableism—beyond access and inclusion. [...] Smilges proposes that bad crip feelings might help all of us to care gently for one another, even as we demand more from the world than we currently believe to be possible.” (Jun, Manifold @uminnpress)

Mental Health

Back to contents.

In International News:

Decolonising global mental health: the role of Mad Studies (May, Global Mental Health)

In India, Laws, Health Policy Fail To Stem India’s Tsunami Of Mental Health, As Stress Claims Victims, Cuts Productivity. (May, Article 14)

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Towards Mad Justice and Reparation (In Spanish, Jun, RedEsfera)

In the United Kingdom, A toolkit to support understanding and supporting mental health in infancy and early childhood. (Apr, UNICEF)

Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism

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In Greece, Tourism for disabled people has obstacles “Holidays are like a battle plan" (In Greek, May, Dikaioma)

In Ireland, 'Shameful': Ombudsman slams ten-year delay by Govt to provide disabled people transport supports. (Jun, The Journal)

In Jordan, Accessibility issues remain a barrier at Jordan’s tourist attractions (May, Jordan Times)

Air Travel

In International News:

First Look: Air4All Wheelchair Securement Space by Delta Flight Products. Preview of a model where wheelchairs ride in body of the plane. (Jun, Wheelchair Travel)

In Canada, Ministers take steps towards ensuring disability-inclusive air travel. (May, Disability Insider)

In the United Kingdom,

Policy and Rights

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In International News:

Progress on disability rights risks going in reverse. Remarks from António Guterres. “We must do much, much better,” (Jun, UN)

Will disabled people be accounted for in the UN process for a crimes against humanity treaty? (May, Just Security)

In Bangladesh, Bangladesh falling behind on disability rights disabled groups protested limited supports in the new budget. “The monthly allowance for people with disabilities is still Tk 850, which is nothing but a mockery of their deepening vulnerability.” (Jun, The Business Standard)

In Kenya, The state of disability inclusion in Kenya: An analysis of the past 60 years.

In Rwanda, People With Albinism Need Inclusiveness, Not Pity (Jun, The New Times)

In the Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands Ratifies the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Jun, Solomon Star)

Politics and Elections

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In Europe, EDF Manifesto on the European Elections 2024 (May, EDF)

Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights

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In International News:

LGBTQ+ Disabled Activists on Pride and Creating Their Own Representation. (Jun, Tilting The Lens)

In Europe, Europe's hidden shame: documentary on forced sterilisation of women with disabilities. “They took me to hospital without telling me anything.” See also a feature article. (Jun, Euronews)

In France, The consent dilemma: Why France is struggling to end forced sterilisation of women with disabilities. (Jun, Euronews)

In Hungary, 'Forced contraception is the rule': Hungary fails to end abuses against women with disabilities. (Jun, Euronews)

In India, What Pride Month Means To Queer Indians With Disabilities (Jun, Vice)

Sport and Paralympics

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In International News:

On the Debrief: Games of inclusion or exclusion? reflecting on the gap between disability rights and the Paralympic Games. (Jun, Disability Debrief)

In Brazil, What changes in teaching practice when physical education focusses on inclusion (In Portuguese, May, Porvir)

In Europe, Ignored and isolated: my nightmare in a wheelchair at the Champions League final. (Jun, the Guardian)

In Spain, Disabled Syrian Refugee Dreams of Paralympics Glory (Jun, VOA)

Violence and Harassment

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In Europe, European Parliament’s Committees voted on law to end violence against women. (Jun, EDF)

In the United Kingdom, An uphill battle from day one: “Non-disabled women are twice as likely as disabled women to have the person they accuse of rape charged or summonsed.” (Jun, Now Then Magazine)

War in Ukraine

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Evacuating or Leaving Ukraine

In Hungary, Ukraine children with disabilities struggle for therapy abroad “More than a year after fleeing from Ukraine to Hungary with her autistic son Roman, Iryna Bryk has still not found suitable therapy for her nine-year-old.” (Jun, France 24)

Situation in Ukraine

In the Ukraine, Families Find a Way: report on families and children in the midst of war. (Jun, Disability Rights International)

Attacks on disabled people and facilities

In International News:

Visually impaired people in Ukraine struggle to cope during Russian missile attacks (Jun,


In International News:

Rebuilding a society for all ages in Ukraine “Reforming long-term care and support, healthcare and pensions and building inclusive infrastructure, are critical priorities to address as Ukraine rebuilds and aligns itself with EU norms and standards.” (Jun, HelpAge International)

In the Ukraine, Uzhhorod Centre for Persons with Disabilities (Jun, EDF)

Water and Sanitation (WASH)

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In Kenya, Menstrual struggles girls and women living with disability face. “The only safe place is home, where I can sit on a plastic chair while changing.” (Jun, Nation)


Many thanks to readers and Sightsavers for the support that keeps this going. News curation is done with support of the Center for Inclusive Policy.

The Debrief is produced by me, Peter Torres Fremlin. Opinions or mistakes are mine.

Thanks to everyone that sends me links to news! Keep them coming.