Feeling pride, feeling poorly, feeling the prices

Plus: punk, stamp collecting, and much more
Watercolour illustration of a large dragon looming over a small person wearing dark glasses and holding a cane. The dragon is shades of green with wings outstretched, tail curved and glowering down. The person faces towards the dragon, looming backwards in trepidation, with a red top, blue trousers and flashes of red on the cane. Signed Tan Kuan Aw, 4th July 2022.
Facing Inflation, by Tan Kuan Aw

Hello Debriefers,

Last month was Disability Pride month; it was also a month where I got covid. I'm doing well, but still not full speed. News about disability, however, continues to accelerate and this edition catches us up on it.

There's plenty of ups and downs in the news. (Prices are going up; plenty of other things are going down.) Buckle up for a tour that takes us up to descriptions of the stars, cripple punk, and back down to earth with stamp collecting.

After that we have over 300 links curated from 45 countries. This edition follows from the previous news buffet and the last edition from Áine on heatwaves and disability.

Sinking in economic crisis

The global economic shocks of the covid crisis are now being compounded by rising energy costs and food prices. Disabled people and their families are already less well-off, and often have disability-related expenses, not to mention the barriers in trying to find different sources of income.

There is some news on this from richer countries. In Ireland, for example, a call for government not to forget disabled people in the cost of living crisis. In the UK, details on how families are adapting to price rises include people limiting their activities, skipping meals and one mother who says the “cost of living crisis is having an impact on my ability to care for my disabled daughter”.

There is also some news from crisis areas, with urgent appeals for intervention to stop famine in the Horn of Africa and discussion of how it impacts persons with disabilities. In Sri Lanka, with economic crisis and political turmoil, “Everyone, including older people, must wait for long hours in uncomfortable conditions in an effort to obtain essentials like cooking gas, kerosene oil, fuel, and other basic food items.”

But, while I hear it from friends in those countries, I am not seeing much news on how persons with disabilities are doing in low- and middle-income countries which will be harder hit and have fewer resources to sustain. This gap in reporting meant I might not have written about it, but I got courage from Tan Kuan Aw's illustration, which he sent me (unprompted) last month.

Writing from Malaysia, Tan Kuan Aw tells me that “many are suffering in silence”: the Ringgit is losing its value, food and other items are getting more expensive. “Disabled people here are dependent on charity so when the boat sinks they go down with the boat.”

Catching up with covid

After writing about covid since March 2020 it was finally time for me to try it out for myself. I know I'm not the only Debriefer to have gotten it in this surge of the BA.5 Omicron offshoot. The verdict in that article is that “People shouldn’t be surprised if they get infected, and they shouldn’t be surprised if it’s pretty unpleasant”.

I came into it after four vaccines and was able to pretty quickly get the Paxlovid antiviral. In global terms this is stark privilege. While the vaccination campaign has made extraordinary progress, it missed its goal of 70% of the world’s population by mid-2022. While 67% of the world's population has gotten at least one dose, but this number is barely 20% in low income countries.

The only way I could have been more protected is if I lived in a country that took public health measures to stop spread of the disease, like masking, testing and ventilation. Rather I live in a country seeing excess deaths for the last three months. We’re British: we don't talk about it.

My own experience so far wasn't the best and wasn't the worst. One of my worries about catching covid is that I live alone and my mobility has been changing so I wasn't sure if I would still be able to do day-to-day activities. I did spend some days in bed but I was able to move about when I needed to.

Covid is definitely a strange illness. As well as everyone getting different symptoms in different timelines, there is a strange feeling of being fine and not fine at the same time. And like President Biden I had a Paxlovid bounce where you test positive again after some days being negative.

Outside of a day or two with a nastier cough, and some general malaise, my main challenge was lack of energy. It's been four weeks and I still only had energy for working 75% of normal. I feel better now, but it's clear that recovery isn't linear and that better days are often followed by less energy the next.

I've been very good at advising friends who are infected to be careful about not over-exerting themselves. Turns out it's easier to tell friends than do oneself. Over-exertion can worsen symptoms or more long-term complications.  (The need to rest has implications for how governments should support people, too).

Pride and Punk

July is celebrated as Disability Pride Month – this seems more widespread each year, and it's to my surprise that I see it dates back to 1990. Disability Pride Month “looks to celebrate disability as an identity by sharing the experiences of the disabled community”.  I liked this range of personal reflections on pride from Valuable 500, including the ever-stirring words of Eddie Ndopu:

“We have a choice to make. To either lead safe, shielded lives in which our bodies are bureaucratically administered and our spirits regulated by what is supposedly in our best interests, or, brave, dangerous lives in which we insist upon what we WANT, as opposed to what we need, even at the risk of perennial precariousness and abandonment. It’s the choice between living good-enough lives and unapologetically brave lives.”

I’m not sure how much I was feeling it last month. As well as covid lethargy, my changing mobility raises a lot of complicated feelings about disability. Not to mention questions raised during the covid crisis. Pride doesn't come always come easy, and I appreciate Rebekah Taussig for naming that, reflecting on pride not as “a sexy bonus” but rather the feeling of “we deserve to be here”.

All this left me very well-disposed to reading about Cripple Punk, “an online movement of young disabled people who reject the rigid, unimaginative expectations placed on them by society”. It has the best opening paragraph I read this month:

“We need to see more disabled people behaving badly. And no, I don’t mean blind people littering or wheelchair users shoplifting. I mean we need to see more disabled people behaving like everyone else. We need to see more disabled people smoking, drinking and sticking up a middle finger. More disabled people who are angry, bitter and abjectly un-inspirational – because frankly, there are a lot of us. So where have we all been hiding?”

If you thought “disability pride” was about LGBT people with disabilities, you're definitely not the only one. You can see an evidence digest on LGBTIQ+ and disability inclusion, which has a good interview with Nu from Revival Disability India. Also in India, see this thorough exploration of how health and social barriers intersect for transgender persons with disabilities.

Seeing stars and seeing like a spider

The awesome expanse of the universe captured by the James Webb Space Telescope images was also captured by text descriptions, widely celebrated for the careful approach to accessibility. Here's the description of the cosmic cliffs:

“The image is divided horizontally by an undulating line between a cloudscape forming a nebula along the bottom portion and a comparatively clear upper portion. Speckled across both portions is a starfield, showing innumerable stars of many sizes. The smallest of these are small, distant, and faint points of light. The largest of these appear larger, closer, brighter, and more fully resolved with 8-point diffraction spikes. The upper portion of the image is blueish, and has wispy translucent cloud-like streaks rising from the nebula below. The orangish cloudy formation in the bottom half varies in density and ranges from translucent to opaque. The stars vary in color, the majority of which, have a blue or orange hue. The cloud-like structure of the nebula contains ridges, peaks, and valleys – an appearance very similar to a mountain range. Three long diffraction spikes from the top right edge of the image suggest the presence of a large star just out of view.”

Here on Terra Firma, the Humans are not doing so well at providing image descriptions of other things: Twitter reports that only 0.06% of images on the platform are described. One of my hobbies is poking disability organizations that don't provide image descriptions (because if we don't, how can we ask others to?).

What counts as seeing, anyway? This conversation between Alice Wong and Ed Yong gets into Ed Yong's science books that explore the sensory world of animals and how they “perceive a very different world than what we are familiar with”. The conversation includes important reflection on ableism in science writing:

“I’ve read a lot of writing on the senses, both about humans and other animals, and it’s really striking to me that people gravitate towards big, sweeping statements about humans as a species that clearly don’t apply to all members of the species. One of the most common things you’ll read on this topic, from almost any source, is that humans are a visual species. We are visual creatures. That’s true on average, but millions of people are blind or have sight impairments. So if you’re a blind person, what does it mean to have someone repeatedly tell you humans are a visual species? Does that mean that you’re less than human?”


Disabled people at work (or, err, not): Statistics on employment of disabled people are getting better, and there's a new database from ILO that gathers data from 60 countries:

“The labour force participation rate of people with disabilities is very low. Globally, seven in ten persons with disabilities are inactive (that is, neither in employment nor unemployed), compared with four in ten persons without disabilities. While the inactivity rate is higher for both women and men with disabilities than for those without, it is particularly high among women with disabilities.”

Actions countries are taking on climate change on disability (or, err, not): a review of country plans on climate change shows disabled people being “systematically ignored” with fewer than one in four countries making reference to disability.

How disabled people access healthcare in Zimbabwe. A qualitative study reports:

“People with disabilities experienced difficulties accessing health services in Zimbabwe prior to COVID-19. These experiences were shaped by health literacy, self-stigma and affordability of services, which limited demand. Supply of health services was constrained by the perceived poor capacity of health workers to treat people with disabilities and discrimination. Inclusion was facilitated by clinic staff support of people with disabilities’ access to medication through referral to mission hospitals and private clinics, and the lobbying of organisations of people with disabilities.”

The American Dream. “As a wheelchair user,” writes David Radcliff, “I occasionally find myself going downhill at a speed that can be difficult to control. That’s why, this Disability Pride Month, I’m partnering with the United States of America”.

Here's some of how disability fits in ever-extraordinary US news. (The last is satire, sadly the others aren't.)

Here's hoping: US Department of Transport has issued a bill of rights for air travel of passengers with disabilities.

The most painful things I read this month. Unfortunately there's quite a few to choose from, including attacks on disabled people and infanticide in some African countries, disabled people trafficked from Tanzania to beg in Kenya (intriguingly one of the ringleaders is also a disabled guy), and the awful testimonies of abuse in care heard in New Zealand. Speaking of institutions, there's the abuse of women and girls in Poland and a harrowing feature on institutions in Ukraine.

Flashback to the start of the covid crisis: an important synthesis collection of reports on how European countries fared in covid response.

Cyborgs. A British scientist, Peter Scott-Morgan passed away. Not only did he claim to be a cyborg but also “the most advanced human cybernetic organism ever created in 13.8 billion years.” In the US, Jillian Weise styles Cyself as “Cy.” for Cyborg:

“It seems obvious that cyborgs are first and foremost disabled people, and yet I’m stuck inside this other reality, defined by nondisabled people, where I [have to] make an appeal for personhood.”

Words of the month:

Putting a stamp on it: this collection of disability-themed stamps from the 1981 UN year of disabled people shows an extraordinary range of disability representations. There's an emphasis on physical disabilities and the technology is dated – and perhaps now we would show community more. But they explore social participation, barriers and some get pretty abstract. See highlights, but I recommend browsing the collection for the images for the full experience.

About the newsletter

I'm Peter, and I make Disability Debrief to keep track of how the world is changing for persons with disabilities. You can see all the issues online or search the archive of disability news since 2020. Disability Debrief is made with support from readers and from Sightsavers. This edition has support from Center for Inclusive Policy.

All-you-can-eat new buffet


We have 312 links from 46 countries and regions, organized by these topics:

  • Accessibility and Design
  • Ageing
  • Assistive Technology
  • COVID-19
  • Civil Society and Community
  • Climate Crisis
  • Communication and Language
  • Culture, Entertainment and Media
  • Data and Research
  • Digital Accessibility and Technology
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Response
  • Economics and Social Protection
  • Education and Childhood
  • Employment, Business and Work
  • Gender Equality and Women with Disabilities
  • Health
  • History and Memorial
  • Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees
  • Institutions and Deinstitutionalization
  • International Cooperation
  • Justice Systems and Legal Capacity
  • Lived Experience and Opinion
  • Mental Health
  • Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism
  • Policy and Rights
  • Politics and Elections
  • Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights
  • Space Exploration
  • Sport and Paralympics
  • Violence and Harassment
  • War in Ukraine
  • Water and Sanitation (WASH)

Accessibility and Design

UNICEF Accessibility Toolkit. Focus on accessibility of physical spaces and built environment. The checklists look particularly helpful. (May, UNICEF)

In India, Uncertainty over Accessible India Campaign deadline seven years of work to increase accessibility of government buildings, public transport and websites. (Jun, The Hindu)

In New Zealand, Government won't enforce accessibility, despite promising legislation to 'make NZ more accessible'. (Jul, Stuff)

In the United States, More than 30 years after ADA, cities fail to be accessible (Jun, ABC 15)


In New Zealand, Another month, another report on disabled people's housing “but is the government listening?” (Jun, RNZ News)


The Special Rapporteur on Disability on Making International Protection Of Adults Consistent With The CRPD “A similar revolution of ideas is now permeating the field concerning the rights of older persons. Any future treaty on the rights of older persons is also likely to be grounded on dignity and autonomy. ” (Jul, Gerard Quinn)

Five priorities to tackle abuse of older people (1) combat ageism; (2) generate more and better data on prevalence and on risk and protective factors; (3) develop and scale up cost–effective solutions; (4) make an investment case for addressing the issue; and (5) raise funds to tackle the issue. (Jun, Decade of Healthy Ageing)

An easy-read version on how older people are treated very badly and what countries should do to make sure that older people get their human rights. (link to pdf, Jun, Independent Expert for UNHRC)

Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing Country Progress reports (UNECE)

In Brazil, ‘Our country is getting old’: the man changing how Brazil sees dementia. “Developing countries are getting old in a shorter period of time without resources and with poverty.” (Jun, the Guardian)

In Europe, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: ways forward. (Jun, Age Platform)

In India, Delhi Police to visit homes of senior citizens every evening (Jul, Devdiscourse)

In the United States, America Was in an Early-Death Crisis Long Before COVID (Jul, The Atlantic)

Assistive Technology

Marketing Matters on how AT startups need to invest in marketing (Jul, AT2030)

The Global Report on Assistive Technology: a new era in assistive technology (Jun, Assistive Technology)

Making the direct to consumer model work for Assistive Technology warns about “unintended charitable consequences”:

“AT distribution that depends on charitable and philanthropic funding are highly vulnerable to financial cuts and changes in priorities. What’s more, AT distribution cannot be a one-off event like a vaccination camp. Distributed AT must be maintained, adapted and changed as the needs of the user change. Few charitable models are able to accommodate such a model- over time, people can be left with AT that is no longer fit for purpose, and disillusioned as to its value.” (Jul, AT2030)

In Georgia, Nina’s story: How assistive technology is improving her quality of life (Jun, WHO)

In India, Food Delivery Service With A Difference: This Motorised Wheelchair “Gives Wings To People With Disabilities” (Jun, NDTV)

In Rwanda, UNICEF supplies hundreds of children with life-changing hearing aids “UNICEF was able to significantly reduce the prices for these quality devices, providing them to the Government of Rwanda for $118. At this point in time, the same hearing aid can cost as much as $2,000 if buying it commercially within Rwanda.” (Jun, UNICEF)

In the United States, Disability At Home practical solutions and photographs that “document the ingenuity and creativity that caregivers and disabled people, including those with chronic illnesses, use every day to make home accessible.” (Laura Mauldin)



International Perspectives: Disabilities, Social Connectedness, and COVID-19 the experiences of three Special Olympics International (SOI) connected families and how they navigated the pandemic. (Jul, Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness)

In Europe, An important collection of synthesis reports on COVID-19 and people with disabilities assessing the impact of the crisis and informing disability-inclusive next steps. (Jul)

In the United States, COVID continues to hit nursing homes harder, “Cases are surging everywhere, and nursing home residents remain more likely to face severe illness and death.” (Jul, 19th News)


In China, Shanghai Covid lockdown: The struggle of blind massage therapists (Jul, BBC)

In New Zealand, Mixed response from disability advocates over Covid welfare support funding. (Jun, Stuff)

In the United Kingdom, ‘They gave her a bed to die in’: family of woman with Down’s Syndrome denied intensive care seek answers from Covid-19 inquiry. (Jul, the Guardian)

In the United States, People with Disabilities and COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments “Persons with disabilities were significantly more likely to spend their checks on basic needs, like food and rent, and less likely to spend on second-order items like charity or savings. These results suggest that future stimulus efforts should consider an increased amount for persons with disabilities.” (May, Journal of Poverty)

Living with COVID

Long covid could change the way we think about disability (Jun, Washington Post)

In India, Covid scare keeps blind students away from school (Jul, Deccan Herald)

In the United Kingdom, Doctors with long Covid say they have been denied disability benefits. (Jun, the Guardian)

In the United States,

  • Rest May Be the Best Treatment for Long COVID. Our Disability Policies Should Reflect That. “The continuing crisis around long COVID should inspire policymakers to embrace a more flexible frame of reference around what it means to be disabled, and to design more generous short-term disability policies, including a federal short-term disability benefit. Allowing long haulers to rest in the short term might help them avoid years or decades of significant, often disabling long-term health consequences.” (Jul, TCF)
  • Many try to return to normal from COVID, but disabled people face a different reality “All we're really asking for is for a masking policy that will allow us to be able to go to the store, to go to the doctor, go get the mail, without risking [our health],” (Jul, NPR)
  • Long Covid Is Showing Up in the Employment Data (Jun, Washington Post)

Civil Society and Community

The 2022 D-30 Disability Impact List “honors the unique accomplishments of our most impactful community members globally” (Jul, Diversability)

In Australia, Our understanding of limb difference is changing, and these young Australians are leading the way (Jul, ABC News)

In Ireland, New grassroots organisation aims to change perceptions of disability with 'radical' events (Jun, Irish Examiner)

In the United Kingdom,

  • First orthodox siddur for people with disabilities launched in UK (Jun, Jerusalem Post)
  • Disabled youth participation within activism and social movement bases: “[Young disabled people] feel pressure to agree with those who have identified the cause, advised by established figures on ways in which they should demonstrate resistance, and are requested to provide recommendations that will improve the situation for young people: a limited involvement.” (Jun, Current Sociology)

In the United States, 32 Years After the ADA, People with Disabilities Still Are Left Behind in Faith Institutions as religious organizations have exemptions from the law. (Jul, Respect Ability)

Climate Crisis

Disability Debrief feature: Disability in the Heat Why authorities need to prioritise people at highest risk as temperatures rise (Jul, Disability Debrief)

Heatwaves worsen mental health conditions (Jul, the Conversation)

Environmental Justice inclusive of disability animated videos telling the story through a character called Sofía. (in Spanish, ONG Inclusiva) Also available with English subtitles.

Report on Disability Inclusion in National Climate Commitments and Policies The 2015 Paris Agreement calls on countries to outline the measures they will take to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. Fewer than one in four countries make references to persons with disabilities in these plans, and where they do, it is often cursory. (Jun, IDA and McGill) See also coverage on the Guardian.

A briefing note for the Bonn Climate Conference 2022 on integrating human rights to climate action. (Jun, Human Rights and Climate Change Working Group)

In Bangladesh, Data & evidence missing on the impact of climate change on persons with disabilities. “No data on how persons with disabilities have been affected by the flooding, persons with disabilities are scattered in this area and even getting cash support to these persons takes a bit of time. There are not so many OPDs to support them either.” (Jul, CBM Global)

In Canada,

In India,

In Nepal, A case study on Nepal’s changing climate and its impact on communities including persons with disabilities “I have never seen anything like that in my whole life. The whole earth was shaking. Other people went uphill as the flood started to rise. Later, I went up with the support of my son-in-law too. I came here looking for better access to the market and other facilities. But I lost everything. I am an old man with a physical disability, it is very difficult for me now” (Jul, CBM Global)

In the Solomon Islands, How People with Disabilities Face Climate Change in Solomon Islands: "Every high tide is right at my doorstep every time I wake up. That keeps me wondering if soon, we are going to sink in the sea with no option,” (May, Solomon Times)

In South Africa,

In the United Kingdom,

In the United States,

Communication and Language

In Indonesia, Information gap affecting the disabled (May, D+C)

Sign Languages

In Australia, The art of interpreting standup comedy in sign language. (Jun, the Guardian)

In Canada, How Indigenous sign language is helping this woman connect with her culture (Jul, CBC)

In Egypt, Fingerspelling Systems in Egyptian Sign Language (Jun, North African Linguistics)

In South Africa, South African Sign Language set to become official language (May, Disability Insider)

In the United Arab Emirates, How to sing in sign language: meet the interpreter joining Mohammed Abdu on stage (Jun, The National News)

In the United Kingdom,

Culture, Entertainment and Media

Cripple Punk: The Disabled Young People Smashing Ableism: “Spiked wheelchairs, studs and cigarettes – cpunk is about rejecting society's ‘inspiration porn’ narrative of physical disability.”:

“We need to see more disabled people behaving badly. And no, I don’t mean blind people littering or wheelchair users shoplifting. I mean we need to see more disabled people behaving like everyone else. We need to see more disabled people smoking, drinking and sticking up a middle finger. More disabled people who are angry, bitter and abjectly un-inspirational – because frankly, there are a lot of us. So where have we all been hiding?” (Jul)

Disabled musicians turning up the volume radio show featuring artists with disabilities. (no transcript, Jun, BBC)

In Canada, Crip Rave Is the Revolutionary Collective Prioritising Accessibility. “There was the disorientation of the music, but also the vibrations, which left me sensing my pain in a different way ... I left that night with a new relationship to my body.” (May, RA)

In Europe, Implementing the Right of People with Disabilities to Participate in Cultural Life across Five European Countries: Narratives and Counternarratives. Research in Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Sweden:

“[This article] contrasts official narratives, which highlight good practices and steps taken to improve access to culture, with counternarratives that reveal a fragmentary approach to cultural participation of persons with disabilities, persisting barriers, limited recognition of artists with disabilities, and the perpetuation of stigma and stereotypes.” (Jun, Journal of Human Rights Practice)

In Kenya, Short video feature on Julia Ayen a Refugee artist “proving to the world that disability is not inability” (Jun, Citizen TV Kenya)

In the United Kingdom,

  • ‘Don’t tone it down’ – inside the invasion of British museums by disabled artists. (Jun, the Guardian)
  • Being Hybrid A guide to hybrid events for the literature sector. (Jun, Spread the Word)

In the United States,

TV and Film

In the United Kingdom, Britain's Got Talent 2022 Eva Abley's performances, a 14 year-old comedian. (May, Adnan Entertainment)

In the United States, Accurate Disability Representation In Mass Media: 8 Powerful Film and Television Performances By Actors With Disabilities. (May, Kids Included Together)

Clothing and Fashion

In the United States, Clothing Hacks for Wheelchair Users - New Mobility (Jun)

Data and Research

Why is it Important to Identify the Population with Disabilities? an explainer video. (Jun, Washington Group on Disability Statistics)

Exploring the Use of Washington Group Questions to Identify People with Clinical Impairments Who Need Services including Assistive Products: Results from Five Population-Based Surveys (Apr, Environmental Research and Public Health)

Why do we need data on women and girls with disabilities? “One way to address this data gap has been the collection and use of qualitative data, including citizen-generated data from organizations of persons with disabilities and NGO allies to complement official statistics to measure gaps and progress. This use of qualitative data is especially important in emergency situations, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic” (Jul, CBM Global)

Explainer video on how the Washington Group question approach to measuring disability relate to the Social Model? (Jun, Center for Inclusive Policy)

Should you use the Washington Group questions in your humanitarian programming? A tool to help you decide. (Jun, Washington Group on Disability Statistics)

World Bank and Microsoft commit to narrow the data gap. With a “disability data hub” they plan to “expand both access to and the use of demographics and statistics data to ensure representation of disability, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.” (Jun, Microsoft)

In India,

In the United States, Disability Data Snapshot: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. (Jul, U.S. Department of Labor Blog)


In Australia, Doing research inclusively: co-production in action “provides practical strategies for every step of the co-design process in research.” (May)

In China, Book review of Disability in Contemporary China. Tracing representations of disability from Mao to now. (Apr, Disability Studies Community Blog)

Digital Accessibility and Technology

A new report, A Digital Cage is Still a Cage “At their most extreme, the use of new and emerging technologies could replicate the worst features of institutional care rather than facilitate independent living and inclusion within the community.” (Jun, University of Essex)

How to make the most of the Mac’s accessibility features (Jul, The Verge)

Celebrate Disability Pride, Uplift Gaming and Disability Communities and Creators with Team Xbox (Jul, Xbox)

By the Blind, For the Blind reflecting in particular on open source software where tools can be full integrated with the operating system. (Jun, Devin Prater)

The Performative A11yship of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May, Adrian Roselli)

In Europe, The Digital Services Act will create second-class internet users. (Jun, EDF)

In Kenya, Report Highlights Increased Usage of Mobiles (May, Global Accessibility News)

Artificial Intelligence

In Europe, Civil society and EDF reacts to European Parliament’s Artificial Intelligence Act draft Report urging safeguarding people's rights in AI legislation. (May, EDF)

Online Accessibility

What's Happening with Digital Accessibility in 2022 (Jul, UsableNet)

Web3 must learn from the past: People with disabilities are the largest untapped demographic (Jul, Venture Beat)

Exploration of alt-text including detailed advice (Jun, Accessible Social)

Digital Accessibility: The Next Frontier of Disability Rights Includes a discussion on justifying digital accessibility because of legal compliance or as an opportunity for growth, preferring the latter, quoting this reasoning: “[Focusing on lawsuits] capitalizes on this fear that disabled people are out there to sue you and make your life difficult …. It furthers this really horrible view of disabled people that we’re literally out there to get money and that we just use our disabilities for that.” (Jun, Women Enabled International)

Why Are iFrame Titles Important for Accessibility? (May, Bureau of Internet Accessibility)

An accessibility review of public and private sector websites shows private sector websites significantly worse. Even big companies that have made commitments on disability inclusion through membership of Valuable 500 still only offer a median accessibility score of 52.6, a fraction lower than the median score of Fortune 500 websites. (May, Silktide)

Microsoft Edge site ALT text adds more “making the web a more inclusive and accessible place, starting with the blind and low vision community.” (Microsoft)

5 Ways Delivery Apps Don't Deliver On Accessibility (May, UsableNet)

In the United States,


Android gets enhanced accessibility features (Jun, Chrome Unboxed)

Apple previews innovative accessibility features (May, Apple)

Social Media

How we're improving the Discord experience for everyone (Jul, Discord)

LinkedIn Top Voices in Disability Advocacy: The 12 creators to follow (Jul, Linkedin)

Twitter reports that only .06% of images on Twitter are accessible. This too often includes tweets from organizations working on disability. (May, Twitter)

12 Disabled LGBTQIA+ Activists and Advocates Who You Need to Know (Jun, World Institute on Disability)

In Canada, Canadian goes viral for honest restaurant accessibility reviews on TikTok (Jun, DH News)

Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Response

In India, Status of Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Management (Jun, The Sangyan)

Economics and Social Protection

In Ireland, Government must not forget disabled people in this cost of living crisis (Jul, The Journal.ie)

In Sri Lanka, The struggle for survival faced by Sri Lanka's senior citizens (Jul, HelpAge)

In the United Kingdom,

Financial Inclusion

A Mastercard brief on Bridging the Disability Gap with inclusive financial services, focussing on accessibility of financial services. (May, Mastercard)

In Egypt, The Central Bank of Egypt introduces plastic money in Braille (in Arabic, Jul, Banky)

Social Protection

Pension or disability assistance: an unfair choice? “an older person with disabilities has to choose to receive either a disability benefit or an old-age pension. ” (Jun, Development Pathways)

In Australia,

In India, In Tamil Nadu, Unique Disability Identity Cards go missing (Jun, DT Next)

In Indonesia, Government commits to expanding social assurance coverage for disabled people. (Jun, Antara)

In the Maldives, Access to the Disability Allowance in the Maldives: National coverage and factors affecting uptake: “This research found that 25.6% of people with disabilities across the Maldives are receiving the Disability Allowance. Coverage was lowest for women, older adults, people living in the capital (Malé), wealthier households and people with sensory impairments. Factors affecting uptake included lack of information about the programme, perceptions of disability and eligibility criteria, geographical and financial factors, and stigma.” (May, Global Social Policy)

In New Zealand, How the government asked for social welfare advice, got it, ignored it, and the impact on people with disabilities. (Jun, Stuff)

In Nigeria, In a leprosy colony residents endure stigma and neglect. “There are 64 leprosy settlements across Nigeria but most are in varying states of disrepair with little to no funding.” The article describes how conditions have deteriorated in one colony since the missionaries who founded the colony then left, but people have remained, and new support is not sufficient. (Jun, Aljazeera)

In Uganda, Disability Inclusion Lifts Rural Ugandan Families From Poverty description of a poverty-reduction programme by BRAC (Jun, Africa.com)

In the United Kingdom, Five-month disability benefits delay causing hardship (Jul, the Guardian)

Education and Childhood

The Role of Parenting Interventions in Optimizing School Readiness for Children With Disabilities in Low and Middle Income Settings. “The global agenda urgently needs to move beyond token recognition of this marginalized group to inclusive early child intervention programs that consider existing practices, cultural beliefs, and developmental goals in the targeted communities. Children with disabilities in LMICs should receive culturally sensitive parenting interventions to improve learning and educational outcomes.” (Jun, Frontiers in Pediatrics)

Education Cannot Wait Policy and Accountability Framework on Disability Inclusion: Realizing the right to inclusive and equitable quality education of children and adolescents with disabilities in emergencies and protracted crises (May)

A call to action from a coalition of disability organizations on Transforming Education Summit calling for “resilient and inclusive education systems, equitable financing, and the removal of institutional and social barriers to inclusion so every child can benefit from quality education.” (GLAD)

Testing a wide range of technologies to address the reading needs of marginalized children “35% of the awards supporting solutions for children with disabilities.” (May, World Education Blog)

Deaf education in the developing world: what needs to change post-pandemic? (Jun, Global Partnership on Education)

In Australia,

In India, Around 71% of govt schools across country made "disabled friendly" according to Ministry data (Jun, Times of India)

In Indonesia, The Hurdles to Disability-Inclusive Education (Jun, Jakarta Globe)

In Kenya, Youth with disabilities decry costly learning equipment (Jun, The Star)

In South Africa, Towards interventions on school dropouts for disabled learners amidst and post-COVID-19 pandemic. Calls for a “a systematic multi-stakeholder local community-based intervention approach”. (Jun)

In the United States,

Higher Education

A review of the anthology Improving Accessible Digital Practices in Higher Education (Apr, Disability Studies Community)

In the United Kingdom, Disabled students are being let down by universities (Jun, Metro)

Employment, Business and Work

The state of disability engagement survey data showing “employees with disabilities are having a far less favorable experience at work than their non-disabled counterparts. These significant differences are far greater than we have found for other diversity groups such as gender, race and sexual orientation.” (Mercer)

An Inclusive Workplaces Toolkit which gives guidance for employers how to make their workplaces inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities. “Creating a workplace that is more inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities primarily requires small tweaks and behaviour changes within a workplace that make it easier for everyone to understand and be included in work.” (Jun, Inclusion International)

A review of effectiveness of interventions for improving livelihood outcomes for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. The review finds studies reporting “positive impacts on livelihood impacts” but given the limited evidence it is hard to conclude about what works. This study calls for more studies. (Jun, Campbell Systematic Reviews)

“This programme is nation-building” reflections at the ending of a disability-inclusive employment programme in Nigeria, Kenya, Bangladesh and Uganda. (Jun, Inclusive Futures)

Equalising access to the labor market for persons with disabilities based on a project in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. The report makes important points on how initiatives to support employment can have negative effects:

“Too often, employment of persons with disabilities has been approached through a narrow lens of placing people into jobs, without securing preconditions for inclusive employment such as inclusive workplace culture, provision of reasonable accommodation, and accessible transportation to work. Worse, persons with disabilities have often been supported to access only a limited range of jobs based on prevailing stereotypes, usually low-wage and perceived low-skill roles, thereby perpetuating stigma and prejudice about what persons with disabilities can or cannot do. This is particularly the case for most marginalized groups, such as persons with intellectual disabilities.”

It also questions the emphasis on the ”business case” when advocating with employers, and argues for a “critical consciousness on disability amongst employers”:

“The business case approach to promote inclusive employment must be rooted in human rights and social justice to ensure that a for-profit argument does not lead to further exclusion of those with high risks of marginalization. Employers need to recognize past and present marginalization and discrimination of persons with disabilities and take active responsibility to transform the labor market to become open, accessible and inclusive for persons with disabilities.” (Jun, IDA)

New ILO database highlights labour market challenges of persons with disabilities. From 60 countries with available data:

“The labour force participation rate of people with disabilities is very low. Globally, seven in ten persons with disabilities are inactive (that is, neither in employment nor unemployed), compared with four in ten persons without disabilities. While the inactivity rate is higher for both women and men with disabilities than for those without, it is particularly high among women with disabilities. This suggests that they face a double disadvantage in the labour market on account of both their sex and their disability status.” (Jun, ILO)

How can public and civil services support people with disabilities into senior roles? (May, Global Government Forum)

This year's Harkin Summit was held in Belfast (Jun, BBC)

In Australia, 'The gap is widening': disability advocates say not all Australians are enjoying equal employment opportunities. (Jul, SBS News)

In Bangladesh, Bangladesh expands tax incentive for employers of persons with disabilities and third-gender people (Jun, BD News)

In Canada, Opinion: It’s time for a culture shift where disability inclusion is concerned. By friend of the Debrief, Yazmine Laroche. (Jun, Globe and Mail)

In India, Enabling Inclusive: Best Practices in Disability Inclusion in Manufacturing Sector (link to pdf, Mar, IBDN)

In Nigeria, Documentary released on women living with disabilities in mining communities (Jun, Guardian Nigeria)

In Singapore, Leadership commitment is key to scaling disability inclusion (May, The Business Times)

In South Africa, Inclusive development: clearing up misconceptions on disability in the workplace (Jun, Engineering News)

In the United Kingdom, ‘I was dismissed as simple’: People reveal the reality of disability discrimination at work (May, Metro.co.uk)

In the United States,

  • New edited collection on Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Interests, Issues and Opportunities. “This collection provides an opportunity to look at how discrimination can occur across the employment process and what can be done to minimize the exclusionary practices that prevent neurodiverse individuals from getting into the workplace, advancing, thriving, and contributing as each of us desires to do.” The chapter on Shaping Organizational Climates to Develop and Leverage Workforce Neurodiversity is open access. (Jul, Routledge)
  • Making the ‘Business Case for Diversity’ Can Backfire with Underrepresented Groups by leading to a lower sense of belonging. (Jun, Yale Insights)

Gender Equality and Women with Disabilities

A short brief from UN Women “addressing the intersection” of Gender, age, and disability. The brief focusses on older women with disabilities, which is very important to do – but I can't help but be disappointed by this brief not reflecting more deeply on how interventions on gender, age, and disability intersect. (Jun, UN Women)

In India, Trans Persons With Disabilities Lack Enabling Social Systems and Healthcare Support: “the medical fraternity is patronising and insensitive towards their healthcare needs. It does not help that families, already struggling to cope with their disability, find it hard to come to terms with their gender identity.” (Jun, BehanBox)


WHO-ITU global standard for accessibility of telehealth services: “very often telehealth platforms are not compatible with devices such as screen readers that facilitate people with vision impairment to access information, or the lack of captioning or volume control in video conferencing impedes persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to interact with health professionals virtually”. (WHO)

A report on access and equity in the Future of Virtual Health and Care features discussion and practices of inclusion of persons with disabilities. (Jun, Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development)

In Brazil, The National Health Policy for People with Disabilities: An Analysis of the Content, Context and the Performance of Social Actors. “The coming to power of ultra-right governments triggered fiscal austerity, a setback in the implementation of the care network and a weakening in the content of various social policies related to the care of people with disabilities. During this era, the political approach changed, with the attempt to evade the role of the State, and the perspective of guaranteeing social rights. Undoubtedly, the neoliberal offensive on social policies, especially the Unified Health System, is the main obstacle to the effective implementation of the PNPCD in Brazil.” (Jun, Health Policy and Planning)

In Malawi, Mismanagement of public resources affecting healthcare of people with disability (Jul, Malawi24)

In New Zealand, Woman wheeled herself to hospital when ambulance couldn't take her wheelchair (Jul, Stuff)

In the United States, At last, medical guidelines address care for adults with Down syndrome. (Jul, Washington Post)

In Zimbabwe,

  • A path toward disability-inclusive health in Zimbabwe Part 1: A qualitative study on access to healthcare “People with disabilities experienced difficulties accessing health services in Zimbabwe prior to COVID-19. These experiences were shaped by health literacy, self-stigma and affordability of services, which limited demand. Supply of health services was constrained by the perceived poor capacity of health workers to treat people with disabilities and discrimination. Inclusion was facilitated by clinic staff support of people with disabilities’ access to medication through referral to mission hospitals and private clinics, and the lobbying of organisations of people with disabilities.” (May, African Journal of Disability)
  • A path toward disability-inclusive health in Zimbabwe Part 2: A qualitative study on the national response to COVID-19 “People with disabilities demonstrated good awareness of COVID-19 mitigation strategies, but faced difficulties accessing COVID-19 information and health services. Challenges to the implementation of COVID-19 guidelines related to a person’s functional impairment and financial ability to do so. A key supply-side constraint was the perceived de-prioritisation of rehabilitation services. Further restrictions on access to health services and rehabilitation decreased an individual’s functional ability and exacerbated pre-existing conditions.” (May, African Journal of Disability)

Food Security and Nutrition

In Belgium, Discussion on why “Veganism isn’t ableist” (Jun, Crip HumAnimal)

In the United States, Why the Formula Shortage Is Also a Disability Rights Issue (Yes Magazine)

History and Memorial

Global Stamp Issues a book exploring postage stamps marking the United Nations International Year of Disabled People, 1981. (Jun, Digital Disability) See a write up and samples on Disability Arts Online.

In Iceland, Discussion of a research and community project that took Multidisciplinary Approaches to Disability from late 9th to early 20th Century:

“the “Disability before Disability” project recognized the vital relationship between disability communities in the past, present, and future. [...] The project provides representation of people who lived with physical, mental, and/or sensory differences across Iceland’s history not simply as a homogenous group defined by one common experience but as individuals with their own unique lives and stories. Responsible historical disability representation affects both society as a whole and disability communities, with the latter having a valuable opportunity to see their experiences reflected in the past.” (May, Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research)

In the United Kingdom, Dr Peter Scott-Morgan dies: Tributes to world's first 'cyborg' ‘And when I say “Cyborg”, I don’t just mean any old cyborg, you understand, but by far the most advanced human cybernetic organism ever created in 13.8 billion years.’ (Jun, Metro.co.uk)

In the United States, Life at a Distance: Archiving Disability Cultures of Remote Participation. “Autistic self-advocacy, for instance, famously emerged in the 1990s from internet discussion boards, which allowed autistic adults to connect and form communities without having to socialize in person (Sinclair 2010). Even earlier, in the 1940s and 50s, institutionalized disabled people used technologies such as sending quilt patches to their families (as forms of storytelling), while disabled people living at home with families shared tips and tricks in print newsletters for making houses more accessible” (Jun, Just Tech)

Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

UNHCR 2021 report on Age, Gender and Diversity Accountability “2021 marked an important turning point in UNHCR’s work on persons with disabilities.”:

“Enhanced reporting by operations allowed UNHCR to better capture the support provided to persons with disabilities. Cumulatively, UNHCR operations supported 479,815 persons with disabilities worldwide, including at least 7,615 children. ” (Jun, UNHCR)

In Afghanistan,

  • Afghanistan Earthquake Response Overlooks People with Disabilities (Jul, Human Rights Watch)
  • Multi-sectoral needs assessments of Households with Disability “A significant proportion of households headed by a person with disability experience life-threatening circumstances and are in need of urgent life-saving humanitarian assistance to survive.” (Save the Children)

In Bangladesh, Providing a dignified life for refugee children with disabilities. “In the Rohingya refugee camp, an accessible latrine is making a difference in Irfan’s life” (Jun, UNICEF)

In East Africa,

In Germany, Blind Syrian granted asylum, is allowed to stay in Germany (Jun, InfoMigrants)

In Iraq, Fact sheet on Accessible documents for persons with vision impairments and persons with low vision in Iraq. (May, IOM)

In Kenya, Stories from the Kenya Drought see also the second and third stories. (Jul, CBM UK)

In Syria, North-West Syria Protection Analysis Update June 2022 gives a disability prevalence of 32%, increasing to 39% for displaced persons. (link to pdf, Jun, Protection Sector)

In Turkey, Turkish man sparks outrage for kicking 70-year-old Syrian refugee woman in the head (May, Stockholm Center for Freedom)

In the United States, Refugees with Disabilities Struggle to Join the Workforce (May, Chicago Monitor)

Institutions and Deinstitutionalization

In New Zealand, Abuse in Care: “Men raped disabled children, paid staff for access”. Testimonies from a commission of inquiry into institutional care. Further coverage at: 'a prison with no bars' and 'you can't walk away from this'. (Jul, Stuff) Also on NZ Herald: 'hellhole, worse than prison'

In Poland, Horror Behind Closed Doors of Polish Residential Institution. “Women and Girls with Intellectual Disabilities Beaten, Tied, and Locked in Caged Bed” (Jun, Human Rights Watch)

International Cooperation

Disability Rights Funds welcomes Catalina Devandas as Executive Director. (Jul, DRF) Cata was the first person I interviewed on the Debrief to reflect on her years as Special Rapporteur on Disability.

Organizations of Persons with Disabilities Engagement Officer as a medium to strengthening the disability movement (Jul, IDA)

An interview with USAID employee (and friend of the newsletter, Josh Josa) who talking about his background and inclusive education (Jul, Government Matters)

A scoping review on Community Support for Persons with Disabilities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. (Jul, Environmental Research and Public Health)

Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities for Sustainable Development Position Paper for the High-Level Political Forum “governments must redouble their efforts to reach the most marginalized and furthest behind to implement policies and programs to address the discrimination and disadvantage faced by persons with disabilities. ” (link to pdf, Jul, Stakeholder Group)

The pursuit of authentic partnership: personal reflections from the executive director of CBM Global on the difference between partnership and imposition. (Feb, CBM Global)

Reflections on how racism in the aid sector relates to persons with disabilities and measures that can be taken to localize work on disability: “Any capacity-building programme should be locally and culturally designed and managed by a local CSO/DPO on its premises to build a disability movement locally. ” (Jun, Mosharraf Hossein)

Pocket guide to safeguarding persons with disabilities and/or mental health conditions in programming. See also for safeguarding in workplaces doing humanitarian and development work. (May, RSH)

Evidence digest on youth and disability inclusion (Jun, SD Direct)

The UNPRPD Annual Narrative and Financial Report 2021 (link to pdf, Jun, UNPRPD)

In Australia, Profile of Jane Edge, CEO of CBM Australia (Jul, Probono Australia)

In the Pacific, Organisations of Persons with Disabilities: Making a Difference in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands “It is testament to OPDs’ success that they have become sought-after partners for international agencies in the Pacific”. The report also describes how these agencies perceive and fund the OPD role limits what they can do and makes it harder for them to follow their own objectives. (Jun, CBM Global)

In Switzerland, UN Committee scrutinizes disability inclusion in Swiss international cooperation. “There is no consistent approach to disability across Switzerland’s work internationally.” (Jul, EDF)

Community Based Inclusive Development

A report on CBM's work on Community Based Inclusive Development (Jun, CBM)

A review on corruption and the equal enjoyment of rights for persons with disabilities:

“People with disabilities are exposed to abuse by those that provide care, the embezzlement of funds intended to benefit persons with disabilities and extortion in the process of acquiring a disability certificate. [...] This impact of this corruption is caused, enabled or exacerbated by discrimination against persons with disabilities.“ (Apr, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre)

In the United States, House Approves Ban On Electric Shock Devices For Those With Developmental Disabilities. (Jun, Disability Scoop)

Lived Experience and Opinion

The Valuable 500 reflects on What Disability Pride means to us. (Jul)

Disability Pride Month July “looks to celebrate disability as an identity by sharing the experiences of the disabled community” (Jul, Forbes)

How a Cyborg Challenges Reality “It seems obvious that cyborgs are first and foremost disabled people, and yet I’m stuck inside this other reality, defined by nondisabled people, where I make an appeal for personhood.” (Jun, NYT)

In Indonesia, Sticks and Stones Naufal Asy-Syaddad Encourages Other Young Indonesians with Autism to Know Their Rights (Jul, Disability Justice Project)

In the United Kingdom, Disabled people don’t need your outrage – we need you to fight with us for change (Jul, the Guardian)

In the United States,

“I’ve read a lot of writing on the senses, both about humans and other animals, and it’s really striking to me that people gravitate towards big, sweeping statements about humans as a species that clearly don’t apply to all members of the species. One of the most common things you’ll read on this topic, from almost any source, is that humans are a visual species. We are visual creatures. That’s true on average, but millions of people are blind or have sight impairments. So if you’re a blind person, what does it mean to have someone repeatedly tell you humans are a visual species? Does that mean that you’re less than human?” (Orion Magazine)
  • In New York City, a video feature on wheelchair users, discussing adaptive sports, accessibility and inclusion. (Jun, CUNY TV)
  • It’s Time for ‘Crip Time’: “The concept of crip time emerges from disabled experience and acknowledges that people with disabilities experience time and the demands of time differently from nondisabled persons. Crip time means that we may need to sleep more or longer, that it may take us longer to cook a meal, that it might take longer to get from point A to point B, or—most relevant to the academy—that it might take longer to write the book, that we may need to schedule meetings later in the day because that is when our bodies and minds are most functional, or that we may need additional time on our tenure clock because of health-related disruptions in our scholarly production.” (Jun, Inside Higher Ed)

Mental Health

Mental Health Apps Like BetterHelp Are a Privacy Nightmare, Mozilla Says. (May, Gizmodo)

In Europe, Joint statement welcoming the suspension of the adoption of the draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention (Jun, EDF) See more from Human Rights Watch.

In Jordan, ‘Amman is a prison’: Rise in suicides highlights mental health crisis in Jordan: ‘Instead of addressing the structural problems, the government is trying to punish and repress the symptoms of the crisis.’ (Jun, The New Humanitarian)

In Kenya,

“Kenya has a standalone mental health policy, and efforts to review the outdated mental health act are on-going. [But] Mental health services are scarce and inaccessible, the mental health workforce is limited, and budgetary allocation to mental health is inadequate.” (Jun, Ministry of Health) - Alienation in three parts: mental health in Kenyan women activists (Jun, ROAPE)

In Russia, Tedtalk on How to alter the perception of mental health care in Russia “During the Soviet Union era, therapy was often used as a tool of political oppression. Since then, Russia has seen major reforms in mental health care -- but stigmas and distrust for the practice still live on.” (Jul, TED)

Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism

‘It’s not the waiting, it’s the indignity’: disabled passengers tell of air travel torment. (Jun, the Guardian)

In Australia,

In Egypt, Egyptians with disabilities enjoy swimming at dedicated Mediterranean beach (Jul, Global Times)

In India, Passengers with special needs: “A wheelchair is not what my sister needs at an airport” (Jul, The Indian Express)

In Japan, Japan’s Transit System and its efforts on disability access (Jun, Bloomberg)

In Poland, What if I were to take your place a short advertisement that starts of sexy and ends up... well you'll have to watch it for the twist. See some background on Red Pepper.

In the United Kingdom,

In the United States,

In Uzbekistan, Inaccessible public transportation a video of a wheelchair user not managing to get on buses explained on twitter. (in Uzbek, no subtitles, Jun)

Policy and Rights

In Europe, Does the future of Europe include disability? The Conference on the Future of Europe failed to address persons with disabilities. (May, Social Europe)

In France, The 2021 report of the Defender of Rights shows disability as the most frequent claim of discrimination (in French, Jul, Faire Face)

In India,

In Nigeria, The House of Representatives passes a bill prohibiting discrimination against persons with disability (Jun, Nigerian Tribune)

In the Pacific, A short video with nice footage introducing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Jun, ILO)

In Pakistan, Pakistani people with disabilities “It has taken a long time for Pakistan to pass legislation to contend with some of the challenges faced by PWDs” (Jul, Tribune)

In Uganda, A music video on disability rights: Did You Know - Air Jay ft Daxx Kartel (Jul, Make 12.4% Work)

Politics and Elections

In Europe, Political participation of persons with disabilities: what you need to know ahead of the 2024 European Elections. (May, EDF)

In Japan, Candidate with severe disability wins seat in Japan's upper house (Jul, Disability Insider)

In Kenya,

In Malaysia, A survey of over 700 people to examine opinions of the disability community regarding factors that influence their voting behaviour and disability issues that are important to them. Key priorities identified were employment, education, and enforcing rights. The study also shows reasons people did not register for disability cards: they were not aware of it, worried it might lead to stigma, or did not see how it would help them. (Make the Right Real) See coverage on Free Malaysia Today.

In Nigeria,

In the United States,

Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights

An evidence digest on LGBTIQ+ and disability inclusion (Jun, Social Development Direct)

In Australia, Resource will help reduce prejudice against parents with intellectual disability (Jun, University of Sydney)

In Canada,

In Europe, Disability rights activists fight for access to cities' Pride events “People with disabilities who face barriers accessing Pride events and LGBTQ+ spaces say they're made to feel like a 'double minority.'” (Jun, Politico)

In India,

  • Desire, Sexuality And Choice: Disabled Indian Women And Queer Persons On Their Experiences. “I never stopped to think whether I liked them or not. I was just glad that someone liked me. I didn’t feel I had the right to say no. I thought ‘I will figure out how to like them too,’” (Mar, BehanBox)
  • Why It Is Hard For Disabled Women, Queer Persons To Leave Abusive Partners (Jun, BehanBox)

In Nepal, Chhaupadi practice puts women with disabilities at higher risk On the practice of isolating women while menstruating: “Disabled girls and women are more prone to getting sexually violated while staying away in chhau sheds.” (Jul, Kathmandu Post)

In the United States,

Space Exploration

Alt text proved unexpected star of NASA’s Webb images:

“The image is divided horizontally by an undulating line between a cloudscape forming a nebula along the bottom portion and a comparatively clear upper portion,” reads one. “Speckled across both portions is a starfield, showing innumerable stars of many sizes. The smallest of these are small, distant, and faint points of light. The largest of these appear larger, closer, brighter, and more fully resolved with 8-point diffraction spikes. The upper portion of the image is bluish, and has wispy translucent cloudlike streaks rising from the nebula below.” (Jul, Washington Post)

How AstroAccess Plans to Extend Accessibility in Space. Good to see in this piece that NASA experiments in the area of disability and space exploration date back to the 1960s with a study on motion sickness as experienced by deaf men. (Jun, Payload)

Sport and Paralympics

In Canada, Informing Future Paralympic Media Approaches: The Perspective of Canadian Paralympic Athletes. “I have no problem talking a little bit about how I got started in the sport or whatever. I just don't want that to be the primary focus of the article. I don't want it to be focused on my disability. I want it to be focused on my ability.” (Jun, Project ECHO)

In the United Kingdom, Activity levels among disabled people have failed to return to pre-Covid levels (Jun, the Guardian)

In the United States, The Hardest Part About Being a Deaf Hiker? Everyone Else. (Jun, Backpacker)

Violence and Harassment

In Africa, Uncovering our Hidden Shame: Addressing Witchcraft Accusations and Ritual Attacks. Reports of ritual attacks against children with disabilities in eleven countries, and on children with albinism in five. Some reports from Benin suggest that midwives may kill new-born children with disabilities without informing the mothers.

“Children with disabilities and children with albinism in particular may be accused of witchcraft based on the circumstances of their birth or their congenital deformities, or the way they look or talk. Ritual attacks against children with albinism are also driven by myths, and the false belief that their body parts can be sold for money. ” (Jun, African Child Policy Forum) See also coverage on the Guardian.

In Kenya, Forced to Beg: a video feature on disabled children trafficked from Tanzania and made to beg in Kenya. One of the alleged ringleaders is a disabled guy himself. Distressing images. (Jun, BBC)

War in Ukraine

Appeals and Statements

Joint Statement on the Situation of Older Persons in Ukraine. “Those older persons who have relocated to other areas within Ukraine have undertaken arduous journeys, beset with risk, lacking access to basic health care and other needs while on the move—all while being away from their families and loved ones. Many of those who have remained in their own towns have also experienced limited access to services and a breakdown of their social networks.” (Jun, HelpAge and others)

Evacuating or Leaving Ukraine

‘Calls kept coming’: Ukraine’s network for the blind shelters displaced people: factories predominantly staffed by people with visual impairments provide shelter. (Jun, the Guardian)

Rapid needs assessment of displaced older people. The most widely reported need is cash support. (HelpAge) See also on Age International.

Evacuating the Vulnerable Amid the Terror of War photos and descriptions of the work of Vostok-SOS, evacuating people from Eastern Ukraine. (Jun, NYT)

In Poland, Situation analysis on the assistive technology needs of Ukrainian people in Poland. (May, WHO)

Situation in Ukraine

Ukraine orphanages: Children tied up and men in cots: “A BBC News investigation exposes the abuse and neglect of disabled people locked away in institutions across Ukraine.” BBC iPlayer has a feature Locked Away. (Jul, BBC)

As Russia’s invasion continues, Ukraine’s elderly and disabled struggle to survive “After a recent visit to hard-hit northeastern Ukraine, unarmed civilian protectors are exposing the lack of humanitarian engagement with the country’s most vulnerable populations.” (Jul, Waging Nonviolence)

Younger people ran from the shelling – we couldn’t (Jul, Age International)

Complex injuries from explosive weapons in Ukraine (Jun, Humanity and Inclusion)

People with disabilities left behind during the war in Ukraine (Jul, Devex)

War in Ukraine takes heavy toll on those with disabilities, and many can't leave (Jun, ABC News)

Attacks on disabled people and facilities

Social media posts chart life and death of girl in Russian strike (Jul, the Guardian)

Russian attack in Vinnytsia: “Among them was a four-year-old girl with Down syndrome, Liza, who never made it home from her speech therapy session.” (Jul, EDF)


The reconstruction of Ukraine must take into account human diversity — human rights defender Yuliya Sachuk (Jul, Fight For Right)

Sound of Silence “Now, a non-profit organization [Off The Grid Missions] is helping people who are deaf or hard of hearing learn of the danger.” (Jul, The News with Shepard Smith)

UNICEF launched project to support children with disabilities and their families (Jul, Disability Insider)

We must not neglect rehabilitation in Ukraine “The damage and disruption to usual health services, coupled with conflict related traumatic injuries and the forced displacement of millions of people, will create an enormous surge in rehabilitation needs.” (Aug, eClinicalMedicine)

Ukraine highlights efforts to close digital divide for people with disabilities (Jun, Relief Web)

‘I just can’t stand aside if I know that I can help’ “Disability rights activist Tetiana Barantsova escaped the war in Ukraine in a wheelchair. Now she’s helping others with disabilities to do the same.“ (Jun, UNHCR)

How To Help Disabled Ukrainian Children Left Behind During War (Jun, Today)

Open letter to US administration to Protect the Rights of People with Disabilities and Older People (Jul, Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies and others)

Disabled children and the war against Ukraine “The EU should ensure its humanitarian aid involves this vulnerable group while also supporting community-based disability support,” (Jun, Euractiv)

Key Principles and Recommendations for Inclusive Cash and Voucher Assistance in Ukraine (May, EDF)

Water and Sanitation (WASH)

Terminology Guidelines for Equality, inclusion and rights (Jun, Water Aid)

Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: 2000-2021 Data update includes a section on disability which shows gaps in data and how changes are lagging: “schools were more likely to have adapted infrastructure and materials than disability-accessible toilets” (Jun, UNICEF)

In Bangladesh, Accessible latrines supporting independence in Cox's Bazar camps (Jun, Relief Web)


Thank you to the readers who make contributions to keep this going, with support this week from Ashton (again!). Thanks to Tan Kuan Aw for the illustration of the inflation dragon and the newsletter logo.

The source for news here is all of you sharing disability news, especially those sharing on twitter. Thanks to everyone for spreading the word about what's going on.

Many thanks to Sightsavers and the Center for Inclusive Policy for support. These newsletters are produced by me, Peter Torres Fremlin. Opinions or mistakes are mine.