“You follow policy, but I want equality”

Curated disability news and highlights from over 75 countries.

Hello Debriefers,

Happy new year! I hope 2023 has good things in store for all of us. We're back to our world tours of disability news. And before we get started...

Powered by your generosity and passion: I closed last year sharing what the Debrief had done and asking for help to do more. I'm moved and motivated by how many of you have supported. Thank you.

Welcome to new readers who found the Debrief through Alice Wong's newsletter. Alice is one of the most important disability voices online.

Here are the highlights from our news tour. See the full contents for almost 300 links across over 50 topics.

Making Medicine sick

“You follow policy, but I want equality.” Disability Serviceland Song is a great music video from the UK, a much-needed takedown of dehumanising service provision. “You hired Priscilla and then there was Camilla // Staff turnover really frightens my pet chinchilla”.

“I'm so mean I make medicine sick”: another great and much-shared video is Apple's  The Greatest, featuring disabled people in beauty and brilliance (and Apple tech).

Health systems should be making us better, not worse. The WHO has published a report on health equity for persons with disabilities. As the press release says, “Many of the differences in health outcomes cannot be explained by the underlying health condition or impairment, but by avoidable, unfair and unjust factors.”

Now we're at 16%. The WHO report shows the number of disabled people worldwide is approximately 1.3 billion people. This is an increase from a previous figure of 15% from ten years ago:

“This number has increased substantially during the past decade due to different demographic and epidemiological changes such as population rising and the increase in the number of people with noncommunicable diseases, who are living longer and ageing with limitations in functioning.”

For the fighters

“We're here yet again, to throw eggs at the walls and see if it falls”: protest and song for disability rights in Cyprus. As well as Nicosia, protests over subway accessibility continue in South Korea. Rush-hour protests have met a harsh response including riot police, referral to prosecution, and the Metro suing protestors for delays. Protests are currently paused.

On our terms: a new podcast from the European Network on Independent Living, hosted by the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello and featuring diverse perspectives on independent living and activism. Episode 2 speaks to activists in Slovenia that had previously been institutionalised: “It’s like being in prison, but if you are in prison, you know why you are there.”

Piss on pity. Profiles of 10 heroes of the disability-rights movement.

For the report lovers

We've got different reports in many flavours, pick according to taste.

Emergencies and conflict:

  • “I used to have a home.” an important Amnesty report on older people's experience of war in Ukraine. Limited accessibility and supports means that “older people sometimes had no choice but to enter an institution for older people or people with disabilities after being displaced.”
  • The International Review of the Red Cross has a whole edition on persons with disabilities in armed conflict from a legal and policy view.
  • Also in emergencies, see disability-inclusive action on internal displacement (IDMC) and an innovation catalogue for disability and older age inclusion in humanitarian response (ELRHA).

Policies and gaps:

  • The UN Partnership on Disability (UNPRPD) did situation analyses across 25 countries, which are a very valuable source of information. It summarises lessons from them, which includes a note for us to recognise that “as long as inclusive and community-based services are not of sufficient quality, stakeholders will prefer segregated solutions”.
  • UNICEF mapped out evidence gaps on inclusive interventions for children with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries.

Climate change:

  • Leave no one behind: an overview of evidence and recent experiences of disabled and older people in climate-related disasters (Human Rights Watch).
  • Missing in Climate Action: ableism, environmental justice, and stories of persons with disabilities in the Global South (CBM Global).

WTF of the month

Needs a different kind of prayer. Runner-up on WTF of the month are so-called “prayer camps” and “healing centres” in Ghana. Human Rights Watch visited five, finding more than “60 people were chained or caged, including some children,” in some cases for more than seven months.

Arrested for throwing a cup of water. WTF winner, by some margin, is a school for students with disabilities in Illinois, USA. Garrison School doesn't just lock its students in concrete rooms, it calls the police on them so regularly that one year as many as half of its students were arrested. Rather than being closed down, the school just got a $635,000 grant to discover forms of pedagogy other than calling the police.

One administrator admits he didn't like to see “kids get escorted out in handcuffs”. Not a statement that needs qualification. The administrator carries on: “but in the same sense, they have to learn when you graduate and you are an adult in the public, you can't do those things.” But in the same sense, sir, f*ck you.

Quitting Yoga

The world as it is, or as it should be. Discussion of why Ahlan Simsim, the Middle East version of Sesame Street, made a character with a wheelchair that doesn't fit.

One of the mistakes of the Enlightenment was saying that “cognitive capacity and rationality [is] at the essence of what it means to be a person.” Gerard Quinn explains briefly how the Convention on disability rights provides an antidote, “allowing those who were assumed to be hidden permanently from the world to have their moral agency both respected and restored.”

One thing that's brought me joy in 2022 and hope for 2023 is Lula returning as president of Brazil in place of the disastrous Bolsonaro. Lula received the presidential sash from representatives of minority groups, including Ivan Baron, a disabled influencer. Ivan wore a dazzling white suit graffitied with slogans including “stop excluding us”, “inclusion” and “anti-ableism” (in Portuguese).

If you've already abandoned New Year's resolutions, see a reassuring disability-view on making different kinds of resolutions, which include letting go, failure, and quitting Yoga.

Let me know what resolutions you've broken, what you'd like the Debrief to explore this year, or which of the news grabbed your interest. Leave a comment, or find me elsewhere.

In the next edition we'll be exploring some of the news in more detail, particularly around health. Stay tuned!



About the newsletter: Sign-up if you don't get these emails already. Disability Debrief is supported by readers and by Sightsavers. This edition also has support from the Center for Inclusive Policy.

Curated News


We have 290 links from 79 countries and regions, organized by these topics:

Accessibility and Design

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In India, Disabled-friendly buildings rendered inaccessible: “Even as the government creates infrastructure for the differently-abled, the same is not being maintained or kept accessible to them” (Dec, Herald Goa)

In Kenya, Inclusive Infrastructure Case Study of Nairobi. (Nov, AT2030)

In the Philippines, The Accessibility Law: 40 years of disappointment (Nov, The Manilla Times)

In Turkey, Guide dogs change lives of Türkiye’s visually impaired citizens. (Dec, Daily Sabah)

In the United States,


In the United States, Designing for Disabilities: How to Pair Luxury With Access (Dec, House Beautiful)


Back to contents.

In Canada, Discussion guide on ageism in Canada. (Aug, Government of Canada)

In the United Kingdom, Disability and ageing – time to think outside our silos? (Nov, Centre for Better Ageing)

Assistive Technology

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In International News:

COVID-19, access and assistive technology: The need for preparedness (Dec, Global Social Policy)

In Malawi, Relevance of assistive technology and the sustainable development goals to stakeholder organizations. “The cross-cutting nature of the relevance of AT underscores the importance of cross-ministerial cooperation and shared leadership in provision AT.” (Nov, Global Health Action)

In Turkey, New tech glasses made in Türkiye aim to benefit persons with disability. (Jan, Daily Sabah)


Back to contents.


In Russia, “But We Are Always at Home”: Disability Activism, Solidarity, and Staying at Home. (Dec, NYU Jordan Center)


In International News:

The inclusion of disability and ageing in COVID-19 hygiene behavior change interventions across low-and middle-income countries: A review using the COVID-19 Inclusive WASH Checklist. “Most organizations identified people with disabilities, older adults and caregivers as target groups, but targeted activities to include them were scarce. Where efforts were made, immediate needs rather than rights were addressed.” (Nov, Frontiers Public Health)

In Uganda, The response to Covid-19 in Northern Uganda should be disability-inclusive. A report on a research project between June 21 to August 22. (Dec, University of Bristol)

Civil Society and Community

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In International News:

Understanding Minority Youth with Disabilities Through Data and Personal Experience: resources for Centers for Independent Living. (Dec, Mathematica)

Let's End Disability Stigma short video from people with disabilities around the world. (Dec, CBM UK)

Resourcing Disability Justice: Our Feminist Journey Toward Centring Disability Justice. (Link to PDF, Nov, Purposeful)

In Cyprus, Disabled protesters unhappy with handling of their issues:

‘The protesters and their supporters expressed dissatisfaction with how the government has handled various issues of concern, with slogans such as: “No to exclusion, yes to recognition and respect”, “Segregation is not for the good of children”, “No to the dismantling of the welfare state” and “The right of disabled children to inclusive education is non-negotiable.”’ (Dec, Cyprus Mail) See also a video of the protestors.

In South Korea, Disability rights activists are referred to prosecution over protests in the subway during rush-hour. (Jan, Korea Times) Comment on this “zero tolerance” approach, which includes Seoul Metro suing the protestors. Protests paused during further dialogue.

In the United States, What I learned from the Generation of Disabled Activists Who Came After Me (Dec, Time) An essay by Ben Mattlin, accompanying the release of Disability Pride: Dispatches from a post-ADA world.

Climate Crisis and Environment

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In International News:

An issue on Mental Health & Climate Justice including research on women with psychosocial disabilities in intersecting disasters and climate change. (Dec, Mariwala Health Initiative Journal)

Illegalized Bodies: Addressing Disabled Vulnerabilities and Adaptation to Climate Change based on case studies from the US and Philippines. (Dec, Towson University Journal of International Affairs)

The CRPD and Climate Action. Links between the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Climate Change. (Nov, Gerard Quinn)

A status report updating the review of Disability Rights in National Climate Policies. (Link to PDF, Nov, IDA)

Global Impact of Climate Change on Persons with Albinism: A Human Rights Issue. (Jan, Journal of Climate Change and Health)

Missing in Climate Action Stories of persons with disabilities from the Global South combined with exploration of ableism and environmental justice.

Leave No One Behind a report on people with disabilities and older people in climate-related disasters. An overview of recent evidence and experiences directly from disabled people themselves. (Nov, Human Rights Watch)

How climate change affects mental health highlighting dimensions of concern. (Nov, Wellcome)

In Dominica, The inclusion of persons with disabilities in the climate change discourse. Highlighting cases of persons with disabilities affected by climate change in this small island developing state. (Nov, Dominica News Online)

In the Pacific, Podcast with Sainimili Tawake who works as inclusive development advisor for the Pacific Disability Forum. (No transcript, Dec, UNDP)

In International News:

What has been done and what can still be done. Increasing participation albeit significant access challenges remain. (Dec, EDF)

No climate solution without disability inclusion (Nov, LFTW)

How people with disabilities fought for formal recognition at COP27: “We’re still just trying to get on the agenda”. (Nov, Grist)

People With Disabilities Raise Voices at Climate Talks (Nov, AP News)

Communication and Language

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In Ethiopia, Working for inclusivity, accessibility: launch of a new Talking Books initiative to make educational texts available in audio format. (Dec, The Reporter Ethiopia)

In India, An online library for blind and print disabled with a collection of nearly 700,000 books in DAISY format combining audio and text. (Nov, Kashmir Images)

Sign Languages

In International News:

Position Paper on Access to National Sign Languages as a Health Need. (Jan, WFD)

In Nepal, Supporting deaf learners in Nepal via Sustainable Development Goal 4: Inclusive and equitable quality education in sign languages. (Nov, Int. Journal of Speech-Language Pathology)

In the United Kingdom, Work to be done on census figures for BSL: discusses methodology and estimates 150,000 BSL signers in the country. (Nov, BDA)

In the United States, Why Sign Language Was Banned in America part of a video series exploring sign language. (Oct, Storied, PBS)

In Vanuatu, Left out of society: Vanuatu’s deaf community push for national sign language. (Dec, the Guardian)

Conflict and Peace

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In International News:

Mr. Giles Duley appointed as the first United Nations Global Advocate for persons with disabilities in conflict and peacebuilding situations. (Dec, UNDP)

Protection measures needed to support children with disabilities in armed conflict. (Dec, OHCHR)

An edition of the International Review that focusses on Persons with disabilities in armed conflict. “thirty thought-provoking contributions, including many authored by persons with disabilities, jointly take stock of the legal protections (and lack thereof) for persons with disabilities in armed conflicts, and reflect critically how to move the legal and policy debates forward in the next few years.” (Nov, International Review of the Red Cross)

Including civilians with disabilities in the aftermath of war. (Nov, ICRC)

Addressing the accountability void: War crimes against persons with disabilities. How obligations in international humanitarian law can help monitor, protect and address disability-based violations of the law. (Nov, International Review of the Red Cross)

Culture, Entertainment and Media

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In International News:

The Group Fighting for Disability Justice in British Museums and Galleries (Nov, Timeout)

Being Seen a new book by Elsa Sjunneson. “A Deafblind writer and professor explores how the misrepresentation of disability in books, movies, and TV harms both the disabled community and everyone else.” (Nov, Simon and Schuster)

In Argentina, The Drummer Who Reminds People That ‘You Can Play Music as You Like’ “Miguel Tomasín, one of the few professional musicians with Down syndrome, has brought attention to the artistic visions of people with developmental disabilities, with his band releasing over 100 albums.” (Dec, New York Times)

In Spain, Exploring world monuments through Spain’s Museum for the Blind. Short video. (Dec, Haben Girma)

TV and Film

In International News:

‘Hardly seen as human at all’: will fantasy ever beat its dwarfism problem? (Dec, the Guardian)

In Middle East and North Africa, Why Ameera is a Muppet with a wheelchair that doesn't fit. “Should the wheelchair reflect Ameera’s reality or accurately represent her needs? Is it more powerful to show the world as it is, or how it should be?” (Nov, CNN)

In the United Kingdom, The 5 As: our standards for disability inclusion in the television sector. (Dec, BBC)

In the United States, Oscar's Final Frontier: Movies Featuring Disabilities. “This year's race includes a handful of films on the topic; it's not enough but there is progress.” (Dec, Variety)


In International News:

Profiles of those awarded Create Fund grants change how people with disabilities are portrayed in media. (Dec, Shuttershock)

Rings of power and privilege: Popular media promotes negative biases towards people with facial differences. (Nov, Psychology Today)

In India, How one Indian radio station is giving ‘a lifeline to people with disabilities’ around the world. “Set up in 2015, the volunteer-run station now has some 50,000 people with disabilities tuning in to its trilingual broadcasts every month”. (Dec, This Week in Asia)

In the United Kingdom, The media are failing disabled people. “Lucy Webster explains why – and how they can do better” (Nov, Tortoise)

In the United States, How public radio stations can serve deaf audiences. “Two public radio stations looking to improve the accessibility of their broadcasts for the deaf and hard of hearing have found new ways to provide live captioning of their programming.” (Dec, Current)

Clothing and Fashion

In the United States, Ramping Up Fashion’s Accessible Future “The fashion industry is designing adaptable clothing for disabled people, but is that enough to undo the industry’s ableism?” (Nov, Yes!)

Data and Research

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In Australia, New Disability Dashboards released “These dashboards offer a new way to access and understand data and insights about the main disability types represented in the NDIS.” (Dec, NDIS)

In the Philippines, Functional Difficulty in the Philippines: results from the 2020 census of population and housing. “Nearly nine in every 100 persons (8.7%) had at least one domain of functional difficulty. Females accounted for 55.6 percent.” (Oct, PSA)

In Senegal, Senegal launches action plan to to collect high-quality inclusive data. (Dec, Sightsavers)

In Tunisia, Quality of life and its predicting factors for Tunisian children with cerebral palsy. (Dec, African Journal on Disability)


In International News:

Finding Blindness an edited volume bringing together essays on “international constructions and deconstructions” of blindness. (Dec, Routledge)

In Australia, A step closer to inclusive disability research The National Disability Research Partnership Learnings and Recommendations report. (Nov, NDRP)

Digital Accessibility and Technology

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In International News:

How Indie Studios Are Pioneering Accessible Game Design. (Dec, Wired)

The Greatest beautiful music video showing people using assistive technology. (Nov, Apple)

Global report highlights failings in accessibility processes and procurement. “Despite widespread senior endorsement of accessibility and inclusion, most organisations still need to adapt their project processes to embed accessibility.” (Nov, AbilityNet)

‘Hey, GitHub!’ will let programmers code with just their voice, together with AI-assisted code suggestions. (Nov, The Verge)

In Bangladesh, The Accessible Revolution: Vashkar Bhattacharjee and the Birth of an Inclusive Digital Bangladesh (Dec, The Datekeepers)

In the United States, Unlocking the Virtual Front Door An Examination of Federal Technology’s Accessibility for People with Disabilities, Older Adults and Veterans (Link to pdf, Dec, Senate Special Committee on Aging)

Online Accessibility

In International News:

WordPress 6.1 Accessibility Improvements. (Oct, Make Wordpress Core)

The History of Digital Accessibility (Oct, Storyly)

In Canada, The internet doesn't have to be impossible to navigate for Canadians with disabilities. (Dec, National Post)

In Europe, A study supporting the review of the Web Accessibility Directive (Dec, EC)


In International News:

Virtual Reality Accessibility: 11 Things We Learned from Blind Users (Nov, Equal Entry)

Social Media

In Belgium, Belgian social media star uses power of visuals to demystify disability. (Dec)

In Middle East and North Africa, Youtube conversations with Mostafa Attia. (In Arabic, Dec, Youtube)

Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Response

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In International News:

Towards more inclusive disaster risk-management policies (Nov, World Bank)

In Australia, Flood Response Failed to Protect Most at Risk. “Human Rights Watch found that New South Wales and local authorities did not provide adequate flood warnings, evacuation, or rescue support, leaving older people, people with disabilities, and those who were pregnant facing life-threatening circumstances with little government assistance.” (Nov, Human Rights Watch)

Economics and Social Protection

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In Africa, Estimating Households’ Expenditures on Disability in Africa: The Uses and Limitations of the Standard of Living Method. “In lower-income countries, people with disabilities are likely to have fewer opportunities to spend on needed items thus resulting in substantial unmet need for disability-related goods and services. Failing to account for these unmet needs can lead to inadequate systems of social protection if they are based solely on SOL estimates.” (Dec, IJERPH)

In Bhutan, Working with the grain: economic inclusion of persons with disabilities in Bhutan (Dec, Development in Practice)

In Europe,

In the Philippines, The Cost of Raising Children with Disabilities. Not only do children with disabilities cause expenditure 40-80% greater than those without, poverty rates are 50% higher in households with children with disabilities. (Sep, UNICEF)

In the United Kingdom, Thousands of vulnerable people cut off from gas and electricity for days at a time. (Dec, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) And this is just the data from last winter.

In the United States, Voices of Disability Economic Justice a series led by disabled writers. (Nov, TCF)

Social Protection

In Australia, NDIS funding isn't just a one-way street – it helps participants secure work and give back to the economy. “I was disabled enough to actually qualify for the Paralympics, but not disabled enough to qualify for any assistance on the NDIS” (Nov, ABC News)

In China, The effect of a disability-targeted cash transfer program on universal health coverage and universal access to education: A nationwide cohort study of Chinese children and adolescents with disabilities. (Nov, The Lancet Regional Health)

In Europe, Does the European Care Strategy care about disability? “The council recommendation on long-term care needs first of all to recognise disability support as a topic distinct from care.” (Nov, Social Europe)

In Kyrgyzstan, Disability drives innovation in the design of social support services and access to employment programmes in Kyrgyzstan - socialprotection-pfm (Nov, SP&PFM)

In Latin America and the Caribbean, The Buenos Aires Committment recognises the importance of autonomy and choice of persons with disabilities in receiving care. (Nov, Human Rights Watch)

In the United States,

Education and Childhood

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In International News:

Inclusion is better for everyone but children with disabilities are 6 times more likely to be out of school. (Dec, Plan International)

The School That Calls the Police on Students Every Other Day “An Illinois school for students with disabilities has routinely used the police to handle discipline, resulting in the highest arrest rate of any district in the country. In one recent year, half of Garrison School students were arrested.”

Inclusive Education for Learners with Multisensory Impairment: a book that “offers a synthesis of best practice with the latest theory and research”. (Nov, McGraw Hill)

Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities – An evidence and gap map from low- and middle-income countries. See a visualization of data and gaps in different areas. (Dec, UNICEF)

The Inclusion Dialogue “Based on fascinating and unique conversations with leading academic experts across the globe, Joanne Banks uses in-depth interviews to examine current debates in special and inclusive education and provides a clear overview of the key tensions which impact policy and practice across different national contexts. Her book also highlights how inclusive education policies do not always translate into inclusive practices in our schools.” (Dec, Routledge)

The evidence for benefits of flexible and adaptive curricula in inclusive education. (Jul, Disability Evidence Portal)

Tools to support TVET policy makers and education providers to plan and deliver inclusive TVET provision for persons with disabilities (Nov, Leave No One Behind)

In Africa, Manifesto on Inclusive Education made by representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities. (Nov, African Disability Forum)

In Kenya, Task-force must address state of disability rights in schools (Nov, Irungu Houghton)

In Malawi, ‘I might be lucky and go back to school’: Factors affecting inclusion in education for children with disabilities in rural Malawi. (Nov, African Journal on Disability)

In Sierra Leone, Transforming learning for children with disabilities in Sierra Leone’s most remote communities. (Nov, Global Partnership on Education)

In South Asia, Deaf children and mental health: The challenges and how we’re tackling them. (Nov, Global Partnership on Education)

In Syria, A promising future for Ameer a blog on non-formal education programmes that reached hundreds of children with disabilities. (Nov, Global Partnership on Education)

In Tanzania, Leaving no one behind an article exploring inclusive education. (Dec, The Citizen)

Higher Education

In International News:

Moving labs: a checklist for researchers with disabilities. (Dec, Nature Careers)

Employment, Business and Work

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In International News:

Livelihood support for caregivers of children with developmental disabilities: findings from a scoping review and stakeholder survey. (Dec, Disability and Rehabilitation)

How can we include people with intellectual disabilities at work? (Dec, Sightsavers)

Creating an inclusive culture actions taken by Valuable 500 members for a more inclusive business culture. (Dec, Valuable 500)

Lost in Translation: A global guide to the language of disability: “seeking to apply a single set of language guidelines across a global organisation is often not the best approach. Instead, recognise cultural and linguistic differences and use the language that your audience speaks – whilst seeking to empower the disabled people you work with and serve.” (Dec, BDF)

Note on ensuring that people with disabilities are not bullied at places of work. (Oct, Disability Evidence Portal)

Evidence and good practice paper on approaches to Increasing Employment and Quality of Employment Among Youth with Disabilities. (Nov, DEEP / USAID)

In France, The disability employment quota between social policy and antidiscrimination (Nov, Anne Revillard)

In India, Supreme Court gives a welcome order with problematic observations. Judges accepted inclusion of disabled people in public services they had been excluded from, but accompanied this with “seemingly discouraging remarks”. (Nov, Indian Express)

In Russia, Search for people to build fortifications, including digging trenches, mentions jobs for persons with disabilities. (Dec, Yahoo! News)

In Rwanda, A video feature on Seeing Hands Rwanda which provides training and transition from training to employment. (Dec, Disability Justice Project)

In South Africa, A labour lawyer argues that very little has been done to ensure that people with disabilities have employment opportunities. (Dec, IOL)

In Uganda, Closing the Employment Gap a feature video on how Ugandans with Disabilities Advocate for a More Inclusive Work Environment (Dec, Disability Justice Project)

In the United Kingdom, Non-disabled workers paid 17% more than disabled peers. Disabled women face the biggest pay gap and it persists for workers throughout their careers. (Nov, TUC)

In the United States,

  • Disability disparities in STEM: Gaps in salaries and representation for doctorate recipients with disabilities. “Doctorate recipients working in STEM with early onset disabilities (identified <25 years of age) earned $10,580 less per year than non-disabled workers.” (Dec, MedRxiv)
  • What the Disability Community Told Us About Sheltered Workshops in Missouri. “The respondents told me that they would be devastated if their sheltered workshops were forced to shut down. Some family members even bypassed our outreach questions and instead sent in letters expressing opposition to any changes to the federal subminimum wage law or requesting that sheltered workshops remain open in the state.” (Nov, ProPublica)

Gender Equality and Women with Disabilities

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In International News:

The Feminist Accessibility Protocol: “a groundbreaking set of commitments that seek to ensure the inclusion of feminists with disabilities in gender equality spaces.” See also some notes on what it is, and why we need it. (Nov, Women Enabled)

In Uganda, Leave No Woman Behind: A blog on Disability, Gender, and Employment. (Nov, Disability Justice Project)

International Women's Day

In International News:

CEDAW Committee adopts General recommendation No 39 on the rights of Indigenous Women and Girls: 30 references to disability and to indigenous women and girls with disabilities. (Nov, IDA)


Back to contents.


In International News:

Disability-Inclusive Health Care Systems: Technical Note for World Bank Task Teams. “The guide provides the rationale for disability inclusion, tips for engaging in dialogue, information and examples on disability-inclusive practices and operations, and specific guidance on integrating disability into health service programming and delivery supported by the World Bank.” (Nov, World Bank)

Reimagining health systems for a billion people with disabilities. (Dec, BMZ)

Global report on health equity for persons with disabilities. See also the press release. “Health systems should be alleviating the challenges that people with disabilities face, not adding to them.” (Dec, WHO)

Blind people still get medical bills they can't read. (Dec, NPR)

Evidence brief on addressing intersectional stigma for people living with disability and chronic infectious diseases. (Oct, Disability Evidence Portal)

In Australia, Access to general practice for people with intellectual disability in Australia: a systematic scoping review. (Nov)

In India, High Court rules that People with disabilities are entitled to health insurance. (Dec, Times of India)

In the Maldives, Disability and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (Dec, Plos One)

In Nigeria, Report on barriers to healthcare access for Deaf Nigerian Women and Girls during Emergencies. (Dec, WFD)

In Uganda, Hospital and a home: Uganda shelters offer a lifeline to cancer patients. (Dec, the Guardian)

In the United States,


In International News:

Provision of rehabilitation for congenital conditions “We argue that the global health community must act to ensure that rehabilitation services to support functioning from birth are well established, accepted and integrated within health systems, and that disability is prioritized within child health.” (Nov, Bulletin World Health Organization)

In South Africa, A review of the framework and strategy for disability and rehabilitation services (Dec, African Journal on Disability)

Food Security and Nutrition

In International News:

Feeding and Disability Resource Bank “A collection of resources to address feeding difficulties and disability inclusion in nutrition programs” (Nov, USAID Advancing Nutrition)

History and Memorial

Back to contents.

In International News:

A new book on Prosthetics and Assistive Technology in Ancient Greece and Rome. (Dec, Cambridge University Press)

From the wheelchair-using Black Panther to the ‘cripple suffragette’ – 10 heroes of the disabled rights movement. (Dec, the Guardian)

In Germany, Uncovering a life deemed “unworthy of life”. “Why the Story of Hans Heinrich Festersen—Gay, Disabled, and Murdered by the Nazis—Matters” (Nov, Zocalo Public Square)

In New Zealand, Why doesn’t every New Zealander know about Eve Rimmer? “She had a glittering international sports career and became a brave advocate for paraplegic rights, but Eve Rimmer is still largely unknown to the country she represented.” (Dec, The Spinoff)

In Russia, A book review of The Broken Years: Russia's Disabled War Veterans, 1904-1921. The book argues that the rights of disabled people as a minority were born out of the 1917 February revolution. (Dec, H-Net)

In the United Kingdom, Disabled people’s activism on exhibition at the People's History Museum (Dec, Disability Arts Online)

In the United States,

  • How should we reckon with history’s uncomfortable truths about disability? “My research found that eugenics, a theory popular from the late nineteenth century until World War II, had an early but profound influence on educational policy that lingers to this day in the rationale for, and funding of, educational provisions for students with disability.” (Dec, Monash)
  • Disability Dialogues a book on the “Advocacy, Science, and Prestige in Postwar Clinical Professions” (Dec, Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • Deaf Printers Pages “preserves the last of many generations of Deaf people who learned printing in school and worked at local and national newspapers around the country. From the 1970s-2000 more than 125 Deaf people found employment at The Washington Post.”
  • Landmark disability rights figure Lois Curtis dies. (Nov, NPR) See more about her legacy on 19th News.

Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

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In International News:

Disability and Older Age Inclusion in Humanitarian Action: Innovation Catalogue. See also notes on its launching. (Dec, elrha)

Advancing disability-inclusive action on internal displacement. “This report represents a first step toward addressing the paucity of data on IDPs with disabilities.” (Dec, IDMC)

In Bangladesh, Threadbare disability support faces uncertain future in Bangladesh refugee camps. “The limited support available to Rohingya refugees with disabilities in the country’s sprawling camps is at risk as humanitarian budgets face cuts.” (Dec, UNHCR)


In Australia, Cairns family facing deportation “After living in Australia for more than a decade, a Korean couple is facing deportation because their son, who was born here, has autism.” (Nov, 9 News)

In New Zealand, 'Inhumane': The Government policy that deports disabled children (Nov, 1 News)

In South Africa, A group evicts more than 200 people from a privately owned derelict building “which has been home to over 400 occupants — mostly migrants. Many are people living with disabilities and are wheelchair [users], while others are visually impaired.” (Dec, Daily Maverick)

Indigenous People and Minority Communities

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In Europe, Briefing note on social exclusion of Roma with Disabilities. (Dec, EDF)

In New Zealand, ‘I’m Māori first’: The vision-impaired community finding strength in whakapapa (Dec, The Spinoff)

Institutions and Deinstitutionalization

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In Austria, Disability organisations accuse Austria of misuse of EU rural funds in plans to build a residential facility for children with disabilities. (Nov, Euractiv)

In Canada, Why there is so much happiness in this long-term care home that doubles as a Grade 6 classroom. (Dec, CBC)

In Hungary, I am the director of my own 'institution': the seasonal appeal by Validity shows their own work and “depicts István’s transition to living independently with the support of people he trusts” (Dec, Validity)

In Ireland, Regulator warned disability services provider over ‘unsafe environment’ in residential homes. (Nov, Irish Times)

In New Zealand, Complaints laid after woman found in own faeces, weighing 35kg at a residential care home. (Nov, NZ Herald)

In the United States,

International Cooperation

Back to contents.

In International News:

The third report on Disability Inclusion in the United Nations system reviews work done in 2021:

“As we move into the fourth year of the Strategy’s implementation, it is clear that staff at all levels, supported by their leadership, are taking action to advance disability inclusion across programmes and operations. While findings demonstrate that significant progress has been made since 2019, a majority of benchmarks set by the Strategy to achieve the transformative change on disability inclusion are still not being met.” (Dec, UN)

A podcast discussion with Gopal Mitra on the the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy. (Nov, Gerard Quinn)

Situation Analyses of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Lessons and Conclusions from Twenty-Six Countries. (Dec, UNPRPD)

Evaluation of Ford's Disability Inclusion Initiative “Since 2018, we have invested more than $70 million toward projects and organizations focused on disability and an additional $250 million to social justice organizations including disability within their broader work.” See also the lessons for other grant makers. (Ford Foundation)

Communique from the GLAD Network 2022 Annual General Meeting. (Nov, GLAD)

In Australia, Important day for Australia in leaving no-one behind in development program (Nov, CBM Australia)

In Europe,

In Nigeria, Building a Movement for Inclusive Nigeria: Highlights of DRF's Grantee Convening. (Nov, Disability Rights Fund)

In Norway, Norway's international work for people with disabilities an article assessing the government's initiatives. (In Norwegian, Dec, Bistands Aktuelt)

In Uganda, Uganda’s Diverse Disability Movement Offers Lessons for an Ableist Global Philanthropy (Nov, Yes!)

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In Spain, CERMI Mujeres awards the best photographs about the difficulties of women with disabilities to access justice. (In Spanish., Nov, CERMI Mujeres)

In the United Kingdom, No longer free to be Deaf: Cultural, medical and social understandings of d/Deafness in prison: “there is little room for a cultural model of Deafness in prison, and in consequence, prison becomes medically deafening for Deaf prisoners.” (Nov, Disability and Society)

Lived Experience and Opinion

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In International News:

An issue of the Massachusetts Review dedicated to Disability Justice (Dec, Massachusetts Review)

In Australia,

In Europe, On Our Terms a podcast on independent living and disability activism, hosted by the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello. (Dec, European Network on Independent Living)

In Ghana, The story of Anaaba Agbango, the visually impaired farmer in Goka. (Dec, Ghana Web)

In India, There are too many barriers for persons with disabilities “Accessibility in India is often seen from the lens of the individual and the collective or societal approach is missing [...] It is not surprising that it is disabled individuals who have to take the onus on themselves and turn into activists and serial petitioners in courts.” (Dec, Money Control)

In Ireland, I moved from all I know: “Jennifer McShane moved to London when it became too expensive and difficult to live in Dublin.” (Dec, Irish Times)

In Japan, Why is Japan Seemingly Obsessed with “Barrier-Free Minds”? “Why is the phrase “Barrier-free minds” almost always used, but there is rarely any mention of ‘Barrier-free spaces’, physical environments where people with disabilities can live?” (Nov, Barrier Free Japan)

In Kenya, SARAH, a short movie “The story is centered on the life of Sarah who is a pregnant woman with disability. She is unable to access health services in time because of stigmatization and discrimination she faces.” (Nov, DAYO Kenya)

In Uganda, Let it pass an animated poem about the lived experience of anxiety. (Nov, Making it Work)

In the United Kingdom,

“To be as disabled as I am is to have control of your life parcelled out to people you’ve never met and who will never know you. The doctor, the care recruiting firm, the dating agency. I am forever trying to claw it back; a decision made for myself here, a stand taken there. Sometimes I think I am succeeding, I can breathe a little easier. I feel in control - of my career, of where I’m going, of the small but vital details of how I live my everyday life. And then the dam breaks and the water is rushing again, seemingly higher than before. I find myself wondering whether this time it’ll finally flow over my head.” (Dec, The View From Down Here)
  • Invisible: Documentary about 6 disabled women activists. (Dec, Tend Project)

In the United States,

In Vatican City, The Pope says that inclusion of disabled people must not remain a slogan. “There is no inclusion if the experience of fraternity and mutual communion is missing. There is no inclusion if it remains a slogan, a formula to be used in politically correct speeches, a flag. There is no inclusion if there is no conversion in the practices of coexistence and relationships.” (Dec, Vatican News)

Mental Health

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In International News:

The Virtual Asylum Replacing Mental Healthcare (Dec, Tech Policy Press)

Anxiety and Depression Signs Among Adolescents in 26 Low- and Middle-Income Countries: “Compared to adolescents without functional difficulties, those with difficulties in one or more domains were three times more likely to have signs of depression and anxiety.” (Jan, Journal of Adolescent Health)

Mental Health Apps Are Not Keeping Your Data Safe “With little regulation and sometimes outright deception, the possibility of discrimination and other “data harms” is high” (Nov, Scientific American)

In Denmark, “Mental health is declining in Denmark” and the plan to tackle the inefficiencies in the mental healthcare system through the next ten years. (Oct, Unbias the News)

In Ghana,

In South Africa, Large mental health study finds 20-30% of students at risk (Nov, Mail and Guardian)

In the United States, Advocates Fear The Impact Of NYC’s Involuntary Hospitalization Plan. (Dec, Huffington Post) See also an extended take on the push to expand involuntary treatment (Mad in America).

Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism

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In International News:

10 Most Accessible Cities features some big capitals including some cities I did not think of as very accessible. (link to pdf, Nov, Valuable 500)

In Canada, Airlines can't seem to safely transport my wheelchair, but they've found a way to move horses by air. (Nov, CBC)

In Greece, Acropolis in Athens Becomes Accessible to Visually Impaired Visitors. (Nov, GTP)

In India, Diary of a wheelchair traveller: 7 accessible spaces in India (Dec, Money Control)

In Jordan, People with disabilities see long road ahead to accessible public transport (Nov, Jordan Times)

In Netherlands, This tiny Dutch vehicle for people with disabilities is taking off: “a compact four-wheeled, two-seat microcar that's unlocking micromobility”. (Dec, MIT Technology Review)

In Nigeria, We shall picket airports plans to protest against lack of access in airports and airlines. (Nov, Inclusive News)

In Tanzania, Long-Distance Coaches, Trains and City Buses Ignore Persons with Disabilities (Dec, Tanzania Times)

In the United Kingdom,

In the United States,

Policy and Rights

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In International News:

A lively discussion on the most under-researched topic when it comes to inclusive policies? (Dec, Center for Inclusive Policy)

How Human Rights Defenders with disabilities are targeted & excluded globally. See the video testimonies. (Nov, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders)

Restoring the personhood of persons with disabilities short intervention on how “the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities is allowing those who were assumed to be hidden permanently from the world to have their moral agency both respected and restored.” See also further remarks on disability and the struggle for personhood. (Nov, Gerard Quinn, Special Rapporteur)

In Argentina, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Armenia, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In the Asia-Pacific,

  • Three-decade journey towards inclusion: assessing the state of disability-inclusive development. (Dec, UNESCAP)
  • Using the Capability Approach to Review the National Legislative Frameworks for Support Services for Persons with Disabilities in Four Countries in Asia: “most countries address support services, including assistive devices, only from the perspective of a social security measure for persons with disabilities living in poverty, failing to uphold the rights of those not meeting those eligibility criteria.” (Dec, Societies)

In Bangladesh, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Cambodia, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Cameroon, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Colombia, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In the Cook Islands, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Eswatini, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In the Gambia, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Georgia, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Ghana, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Guatemala, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Indonesia, National Commission on Disabilities receives thousands of complaints through a National Disabilities Channel. (Dec, Antara News)

In Malaysia, Nothing about Us without Us “Malaysia has a long-standing practice of making policy decisions and planning programmes for persons with disabilities (OKU) and care partners – without engaging us.” (Dec, FMT)

In Moldova, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Montenegro, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Nepal, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In North Macedonia, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Panama, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Rwanda, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Sierra Leone, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In South Africa, Key considerations for an inclusive framework for youth with disabilities in post-apartheid South Africa. (Nov, African Journal on Disability)

In Tanzania, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Trinidad and Tobago, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Tunisia, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Uzbekistan, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In Vietnam, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

In the Western Balkans, A report on social rights finds that “Integration of People with disabilities is difficult at all Levels” (Nov, Sarajevo Times)

In Zimbabwe, Situation Analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities. (Nov, UNPRPD)

Politics and Elections

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In Brazil, Lula received the presidential sash from representatives of minority groups including Ivan Baron, an anti-ableism influencer, wearing a white suit graffited with slogans. (In Portuguese, Jan, Globo)

In Europe, Millions of voters with disabilities in the European Union may not be able to participate in EP elections in 2024. “There are estimated 800,000 people with disabilities unable to vote in European elections because of legal capacity laws, and millions because of lack of accessibility.” (Nov, Inclusion Europe)

In Russia, 'I Was Screaming': Disabled Russian Alleges Police Tortured Him To Confess To Burning Pro-War Banners. (Nov, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty)

In the United States,

  • The candidates with disabilities who won their political positions in 2022. (Dec, Respect Ability)
  • What does fair and equal media look like with a disabled politician? On properly accommodating John Fetterman. (Nov, MSNBC)
  • New Voting Laws Add Difficulties for People With Disabilities: “Restrictions in several states on mail-in voting are sending more people with disabilities to the polls. What they find isn’t always easy to navigate.” (Nov, New York Times)

Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights

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In International News:

A quick guide towards Disability Inclusive Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (DCDD)

Evidence Digest on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. (Nov, SDD Direct)

In the Asia-Pacific, Disability-inclusive Comprehensive Sexuality Education: An Assessment of Teacher Needs. (Dec, UNESCO)

In Europe,

In Nigeria,

In Senegal, A quest for dignified health care for women with disabilities: “a woman with disability talks about her experience giving birth and how it drives her activism today.” (Dec, WHO)

Space Exploration

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In Europe, British Paralympian John McFall becomes European Space Agency's first disabled astronaut. (Nov, Sky) See also what the parastronaut program means for disability in space. (Inverse)

Sport and Paralympics

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In International News:

What to look forward to in the Paralympic Movement in 2023 (Jan, International Paralympic Committee)

In Africa, The development of a policy brief on physical activity and health in Africa for children and adolescents with disabilities: COVID-19 and beyond. (Dec, African Journal on Disability)

In Australia, ‘I am who I am’: how a blind Kurdish refugee became an Australian sporting superstar. (Nov, the Guardian)

Violence and Harassment

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In Australia, Australia’s disability royal commission has faced near media silence – and left politicians unaccountable. (Dec, the Guardian)

In Nigeria, Failure to Protect: Disabilities and Gender-Based Violence In Nigeria. (Nov, Minority Africa)

In Tanzania, Disability and intimate partner violence: A cross-sectional study from Mwanza, Tanzania. (Nov, Disability and Health Journal)

War in Ukraine

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Evacuating or Leaving Ukraine

In International News:

A note on priorities for Ensuring the protection of persons with disabilities fleeing from Ukraine (Dec, UNHCR)

In Poland, ‘We long for home - but our son has chances here’: “their eldest son Roman, who has cerebral palsy and learning disabilities, has been given the chance to go to school for the first time. He is 20 years old.” See also a video feature. (Dec, BBC)

Situation in Ukraine

In the Ukraine,

  • The Ukrainian Psychiatric Hospital That Endured Russian Occupation – photo-essay account from the director of an institution near Kyiv for people with mental and physical disabilities. “In the summer, the patients returned to their psychiatric home. Now they sometimes ask anxiously if the Russians will return. Many hold on to the idea that they need to stock up on bread. They hide it in their nightstands.” (Dec, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty)
  • “I used to have a home”: Older people’s experience of war, displacement, and access to housing.
“After older people were displaced from their homes, many struggled to find suitable accommodation. Pushed out of the private market by poverty, many older people turned to temporary shelters in schools, administrative buildings, train stations, former medical facilities, and sanitoriums. However, shelters were largely physically inaccessible to older people with disabilities and did not have staff with the capacity or skills to support people with disabilities. Sometimes, shelters said they could only take an older person with a disability if they were with somebody who could support them. Capacity at shelters that did have support services was extremely limited.”

“As a result, older people sometimes had no choice but to enter an institution for older people or people with disabilities after being displaced.” (Dec, Amnesty)

Attacks on disabled people and facilities

In the Ukraine, Near Kherson, orphanage staff hid Ukrainian children from Russian occupiers. (Nov, Washington Post)


In Romania, Safe Haven And A Ray Of Hope For Ukrainian Orphans With Intellectual Disabilities (Nov, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty)

In the Ukraine,

Water and Sanitation (WASH)

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In Bangladesh, Translating disability-inclusive WASH policies into practice: lessons learned from Bangladesh. “Few people with disabilities could access or use WASH services independently at home, meaning they did not bathe or use the toilet as often as required and relied on caregivers. [...] WASH and disability are considered and implemented in silos, so many people with disabilities fall through the gap and remain unserved.” (Oct, LSHTM)

In Kenya, The menstruation experiences of women and girls with disability in Kenya. Details from lived experience and policy. (Nov, Mummy Tales)

In Vanuatu, Menstrual Health Experiences of People with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Caregivers during Vanuatu's Humanitarian Responses: A Qualitative Study. (Nov, IJERPH)


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