Disability news from 50+ countries, June 2023

From the top of Everest to protests in Paris and Seoul

Hello Debriefers,

Today we go to the top of Everest and down again to the world's crises. It's an update on the latest disability news from over 50 countries, picking up from where we left off.

As well as updates on disabled people in Sudan and Ukraine, we see how the disability movement is staging protests from Paris to Seoul, meet radical disabled people from the past and present, and find out how home appliances are letting people down.

Explore below for selected highlights and then a curated directory of the latest disability news from around the world.

Disability Debrief is made on a pay-as-you can basis. This edition has support from Sightsavers and Center for Inclusive Policy. Thanks to new contributions from Lauren, Minority Rights, and Phil.‌

At the top of the world

Thirteen years after he lost both his legs in an explosion, Hari Budha Magar, started his climb up Mount Everest. A former soldier with the Ghurka regument in the British Army, Budha Magar could only do the climb after campaigning to overturn a ban on amputees and blind people attempting the summit.

As for many of us, his own journey of disability has meant undoing thoughts that society left us with:

“I grew up in Nepal, up to age of 19, and I saw how the disabled people were treated in those remote villages,” he said. “Many people still think that disability is a sin of previous life and you are the burden of the earth. I believed this myself because that is what I saw. That is how I grew up.”

He got to the top on May 19th, the first ever double above-knee amputee to do so. Coming down was touch and go, running out of oxygen and “bumping down” on his bum. And now he is set on changing the stories he grew up with: “My main aim for the rest of my lifetime is going to be working to bring awareness about disability.”

Continuing catastrophes in Sudan and Ukraine

In Sudan, Hundreds of thousands have fled the conflict in Sudan to neighbouring countries. One estimate suggests that 20-25% of refugees arriving in Egypt are persons with disabilities. In South Sudan, the situation in refugee camps was already bad before this conflict and disabled people are facing particular challenges. In Chad, many refugees have new injuries from gunshot wounds in the violence in Darfur.

Like the family I've been in touch with many are displaced within Sudan. Elkhansa, a young disability rights activist, shared the challenges she faces in the rural area she's arrived in: less acceptance of her disability, missing accessibility and adaptations she needed for her independence, and less available health support. ADD International, one of the few international disability organizations with presence in Sudan, are fundraising in a crisis appeal.

In Ukraine, a report brings together voices and experiences of persons with disabilities through the war. A profile of Tanya Herasymova, director of Fight for Right, shares how their grassroots, disability-led organisation helped 14,000 people including evacuating 3,000 disabled people from the frontlines. Meanwhile, two wheelchair users deported to Russia and subjected to abuse there managed to escape to Estonia.

Carrying a coffin through the streets

In Poland, disabled people held a symbolic funeral to demand a law guaranteeing access to personal assistance. They dressed in black and carried a coffin through Warsaw. This feature explores why disabled people are making these demands: “The government treats us as if we were the very last element of the food chain”.

Benefits were also protested in Assam, India. And in France, Germany and South Korea there were protests against inaccessible public transport. They showed how unsuitable it is by using the resistance tactic of... trying to use it.

In Seoul there was another in a long-running “subway-riding” protest performed by using the subway without prior notice. In Berlin they made the lifts light up. Ahead of next year's Olympic Games, disabled people demonstrated the inaccessibility getting into Paris. Those who couldn't even access the platform stayed behind with placards.

In France, a day after the protests saw an announcement by President Macron to invest €1.5 billion in improving access and inclusion of disabled people. The need for investment is reiterated by the Council of Europe confirming government shortcomings in providing support and services to disabled people. One positive, however, is “deconjugalisation” of disability benefits, no longer making them related to the income of your partner. It's an important step to marriage equality many other countries need to take note of.

In Chile, mass public protests over the past few years had led to a drafting of a new constitution. While the draft was rejected in a public vote, a disability-perspective on its formulation still sees the contribution it made to our rights.

Most radical person on the planet

A politics of the body. Benjamin Lay, born in 1682 “may have been the most radical person on the planet”. Among his many progressive beliefs was trying to abolish slavery. Lay “waged a politics of the body every day of his life”:

‘Benjamin Lay’s dwarf body shaped his radicalism. For someone “not much above four feet” tall, life was a struggle to be considered equal, even to be taken seriously in many situations. Benjamin had to fight.’

No effort to recognise me. Lusi Faiva spent five of her first seven years in an institution for disabled people in New Zealand. Her article reflects on that period, getting back home, and the fight for freedom:

“While I was in the Kimberley Centre, my mum never visited me. The first time she came was when she came to take me home. I didn’t know who she was and I felt nervous.”

How will you be anything in the future? When Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame lost her sight, family and community lamented. She just became the chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

“I can't buy a printer or a coffee maker”

Digitisation of home appliances is largely being done without any concern for accessibility. Blind Citizens New Zealand describes how electronic displays create barriers for users. “The old days where one would plug in a washer or dryer, or set up a new oven, and be able to work it with little adaptation–have almost gone.” Catch These Words describes the cumulative effect this has:

“I can't buy a printer or a coffee maker without having to dedicate huge amounts of time to figuring out if I'll be able to access it. I may have to call my bank and explain that the latest update to their app does not work with VoiceOver. It's a never-ending cycle of wondering if this new development in tech will change my life in an incredible way, or be yet another door slammed in my face.”

On TikTok the popularity of sign-languages has negative consequences. Users are just making things up with incorrect signs, mistranslations and plain gibberish. These cultural appropriations might cause lasting damage to sign languages.  

In Australia, a review into a tool to predict future crime in terrorist offenders showed it was as ineffective as you would expect. And not only that, its design included autism spectrum conditions as risk factors.

Overcoming bureaucracy

In Armenia the process of getting your disability assessment has “been considered the most corrupt for many years”. A reformed system and an NGO accompanying people through the process hope to improve people's experiences.

In Argentina you no longer need to get your disability certificate renewed each year: “bureaucracy hurts and humiliates”.

Overcoming the past

In Europe, only half of working-age disabled people are in work. European Disability Forum's new report explores the disability employment gap and the reasons for it.

“We have overcome the Spain of the past,” – advocates celebrate the end to the practice of “dwarf bullfighting”. A few of the remaining performers protest: “They take it for granted that people are being denigrated and it's the opposite”.

Disability services need different evidence. An argument for broadening evidence-based practice needed by disability services in Australia.

On the right track. Video feature on the new metro-rail in Bangladesh shows remarkable accessibility. Ten years ago I was living in Dhaka, facing traffic jams because of its construction. I didn't dare to imagine that it would look so good.

“Taking up digital space.” Happy 3rd birthday to Revival Disability India who celebrate the platform they've made: “We have created our very own imagined reality through our phone screens - an accessible reality”.

Sometimes satire is just observing what's happening. Squeaky Wheel hits the mark again: “Disability Conference Rejoices in Disregarding the Pandemic Just Like Everyone Else”.

Summer plans? Greece is making its beaches accessible with adaptive chairs.

“We came late, we came alone”

Change the world without fear. I learned a lot from joining Catalina Devandas and Alberto Vasquez in a discussion on Strength and Solidarity. We had a frank exchange about Judy Heumann's legacy to the disability movement and what's holding us back from achieving more. In Alberto's words: “We came late, we came alone... and we kept working alone.”

Practicing and preaching. It's been a busy month on the Debrief. As well as the unique reporting from the crisis in Sudan, our features from the past month include:

  • A challenge to the organisations working on rights and inclusion: do we practice what we preach? Do continue to share your own experiences.
  • A just transition: Áine's exploration of how social and economic changes brought about by climate change can include disabled people.

And of course there's plenty more to come. Cheers,


You can find the Debrief on twitter @DisDebrief and on Linkedin. I'm @desibility.

Curated News


We have 228 links from 57 countries and regions, organized by these topics:

Accessibility and Design

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In International News:

Chasing Rainbows: Designing for colorblindness. “Apparently, the very idea of colorblindness is hard to visualize. Take a shot at looking through my eyes.” (Apr, The Verge)

In Canada, Vancouver wants to be the most accessible city in the world. The city staff told them it would be very expensive. (Apr, Vancouver is Awesome)

In India, The daily struggles of Kashmir's Disabled Community in a World of Inaccessible Structures (May, News Click)

In New Zealand, The endless hunt, and fight for accessible home appliances. (May, Blind Citizens NZ)

In South Africa, Forging a path to inclusive heritage and work by the District Six Museum. (May, Daily Maverick)


In the United Kingdom, ‘We just want our homes not to hurt us’: “There are 104,000 people on the waiting list for an accessible or adaptable home. But not enough are being built, so many disabled people and families with disabled children are left in temporary accommodation for years” (Apr, Big Issue)


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In International News:

A guide to national programmes for age-friendly cities and communities. (Apr, WHO)

Assistive Technology

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In International News:

GDI Hub, Google and AT Scale launch pioneering project to test ‘Mobile at Assistive Tech’ in Kenya, Brazil and India. (Jun, Global Disability Innovation Hub)

In the United States, Hearing Aids Are Changing. “As more young people risk hearing loss, over-the-counter hearing aids are providing new options, but also confusing choices.” (May, New York Times)


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In International News:

Why are people with intellectual disabilities clinically vulnerable to COVID-19? (Apr, Lancet Public Health)

In Ireland, Professional and Family Carers’ Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Supported Decision-Making with Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Qualitative Online Survey. (Apr, Disabilities)

In New Zealand, The essential numbers showing how disabled people experienced the pandemic:

“By 2022 disabled people’s high rates of vaccination, combined with self-isolation, meant this high-risk group were slightly less likely to get Covid-19 than non-disabled people. However, despite overall lower infection, they were still seven times more likely to die (11 deaths) and 3.5 times more likely to go to hospital.” (May, The Spinoff)

Living with COVID

In Australia, Sick and Tired: casting a long shadow. Inquiry into long COVID and repeated COVID infections. (Apr, Parliament of Australia)

In the United States, Long COVID Is Being Erased—Again What was once outright denial has morphed into a subtler dismissal. (Apr, The Atlantic)

Civil Society and Community

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In Bangladesh, Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and Sightsavers launch Equal Bangladesh campaign (May, The Daily Star)

In France, Disability activists protest in France ahead of Paris Olympics. Highlighting inaccessible metro services and drawing pledges from Macron. (Apr, Associated Press)

In Germany, Let's let the lifts glow: disabled people call to test accessibility of stations. (In German, Apr, Kobinet Nachrichten)

In India,

  • Disabled Persons Association Protest Merger of Disability Pension Fund with Arunodoi Scheme in Guwahati, Assam (May, G Plus)
  • Revival Disability India turns 3. “We are proud to be taking up digital space little by little, every day, and to be disrupting the able-bodied and heteronormative lines of the world. [...] We have created our very own imagined reality through our phone screens - an accessible reality where we are free to dissent, share intimate moments and experience a sense of belongingness and affirmation.” (Apr, Revival Disability India)

In New Zealand, From the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello: Saying the quiet part out loud: “For a blindness service provider, creating a work environment which is untenable for people who come from the community the organisation supposedly serves is shameful.” (Apr, Blind Citizens NZ)

In Poland,

  • People with Disabilities Push for Access to Personal Assistance “Last Saturday, dozens of people dressed in black carried a coffin through the streets of Warsaw to the presidential palace.” (May, Human Rights Watch)
  • Disabled in Poland: “Organisations representing disabled people in Poland have renewed their protests to demand more financial help and better care from the state.” (Apr, Reporting Democracy)

In South Korea, Disabled activists stage surprise subway protest in downtown Seoul on nat'l disability day. (Apr, Yonhap News Agency)

In the United Kingdom, Call for solidarity: Defend the rights of disabled campaigners, ‘calling on the Metropolitan Police to prevent a repeat of the systemic discrimination towards disabled protesters that we documented in our report “Restricting the Rebellion” in 2019.’ (Apr, Freedom)

In the United States, Focus on disability rights growing, but intersectional support lags. Exploring foundation funding of disability rights. (Apr, Candid)

Climate Crisis and Environment

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In International News:

Debrief Feature: A just transition for disabled people. A disability lens on greening economies and society (May, Disability Debrief)

Enabling Commons Thoughtful conversations hosted by the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello: “This podcast is a space for dialogue among persons with disabilities to explore strategies that will transform our environments, our commons, to be meaningfully enabling for all.” (May, DICARP)

In Ireland, Climate action must be inclusive, say disability campaigners. (Apr, RTE)

In New Zealand, When the rain doesn’t stop. The Debrief's Áine Kelly-Costello on experiences in the Auckland flooding. (Apr, Blind Citizens NZ)

In the United Kingdom, Disabled people are being left out of the climate conversation (May, Big Issue)

In the United States, Energy Storage Can Help People with Disabilities Through Extreme Weather Events. (Apr, The Equation)

Communication and Language

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In the United States, Jordyn Zimmerman is redefining communication as a nonspeaking advocate for disability rights, describing “augmentative and alternative communication”:

‘It’s essentially all the ways someone may communicate besides speaking. It refers to any tool or method or support to help someone be heard or understood. The “augmentative” is usually meant to add to someone’s speech, and the “alternative” is usually meant to be instead of someone’s speech. For me, iPad paired with a text-based application serves as the tool that allows me to reliably and effectively be heard and understood.’ (Apr, the 19th)

Sign Languages

In South Africa, Sign language is set to become South Africa’s 12th official language after a long fight for recognition. (May, The Conversation)

In the United States, How recognizing American Sign Language will serve Hawaiʻi's local deaf community. (Apr, Hawaiʻi public radio)

Conflict and Peace

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In Ethiopia, Tigray establishes war veterans council “in a bid to help disabled fighters and families of martyrs of the two years war with the federal government and its allies.” (Apr, Addis Standard)

In Sudan,

  • Debrief Feature: “We are not alone”. Disabled people in Sudan's conflict. A call for solidarity: “desperate circumstances, the institutions that let them down, and the systems of love that hold things together.” Also available in Arabic. (May, Disability Debrief)
  • Dozens of babies die in orphanage as Sudan war takes grim toll on Khartoum. (May, Reuters)
  • Disabled and Displaced The additional challenges faced by disabled people in the Sudan crisis. “even to escape to another state other than the one in which the clashes are taking place, and it is difficult for us to reach food and health needs.” (May, ADD)

Culture, Entertainment and Media

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In Australia, Lara Ricote is comedy’s next big thing. She's also deaf. (Apr, SBS News)

In the United Kingdom, Representing disability in museums. (May, The Hunterian Blog)

In the United States, Mattel launches first Barbie with Down syndrome to ‘counter social stigma’. (Apr, Los Angeles Times)

TV and Film

In International News:

Meet James Martin, the First Actor With Down Syndrome to Win an Oscar (Mar, Bright Side)

Netflix Sets a High Bar for Inclusion – and Ensures Disability is Part of the Conversation. “The mere fact that this study has published this data shows Netflix’s desire to be fully inclusive. While the report shows that Netflix has increasingly improved its diversity in many areas in front of and behind the camera, representation of people with disabilities has slid back from 2019” (Apr, Respect Ability)

11 Movies or TV Shows with Authentic Disability Representation. (Apr, Tilting The Lens)

In the United Kingdom, Disabled artists talk about their experiences working in TV: 'There’s still a lot of work to do'. (Apr, BBC)

In the United States, ‘It's Little People, You Got That?’: Danny Woodburn on Playing Mickey Abbott, the Most Explosive Character on ‘Seinfeld’. (Apr, Cracked.com)


In Australia, Representations as Violence: When the News Reports on Homicides of Disabled People. “When such murders are reported in the news, disabled people as full subjects fade away, portrayed as objects of care and suffering; their murders are routinely presented as an understandable if tragic response by ‘overwhelmed’ carers.” (Apr, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy)

In Nigeria, TheCable unveils Nigeria's first disability inclusive news application with assistive features to help access the news. (May, TheCable)

In the United States,

Clothing and Fashion

In the United Kingdom, Reframing Fashion: British Vogue Celebrates Disabled Talent in Historic New Edition. (Apr, Tilting the Lens)

Data and Research

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In Africa, ILO data highlights need for disability disaggregated labour force surveys and investment in data systems. “Across Africa, 31 countries have at least one year of disability-disaggregated data available on ILOSTAT in the 20-year period from 2002-2022.” (Apr, ILO)

In China, Atlas of Classified Disability: Spatial Statistics and Pattern (May, CCDC Weekly)


In International News:

Midgetism: a book on the Exploitation and Discrimination of People with Dwarfism. (Apr, Routledge)

In Africa, A call to give a voice to people with intellectual disabilities in Africa through inclusive research (Apr, African Journal of Disability)

In Chile, Florencia Herrera, director of Núcleo Disca promoting research with disabled people. (Apr, Universidad Diego Portales)

Digital Accessibility and Technology

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In International News:

Apple previews Live Speech, Personal Voice and more new accessibility features. “New software features for cognitive, speech, and vision accessibility are coming later this year” (May, Apple)

Japanese Game Studios Are Taking Accessibility to the Next Level. “Developers like Koei Techmo and Tango Gameworks are working to make accessible design a global standard.” (May, Wired)

Games Are More Visually Accessible Than Ever. “Indie and big-name studios alike are innovating new ways to include blind and low-vision players, from text-to-speech to sound cues.” (Apr, Wired)

In Luxembourg, “Technology is a door opener” Interview with Tanja Kleut on digital accessibility, technology and legislation. (Apr, Portail de l'accessibilité numérique)

Artificial Intelligence

In International News:

Why Sign Language Translation Poses a Puzzle for AI. (May, Slator)

Public letter and call-to-action on Disability And Algorithmic Risks: From Misuse and Silos to Policing, Law Enforcement and Unacceptable Risk Systems. “Existing approaches to understanding high and unacceptable-risk systems still miss disability-specific vocabulary, scenarios and associated risks” (Yonah.org)

A memo on disability-centered AI and algorithms. (Yonah.org)

New GPT-4 Model Can Reportedly Describe Images Accurately “However, when you’re developing content for real people, you need to rely on the judgment of real people.” (Apr, BOIA)

In Australia, Australian terrorism prediction tool considered autism a sign of criminality “A tool designed to predict future crime in terrorist offenders considered them at greater risk of offending if they were autistic despite having no empirical basis to do so, an independent report has found.” (May, the Guardian)

In Europe, AI Act: European Parliament must ensure accessibility of Artificial Intelligence systems. (May, EDF)

Online Accessibility

In the United States, What Are the Top Barriers to Digital Inclusion in 2023? “79% of website users and 78% of app users said they feel frustrated because they don’t have as much independence as a sighted person when completing digital tasks.” (Apr, American Foundation for the Blind)


In International News:

Google Project Gameface: A new hands-free AI-powered gaming mouse (May, Google)

Social Media

In International News:

Fake sign language is spreading on TikTok. “Sign language has become trendy on TikTok, but many videos feature incorrect signs, sparking fears the trend will cause lasting damage to American Sign Language” (May, Washington Post) see also the same problem in New Zealand.

Deaf people like me deserve better than MrBeast’s latest piece of ‘inspiration porn’. ‘After coming under fire for a video in which he helped treat 1,000 people’s blindness, Donaldson decided to double down on videos in which he would go out of his way to “help” people from the disabled community’. (May, The Independent)

In the United States, People with disabilities have built a community on TikTok. They fear its loss if the app is banned. (May, Yahoo! News)

Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Response

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In International News:

Position paper on the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. And takeaways from the midterm review. (May, CBM Global)

In Bangladesh, Volunteers evacuate people with disabilities ahead of Cyclone Mocha. (May, Relief Web)

In the United States, Disabled people face worse outcomes after natural disasters. “March data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey shows that, of people who had been displaced in the last year by a natural disaster, people who have a lot of difficulty walking or climbing stairs, like Jaimes, are more than three times more likely than people with no difficulty walking to experience unsanitary conditions one month after the disaster.” (Apr, Earthbeat)

Economics and Social Protection

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In International News:

Poverty of disabled people: more poor, worse nutrition and little coverage of social schemes. (In Spanish, Apr, Yo También.)

Things have just gotten worse The impact of the global food, fuel and finance crisis on older persons. (Apr, HelpAge) See a blog on older people at the sharp end.

In Finland, 147,000 People with disabilities in Finland at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Living conditions statistics. (Apr, Helsinki Times)

In Kenya, How Finance Bill 2023 might affect persons with disabilities adversely. (May, Nation)

In Uganda, The economic burden incurred by families caring for a young child with developmental disability in Uganda. “Seventy-three caregivers took part in this sub-study. The average annual cost of illness to families was USD 949. The main cost drivers were the cost of seeking care and income lost due to loss of employment.” (Apr, Plos Global Public Health)

In the United Kingdom,

  • Disability Price Tag 2023: the extra cost of disability. “On average, disabled households (with at least one disabled adult or child) need an additional £975 a month to have the same standard of living as non-disabled households.” (Jan, Scope)
  • Homelessness and disability “Report reveals people with physical disabilities and health conditions are at much greater risk of homelessness” (May, University of Bristol)
  • Disabled people facing a ‘cost-of-breathing’ crisis a campaign by Scope and ITV. “For disabled people, this is not just a cost of living crisis.” (May, Scope)

Financial Inclusion

In Bangladesh, How can the financial industry address digital accessibility? (May, Dhaka Tribune)

In Pakistan, Bank Alfalah makes a partnership with the Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities Pakistan (NOWPDP) to promote financial inclusion. (Apr, Pakistan Observer)

Social Protection

In Argentina, Argentina will issue disability certificates that don't expire an interview with Luis Juez: “bureaucracy hurts”. (In Spanish, May, Yo También)

In Armenia, Corruption and disrespect in the process of disability assessment “The disability assessment process has been considered the most corrupt for many years. There were many stories in the media about this and criminal cases have been initiated.” (May, Jam News)

In Australia,

In Europe, Launch of ENILs´ proposal to the Commission: Guidance on Independent Living. (May, ENIL)

In France, The allowance for disabled adults has been “deconjugalized” meaning that income is assessed on an individual basis rather than together with that of your spouse. (In French, Apr, Handicap.gouv)

In Kyrgyzstan, Applying design thinking to develop new service models for inclusion of working age persons with disabilities in community and labour market. (Feb, ILO)

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Disabled people and inclusion in work: the key challenges for social protection systems (In Spanish, Mar, CEPAL)

In Lebanon, The Ministry of Social Affairs Introduces a Social Protection Programme for People with Disabilities. “At least 20,000 individuals will benefit from a monthly allowance of US$40 each over an initial period of 12 months.” (Apr, ILO)

In Mexico, Workers with disabilities without social protection. (In Spanish, Apr, Yo También)

In the United Kingdom,

In the United States, Social Security may be failing well over a million people with disabilities – and COVID-19 is making the problem worse.

“The data showed that the share of people with substantial work-limiting disabilities who received Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income benefits or both rose from 32% in 1998 to 47% in 2016, which was the last year the data was available. This is just a little above the average among 27 high-income countries I compared the data with.” (Apr, The Conversation)

Education and Childhood

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In International News:

Thinking critically about inclusive education in Southern contexts volume 10 of disability and the global south is a special issue dedicated to this. (May, DGS)

For the first time, the State of the World's Children report has a statistical annex with data on children with disabilities. (Apr, UNICEF)

The Routledge International Handbook of Children's Rights and Disability (Apr, Routledge)

Global leadership is needed to optimize early childhood development for children with disabilities. “UNICEF and other international bodies must produce a clear plan that prioritizes development and education for children with disabilities, especially in low- and middle-income settings, as required for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” (Apr, Nature Medicine)

In Afghanistan, Towards Inclusive Education: Narratives of Setting Up a School for Students with Disabilities in Afghanistan (May, Disability and the Global South)

In Argentina, Mental health as an educational outcome: Lessons for inclusive education from the Austral in Neuquén (May, Disability and the Global South)

In Brazil, Changes and challenges that disabled people bring to educational institutions. Feature exploring increased rates of enrolment but gaps in policies and teaching practices. (In Portuguese, Apr, Pesquisa FAPESP)

In Colombia, Listening to the voices of children with disabilities in Escuela Nueva schools. (May, Disability and the Global South)

In Kenya, Conversations from the field: Stakeholders’ perspectives on inclusive education in western Kenya. (Dec, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies)

In Uganda,

In the United Arab Emirates, Examining culturally responsive inclusive education practices in mainstream schools in the United Arab Emirates: A preliminary study to trial an evidence-based framework. (May, Disability and the Global South)

In the United States, How School Shooting Responses Leave Out Disabled Students. “Many schools have policies that leave behind vulnerable students and staff in the event of mass shootings, fires or other disasters.” (Apr, Huffpost)

Higher Education

In International News:

Ableism in the academy “Disabled scholars say they often rely on ad hoc agreements to get the accommodations they need to do their jobs. The lack of formal recognition has left many feeling unprotected and unwelcome in the academic workplace.” (Apr, UA/AU)

In Mexico, Mexico failed to ensure access to inclusive tertiary education for woman with intellectual disability, UN Committee finds. “This case is not about lowering admission standards but about appropriate modifications and adjustments in assessing applications from people with disabilities during the admission process,” (Apr, OHCHR)

Employment, Business and Work

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In International News:

Evidence Brief on what are the strategies or models that support youth with disabilities to enter into employment? (Mar, Disability Evidence Portal)

In Bangladesh,

In Brazil, Unilever ordered to fulfil quota of contracting persons with disabilities and making an investment to professional development. (In Portuguese, May, Justiça do Trabalho)

In Canada, Executives with disabilities in Canada, 2019 (Apr, Statistics Canada)

In Europe, Majority of persons with disabilities locked out of quality employment review of the right to work across European countries shows a gap of 24 percentage points in employment between people with and without disabilities. (Apr, EDF)

In Germany, A higher fee for larger employers who do not fulfil obligations to employ people with severe disabilities. (May, Deutschlandfunk)

In Kenya,

In South Sudan, 'I want to be self-reliant' — encouraging enterprise for Internally Displaced People. (May, Light for the World International)

In the United Kingdom, Disability and Small Business Report (Small Business Britain)

Gender Equality and Women with Disabilities

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In Rwanda, Improving gender mainstreaming efforts within organizations of persons with disabilities. (Apr, African Business)


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In International News:

WHO guideline for for meaningful engagement of people living with noncommunicable diseases, and mental health and neurological conditions. (May, WHO)

Universal Health Coverage for All Ages An agenda for action. (May, Age International)

In Australia, Developing self-report disability questions for a voluntary patient registration form for general practice in Australia (Apr, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health)

In Guatemala, How do people with disabilities in three regions of Guatemala make healthcare decisions? A qualitative study focusing on use of primary healthcare services. (Feb)

In India,


In International News:

World Health Assembly commits to boosting global access to rehabilitation. (May, the Guardian)

History and Memorial

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In Europe,

In the United Kingdom,

  • In his time, Benjamin Lay may have been the most radical person on the planet. ‘Benjamin Lay’s dwarf body shaped his radicalism. For someone “not much above four feet” tall, life was a struggle to be considered equal, even to be taken seriously in many situations. Benjamin had to fight.’ (May, Verso)
  • Lois Keith obituary “Writer, teacher and disability rights campaigner who challenged the barriers facing disabled women” (May, the Guardian)

In the United States,

Remembering Judy Heumann

In International News:

Judy Heumann Mentored the Next Generation of Disability Advocates. (May, New Mobility)

In the United States, Memories of Judy Heumann, my Oldest Friend. “Although she is a fantastic communicator, Judy didn’t always warn people about what she volunteered them to do.” (Mar, Helen: The Journal of Human Exceptionality)

Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

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In International News:

Crisis response for refugee children with disability: New book published. (May, ENIL)

Free E-learning Course on Disability-Inclusive Humanitarian Action for Humanitarians. (May, HI)

Humanitarian emergencies and situations of risk for women and girls and gender diverse persons with disabilities. (May, Women Enabled International)

Exploring the intersectionality of International Refugee Protection and the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “This paper highlights the multitude of barriers persons with disabilities experience in obtaining refugee protection.” (Feb, IDA)

Guidance note Qualitative Assessment Approaches for the Protection of Children with Disabilities Within Humanitarian Contexts. (Apr, Alliance CHPA)

Disability-Inclusive Humanitarian Action Toolkit Operational guidance on including children with disabilities in humanitarian response (UNICEF)

In Bangladesh, Work to include Rohingya Refugees with disabilities in humanitarian response. (Short video, Mar, AHP III Bangladesh Consortium)

In Egypt, 42,300 Sudanese refugees in Egypt: “Local teams note that between 20 and 25% of the refugees are persons with disabilities.” (May, Relief Web)

In Mozambique, IOM Disability and Inclusion Survey (Jan, IOM)

In Sudan, As hundreds of thousands flee Sudan, inclusion must be prioritised. Refugees fleeing to South Sudan. (May, Light for the World)


In Australia, Calls for changes to migration laws as families shown the door due to high medical costs. (Apr, ABC News)

In Mexico, Women with disabilities: the other face of migration. (May, Yo También)

In the United States, Venezuelan family seeks asylum at border with baby and disabled daughter to escape cartel. (May, WOAI)

Institutions and Deinstitutionalization

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In Europe, Role of the European Union in deinstitutionalisation and independent living. (Apr, Inclusion Europe)

In Hungary, We need good support to live independently - Report about a self-advocacy conference in Hungary. (May, Inclusion Europe)

In New Zealand, ‘There was no respect or effort to recognise me for who I was’:

“Artist and dancer Lusi Faiva was two when, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, she was taken to live in an institution for people with intellectual disabilities. She spent five years at the Kimberley Centre, experiencing neglect, terrible loneliness, alienation from her Sāmoan heritage and a sense of entrapment which has inspired a lifetime of seeking expression and freedom.” (May, The Spinoff)

In South Africa, Provincial funding for many Gauteng care homes have been slashed. “Thousands of frail and vulnerable people, some with disabilities, others elderly or orphaned, may have to spend the winter on the streets as the nonprofit organisations (NPO) that have cared for them can no longer do so.” (Apr, The Citizen)

In the United Kingdom, Learning-disabled and autistic people are being neglected and tortured. “Across the UK, revelations of institutional abuse keep mounting up, yet people are still being denied basic respect” (Apr, the Guardian)

International Cooperation

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In International News:

Debrief Feature: Do we practice what we preach? The discrimination we face while advocating on disability (May, Disability Debrief)

From Crises to Solutions: Disability Rights Fund 2022 annual report on Building Diverse Movements for Inclusion (May, DRF)

World Food Programme Disability Inclusion Helpdesk: a learning brief on its contributions to mainstreaming disability within the organization. (Apr, CBM Global)

G20 process gets separate group to mainstream persons with disabilities within civil society engagement: Disability, Equity and Justice. (Apr, Times of India)

Dialogue of the Special Rapporteurs: a conversation between Catalina Devandas and Gerard Quinn. (Apr, Gerard Quinn)

In Madagascar, Making localisation a reality: Five takeaways from CBM Global’s partners (May, CBM Global)

In Uganda,

Community Based Inclusive Development

In International News:

Greece makes nearly 200 beaches accessible with Seatrac chairs - The Washington Post (May, Washington Post)

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In Australia, Report examines pathways leading children with disability from child protection into the justice system.

In Mexico, Congress approves a new civil and family code that ends the legal position identifying some disabled people as minors. (Apr, El País)

Lived Experience and Opinion

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In Australia, Ableism and disablism – how to spot them and how we can all do better. (May, The Conversation)

In Cambodia, Sokhak's story “Sokhak, 31, is a young leader working with ADD International, Cambodia. She comes from Kampot province, and has a degree in accountancy. She has worked in the disability rights sector for several years.” (Mar, ADD)

In Ghana, She's a U.N. disability advocate profile of Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame new chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (May, NPR)

In Indonesia, ‘I Feel Like an Outsider’ Facing Stigma and Discrimination, Ardiansyah, a 44-year-old Indonesian Man with Schizophrenia, Finds Refuge in a Mosque. (Mar, Disability Justice Project)

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Portraying our diverse bodies. Animation of stories of women with disabilities. (Apr, Fondo de Acción Urgente America Latina y el Caribe)

In Rwanda, ‘I Wish to Live a Normal Life’ For Many Rwandan Families, Caring for Their Children’s Needs Becomes a Job All Its Own. (Apr, Disability Justice Project)

In Sudan, Elkhansa's Story “Elkhansa is a young leader in Sudan. She is a disability rights activist advocating for equal rights for disabled women and girls in her country.” (Mar, ADD)

In Uganda, A Peace Fellow and polio survivor focuses on accessibility: feature on Ronald Kasule. (Apr, Rotary)

In the United States,

Mental Health

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In International News:

Reprioritising global mental health: psychoses in sub-Saharan Africa. “Our findings point to the need not only for more research on psychoses in sub-Saharan Africa, but also for more representation and leadership in the conduct of research and in international priority-setting more broadly—especially by people with lived experience from diverse backgrounds.” (Mar, International Journal of Mental Health Systems.)

The Drawbacks and Downsides of Online Therapy

“In the past year, a flurry of reports have found that some of the most recognizable names in the industry have repeatedly engaged in creepy and harmful data-sharing practices that treat people in need of help as prospective sources of profit instead of as patients. Taken together, the reports reveal a dangerous cocktail of tech solutionism, abuse of consumer trust, and regulatory failure that puts highly vulnerable people at risk.” (Apr, Business Insider)

In Afghanistan, Kabul’s Mental Health Crisis Spirals Out of Control “The Taliban-led government has little expertise in dealing with long-standing issues in psychological treatment”. (Apr, New Lines Magazine)

In Belgium, A Radical Experiment in Mental Health Care, Tested Over Centuries. “In the Belgian town of Geel, families have long taken in people with psychiatric conditions. Could this approach work elsewhere?” (Apr, New York Times)

Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism

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In Bangladesh, Is the metrorail disabled friendly? Video feature demonstrating accessibility features. (Apr, Human Development Media)

In Belgium, Ghent launches campaign for visually and hearing impaired tourists. (May, Travel Tomorrow)

In Ghana, Ride-Hailing Services in Ghana Struggle to Meet Wheelchair Accessibility Needs. (Apr, Tech Nova)

In Greece, Greece makes nearly 200 beaches accessible with adaptive chairs (May, Washington Post)

Air Travel

In International News:

Delta Developing First-of-Its-Kind Airplane Seat for Wheelchair Users. (Jun)

In Europe, End the Nightmare: Passengers with disabilities deserve to travel by air – a call for passenger rights. (Apr, EDF)

In Middle East and North Africa, Dubai disability campaigner left stranded after airline loses wheelchair. “Swiss International Airlines covers costs of damaged wheelchair lost on Dubai to London flight” (Apr, The National)

In Sweden, Wheelchair user left to crawl off Ryanair plane in Sweden. (May, BBC)

In the United Kingdom, Rights on Flights: the new campaign seeking to make air travel more accessible. Exchange with Sophie Morgan. (May, National Geographic)

In the United States, Bill aims to improve air travel for passengers with disabilities. (May, Washington Post)

Policy and Rights

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In International News:

Compilation of CRPD Closing Observations by each article of the convention. (Apr, IDA, Dropbox)

In France,

  • President Macron announces 1.5 billion euro investment in accessible public spaces, and initiatives to support children, employment, financial support and sports. (In French, Apr, Le Monde) See also on France 24 and the context of upcoming Olympics, and how it's welcomed by the International Paralympic Committee.
  • The Council of Europe denounces the violation of the rights of people with disabilities by the French State. “The Council of Europe has now declared the lack of support and shortage of support services, socio-economic injustices, difficulty in accessing housing and health care, but also the refusal of schooling. The freedom and dignity of people with disabilities are hindered, their rights are violated by the French state.”violation of the rights of people with disabilities by the French State. “The Council of Europe has now declared the lack of support and shortage of support services, socio-economic injustices, difficulty in accessing housing and health care, but also the refusal of schooling. The freedom and dignity of people with disabilities are hindered, their rights are violated by the French state.” (Apr, Inclusion Europe)

In Mexico, A Procedure Centered in the Person: Mexico’s New Law Grants Full Legal Capacity, Ends Guardianship. (Apr, Human Rights Watch)

In Spain, Spain bans decades-long tradition of ‘dwarf bullfighting’. “Dwarves in Spain have long dressed as firefighters or clowns to chase bulls without killing them, at public spectacles designed to be humorous. The tradition stretches back decades, but has declined in popularity.” (Apr, the Guardian)

Politics and Elections

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In Brazil, Lula apologises for using unfortunate language about people with intellectual disabilities. (In Portuguese, Apr, G1)

In Chile, Disability in the Chilean constitutional process “Both for substantive and procedural reasons, the constitutional process led by the Constitutional Convention offers solid ground to advance the rights of persons with disabilities as a constitutional issue.” (Apr, Disability & Society)

In Europe, 700 disability advocates meet in the European Parliament to ask for an “inclusive future in the EU”. (May, EDF)

In Thailand, Election commission provides Braille campaign guide for visually impaired voters (May, Thaiger)

In Timor Leste, New party offers chance for disability inclusion. “Partido Verdes de Timor-Leste – a new political party contesting in Timor-Leste’s upcoming 21 May election – has committed to send a person with disability to parliament if elected.” (May, The Interpreter)

In the United Kingdom, Thousands of disabled people lost their vote at local elections, reports suggest. (May, Disability News Service)

In Zimbabwe, Voting With Dignity - the Plight of Persons With Disabilities in Zim's Elections. (May, All Africa)

Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights

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In International News:

Disability & Sexual Violence: Women with disabilities’ global struggle for their right to intimacy (Apr, HPOD)

In Australia, Meet Melanie and Chayse: The disabled woman and her sex worker. (May, BBC)

In South Africa,

In the United States, Seeking a Lover, Not a Nurse “Disability shouldn’t make someone undesirable or impractical as a romantic partner.” (May, New York Times)

Sport and Paralympics

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In International News:

Debrief view: How would you like to be called that? reflection on the Paralympics Committee social media. (May, Disability Debrief)

Double amputee Everest climber “An Army veteran who lost both his legs in Afghanistan has reached the top of Mount Everest in an attempt to make mountaineering history.” (May, AP)

Paralympics in crisis as international and Australian athletes game the system. “Insiders described a culture where classification rules were regularly bent and broken, with few repercussions for those prepared to exploit a weak system.” (Apr, ABC News)

In Argentina, Children’s book series aims to write new chapter for Para sports. (Apr, International Paralympic Committee)

In Australia, Ellie Cole was told she wasn't 'disabled enough’ to represent Paralympians. Here’s her response. (Apr, MamaMia)

In Brazil, Brazil leads way in making football accessible to autistic fans (Apr, AlJazeera)

In Hungary, Meet Hungary's Paralympic champion Ekler, the university teacher boosting Para sports (May, International Paralympic Committee)

In Russia, Russia and Belarus appeal against International Paralympic Committee suspension upheld - BBC Sport - but they remain banned from world championship events. (May, BBC)

In the United States, These Groups Are Making Skiing More Inclusive. (Apr)

Violence and Harassment

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In Europe, EUCAP project on violence against autistic people: a survey and personal short stories on violence faced by autistic people. (Apr, EDF)

War in Ukraine

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Evacuating or Leaving Ukraine

In Europe, Info sheet on measures for arrival of displaced people fleeing the war in Ukraine, including extensive reference to measures in relation to disability. (Apr, ecre)

In Russia, Two Ukrainian men in wheelchairs were forcibly deported to Russia and subjected to months of abuse. Then they escaped. (Apr, Business Insider)

Situation in Ukraine

In the Ukraine,

  • Report on the situation of persons with disabilities in the context of the war of aggression by Russia against Ukraine. “This report focuses on the voices of persons with disabilities themselves, through extensive personal testimony from persons with disabilities and some of their representative organizations with the aim of encouraging more disability- inclusive rights protection and humanitarian response.” (Apr, IDA)
  • Amputation is like graduating from school an interview with a veteran who lost two limbs. (Apr, NAIU)


In International News:

Fighting for Disability Rights Amid Russian War. Profile of Tanya Herasymova. “We helped more than 14,000 people in the last year,” Tanya says, “and we’ve got one more thousand waiting for help.” (May, Byline Times)

Water and Sanitation (WASH)

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In Nepal, Field note on Promoting Disability Friendly WASH in Schools. (Apr, UNICEF)


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

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

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