Wheelbarrow or throne, revolutionary or royal

Highlights and curated news from 60+ countries

Hello Debriefers,

Today we have a world tour of disability news from over sixty countries. Here are the highlights...

Wheelbarrow or throne, revolutionary or royal: a history of wheelchairs from ancient history to today. Great short video (depends on visuals). Also catch-up with an early-medieval prosthetic hand.

Climate catch-up: I still need to get through some of the new material since Áine's feature on COP27. Some access issues in the event were reported, but the good news is that there was more participation and recognition of disabled people than ever before. See also some gorgeous illustrations on cripping climate activism.

Activist view: eleven activists in the US reflect on the pandemic and where the fight for justice stands.

The story as we tell it: Disabled people reporting from Malawi on financial exclusion and from Indonesia on employment conditions for blind people and the last settlements for people affected by leprosy. See more on this inclusive storytelling.

“Did I just let someone grab me?” Personal reflections on “help”, and how #MeToo gave the author the words to claim disability rights.

Forced sterilisation of disabled people is still legal in thirteen countries in the European Union.

Guidance for governments. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has given guidance on:

Examples of what goes wrong in institutional care: Death and abuse in Czechia, and gut-wrenching examples from Elisabeta Moldovan's experience in Romania and how she now supports others to get out.

What the war means: the situation of disabled people in Ukraine.

I wouldn't have guessed: 40% of Netflix's global users have subtitles on all the time.

On social media,

If you like reports...

... here's one I made earlier: public works programmes are often used in emergency response or welfare programmes to get people employment and income. I looked at how what the International Labour Organization does in this area can include persons with disabilities.

Without name: a poetical and historical search for a deaf man freed from slavery in 19th century Sierra Leone.

Let me know: tell me what caught your interest: press reply on email, leave a comment, or find me elsewhere.



About the newsletter: Sign-up if you don't get these emails already. Disability Debrief is supported by Sightsavers. This edition also has support from Center for Inclusive Policy. Reader contributions help the Debrief grow: many thanks to a new one from Kathy.


Here's the full world-tour of 300+ links...

I used to include these in email but that is getting very weighty, so I'm thinking of doing them like this from here on. Let me know if this is better/worse for you.

You can roll straight your favourite topic:

See also the acknowledgements.

Accessibility and Design

Back to contents.


In International News:

Meghan Hussey on 4 ways to design a disability-friendly future (Oct, TED Talk)

In Kenya, The nightmare of living with a disability in Nairobi, discusses accessibility and transport. (Sep, The Standard)

In Spain, Meet the designers with learning disabilities: “La Casa de Carlota is a successful design agency in Barcelona. Their striking visual style comes from their designers, who have learning disabilities, autism and schizophrenia.” (Oct, BBC)


In Australia, Uneven path to a decent home: Australians with a disability face battle for accessible housing. (Oct, the Guardian)

In India, Accessible homes for disabled Indians is not a favour, it’s an obligation (Sep, The Print)


Back to contents.

In International News:

A guide on Bringing generations together for change: Learning from intergenerational approaches to address issues facing older and younger people. (HelpAge)

Older people left out as UN speeches repeatedly invoke young. “Older persons are pretty much missing, everybody thinks that the future is just something for younger persons.” (Sep, AP News)

A report from UN Independent Expert on Older persons deprived of liberty: “older persons are more likely to be de facto deprived of liberty in care facilities than in prisons” (Sep, UN) See commentary from Human Rights Watch.

Assistive Technology

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In the Asia-Pacific, Meeting rising demand for disability devices. “Limited access to assistive technologies such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, mobility and communication devices, and a lack of trained workers remain significant challenges in meeting the needs of people with disabilities and the elderly in the Asia Pacific region.” (Sep, Eco-Business)

In Azerbaijan, How WHO is supporting Azerbaijan in improving rehabilitation and assistive technology services (Oct, WHO)

In India, Sensory Futures: Deafness and Cochlear Implant Infrastructures in India:

“In this book, I attend to becoming normal, specifically in relation to sensory normality. I argue that normalization leads to, and is a form of, narrowing. Becoming normal—a key promise of cochlear implant technology—constrains people’s sensory, modal, and relational engagements. Normative sensory configurations and communicative practices based on listening and spoken language are the desired outcomes after cochlear implantation. These desired outcomes are tethered to ideas and ideals about a “right way” to sense, communicate, and relate to others. The Indian state, families of deaf children, medical professionals, and educators, among other stakeholders, increasingly expect that these normative outcomes will occur. They work to foreclose other outcomes for deaf individuals, such as becoming sign language users or orienting to others through vision and touch. As cochlear implants become more ubiquitous in India, sensory, modal, and relational possibilities for deaf children and those with whom they engage diminish. Sensory normality, as a desired goal and outcome, results in a contraction rather than an expansion of ways of engaging with the world.” (Jun, Manifold)

In Pakistan, ‘Without a wheelchair my life would be useless’: Zahida Quereshi, whose organization provides thousands of custom wheelchairs. (Oct, the Guardian)

In South Africa, The effects of cognitive effort on academic performance of learners with cochlear implants. “The study highlights that cognitive effort of learners with cochlear implants influenced their capabilities to multitask and retain information”. (Oct, African Journal on Disability)

In the United States, This researcher builds ‘cool stuff for blind people.’ He’s also trying to help transform society. (Oct, PBS)

Black Lives Matter and Racial justice

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In Brazil, A report on the situation for black and other marginalized persons with disabilities. (Oct, Minority Rights Group)

In the United States, Black Disability Politics a book from Sami Schalk “explores how issues of disability have been and continue to be central to Black activism from the 1970s to the present [...] his work has not been recognized as part of the legacy of disability justice and liberation because Black disability politics differ in language and approach from the mainstream white-dominant disability rights movement.” (Duke University Press) See an interview with the author on Essence.


Back to contents.


In International News:

“Vulnerable” or Systematically Excluded? The Impact of Covid-19 on Disabled People in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. “We highlight the multiple exclusions faced by disabled people across the sectors of health, education, economy, community, and pandemic management.” (Aug, Social Inclusion)

In Ethiopia, Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health care and people with mental health conditions. “Scarce mental health service settings were diverted to become COVID-19 treatment centres. Mental health care became narrowly biomedical with poorer quality of care due to infrequent follow-up. Households of people with pre-existing mental health conditions in the community reported worsening poverty and decreased access to care due to restricted movement, decreased availability and fear.” (Sep, International Journal of Mental Health Systems)

In India, COVID-19, Persons with Disabilities and an (Un)Inclusive Healthcare System a study on access to healthcare services and vaccinations. (Oct, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy)

In the United States,

  • How Masking Changed My Experience of Being Deaf: “The pandemic forced me to communicate differently.” (Sep, The Atlantic)
  • A study on the COVID-19 “mortality burden” for people with and without intellectual and developmental disability. “The COVID-19 mortality burden was greater for people with than without IDD during the first year of the pandemic. The continued practice of postmortem diagnostic overshadowing prevents analyzing whether this difference continues through today.” (October, Disability and Health Journal)


In International News:

Rising to the challenge: disability organisations in the COVID-19 pandemic (Aug, Disability and Society)

For Canadians with disabilities, multiple types of support were important during COVID-19. (Sep, the Conversation)

In Africa, Challenges and Opportunities for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in the COVID-19 Response “A limited number of recommended MHPSS activities during the COVID-19 pandemic were planned in countries across Africa, with an even smaller proportion being actually implemented. The implementation level of MHPSS activities was below 50% in most countries. [...] It is critical to build on this to integrate mental health into emergency preparedness and response and strengthen mental health systems in the long term in the post-pandemic world.” (Jul, Environmental Research and Public Health)

In South Africa,

  • Disabled people moved because of Covid are living in filthy conditions (Oct, Ground Up)
  • Experiences of Organisations of (or That Serve) Persons with Disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic and National Lockdown. “The findings demonstrate that the South African government failed to ensure targeted support to organisations of persons with disabilities. A remarkable feature of the organisations we interviewed for this small study was their agility in responding creatively to the challenges they faced, despite the difficulties.” (Oct, Environmental Research and Public Health)

In the United States, Biden declaring the pandemic over disregards the danger disabled Americans face and “has shown how easily it is willing to view people with disabilities as pesky asterisks.” (Sep, MSNBC)


In Australia, Predictors of vaccine hesitancy among disability support workers in Australia. A survey showed that 50% of disability support workers were vaccine hesitant. (Sep, Disability and Health)

Living with COVID

In the United Kingdom, Living with long Covid series exploring the “millions of lives impacted by long Covid” (Oct, the Guardian)

In the United States, The Long COVID Survival Guide How to Take Care of Yourself and What Comes Next, a “patient-to-patient guide for people wliving with long COVID”. (Nov, Experiment Publishing)

Civil Society and Community

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In International News:

Book review of Deaf Empowerment: Resistance and Decolonization “an important book that provides new perspectives on Deaf empowerment.” (Oct, H-Disability)

Not just ticking the box: Findings of IDA's Global Survey on participation of organizations of persons with disabilities. In the face of “threats to civic participation and heightening barriers” to participation, there is increasing engagement with international organizations but decreasing engagement with governments. (Jun, IDA)

In China, Today, I don't want to advocate "disability prevention", what about you? (Aug, translated by google) Minority Talk

In Europe, Hundreds Of Disabled Activists Demand Rights in Brussels in a “Freedom Drive”. (Sep, ENIL)

In Mexico, Mexico City wheelchair users rally for more accessibility (Aug, Yahoo! News)

Climate Crisis and Environment

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In International News:

Some good news for persons with disabilities from COP27. (Nov, IDA)

Can COP27 contribute to disability-inclusive climate justice? (Nov, Disability Debrief)

Disability Debrief compilation of resources on climate change and disability lovingly put together by Áine. (Nov)

A policy brief on realizing disability rights through a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies (Nov, ILO)

Cripping Climate Activism piece with beautiful illustrations on advocating at the intersections of disability, gender and climate. (Oct, Women Enabled International)

Climate policy and activism need to make space for disabled people. (Oct, BMJ)

The Barriers and Enablers of persons with disabilities as climate change agents. Based on research in Bangladesh and Madagascar:

“Persons with disabilities have knowledge and ideas which stem from their every-day life experiences dealing with risk and social and structural barriers creating problem-solving skills invaluable in the fight against climate change. Furthermore, persons with disabilities are clearly highly impacted by climate change and have experiences and perspectives which may contribute valuable insight in mainstream climate discourses.” (Sep, LUP Student Papers)

Interview with Pauline Castres on importance of climate policy, justice and activism for people with disabilities. (Sep, WID)

Global Disability Justice In Climate Disasters: Mobilizing People With Disabilities As Change Agents (Oct, Health Affairs)

Climate change disasters are a disability rights issue. (Sep, Yahoo)

In Bangladesh, Lessons from the Historic 2022 Flooding In Bangladesh. (Sep, HPOD)

In the United Kingdom,

In the United States, Poet and Activist Naomi Ortiz Talks About Ecojustice and Self Care: “Ecojustice to me is how we can live and balance the best we can and honor the fact that we have different needs.” (Aug, WNYC Studios)

Communication and Language

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Sign Languages

In Egypt, Numerals in Egyptian Sign Language from a Typological Perspective. (Oct, North African Linguistics)

In the United Kingdom,


In India, Thirukkural and other Tamil literary works to be available in Braille script. (Oct)

In South Africa, Concourt rules that Copyright Act is unconstitutional. “Blind and visually impaired people, prevented from converting written material to braille or other accessible formats without the permission of copyright holders, can now do so following a ruling by the Constitutional Court.” (Sep, GroundUp)

Conflict and Peace

Back to contents.

In International News:

Report on the the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of military operations. Raising and exploring the following question: “In widening the lens of international humanitarian law to become more consciously self-aware of the realities faced by persons with disabilities in conflicts, what realities become salient in the future and what irreducible realities must be considered in planning or pursuing military operations?” (Sep, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) See a summary of the report on Gerard Quinn's website.

In Africa, Ensuring the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Communities Experiencing Armed Conflict (Sep, Women Enabled International)

Culture, Entertainment and Media

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In International News:

Curating Access a new book, edited by Amanda Cachia on disability art activism and creative accommodation. (Sep, Routledge)

In Azerbaijan, The catwalk with a difference: adaptive fashion comes to Azerbaijan. “An enterprising student and a designer want to make attractive clothes that disabled people can wear – and model too” (Sep, the Guardian)

In Europe, The European Court of Human Rights declined to condemn France for censuring a video featuring adults and children with Down Syndrome. (Sep, ADF International)

In Mexico, People with disabilities behind plushie concert craze: “the toys are made by a group of some 400 people with disabilities in a factory in Puebla.” (Sep, La Prensa Latina)

In Pakistan, Profile of Alishba, an activist and artist. (Oct, World Down Syndrome Day)

In the United Kingdom, Unfinish’d sympathy: can literature get over reading disability morally? (Sep, the Guardian)

In the United States, An Art in America edition dedicated to Disability Culture. (Oct, Art in America)

TV and Film

In International News:

Marvel's New Spider-Verse Hero Shows the Struggle of a Real Disease. Marvel's newest Spider-Man variant uses a wheelchair and has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. (Sep, Screen Rant)

Ralph and Katie: Disability Content's Coming of Age. (Oct, Disability Arts Online)

Subtitles can be terrible: profile on Netflix's head of accessibility. “About 40% of Netflix's global users use them all the time, while 80% use them at least once a month, according to the company's internal data.” (Sep, Business Insider)

Bantering Through Disability and Dislocation In “Tuesco,” Daniel Poler documents a Venezuelan family’s use of dark humor to remain buoyant in exile. (Sep, The New Yorker)

In Japan, Deaf Japanese actor is a sign of the times feature on the movie “Love Love”. (Oct, NHK)


In India, A 9-step plan for 'curb-cutting' disability access in India’s news and newsrooms. A paper on the experiences of journalists with disabilities and what more can be done. (Sep, Reuters Institute)

In Indonesia, Meet Two Disability Justice Project Fellows Modeling Inclusive Storytelling. (Oct, Disability Rights Fund)

Clothing and Fashion

In the United States,

Data and Research

Back to contents.


In International News:

Data Dashboard on health and disability, “includes data on overall mortality and COVID-19 mortality for people with disabilities, as well as key health indicators” (Missing Billion)

Module on Child Functioning: Guidance note for translation and customization (Oct, UNICEF)

Harmonizing Disability Data to improve disability research and policy. (Oct, Health Affairs)

Global and regional prevalence of disabilities among children and adolescents: Analysis of findings from global health databases. Comparing data from UNICEF and Global Burden of Disease Study. (Sep, Frontiers Public Health)

In the United Kingdom, Childhood disability, social class and social mobility: A neglected relationship. “We specifically focus on the importance of social class for disabled young people's outcomes, emphasizing the need for intersectional analyses of disability inequalities.” (Sep, The British Journal of Sociology)

In the United States,

  • Comparing Measures Of Functional Difficulty With Self-Identified Disability: Implications For Health Policy. Shows how six-question sets “performed especially poorly in capturing respondents with psychiatric disabilities or chronic health conditions.” (Oct, Health Affairs)
  • A Need For Disability Data Justice “Public health data systems and infrastructure must be built to collect disability data and use this information to combat ableism and support equity and social justice.” (Aug, HealthAffairs)


In International News:

Sixteen Years since the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: What Have We Learned since Then? A summary of research articles on disability since the Convention. (Sep, Environmental Research and Public Health)

Disability as Rupture a collection on how disability creates “to reconceptualize ethnographic practices and anthropological projects”:

“Because the infrastructures of everyday life are often predicated on “normal” bodies and their capacities, when disabled bodies interact with those infrastructures, the friction that results exposes the underlying norms that guide social life.” (Sep, Cultural Anthropology)

In Brazil, An edition of Anthropological Horizons focussed on disability. (In Portuguese, Oct, Scielo)

In Russia, Intercorporeal Togetherness: On Russian Blind Activists’ Technology of Disability Inclusion. (Aug, Cultural Anthropology)

In the United States,

Digital Accessibility and Technology

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In International News:

Discussion of Human-Computer Interaction Accessibility Practice with chronically ill people. (Oct, HCI & Design at UW)

How inclusion drives innovation in Windows 11: “he culture of inclusion within the Windows engineering team has helped to foster the development of more inclusive and delightful Windows experiences for everyone.” (Sep, Windows)

In the Ukraine, New standard to make government websites and applications more user-friendly for everyone. (Oct, Yahoo! News)

In the United Kingdom, It's not all doom and gloom: What the pandemic has taught us about digitally inclusive practices that support people with learning disabilities to access and use technologies. (Aug, British Journal of Learning Disabilities)

Artificial Intelligence

In International News:

Common AI language models show bias against people with disabilities: ‘when a disability-related term followed “good” in a sentence, the AI generated “bad.”’ (Oct, The Hill)

Artificial Intelligence Is Dangerous For Disabled People At Work: 4 Takeaways For Developers And Buyers. (Oct, Forbes)

Online Accessibility

In International News:

New Brutalism and web accessibility: brutalist style and its interactions with accessibility. (Oct, UX Collective)

Yes, accessibility is also a backend concern. “Backend developers wield a tremendous amount of power, as they help shape the underlying structure of what is and is not possible when creating a digital experience.” (Sep, Eric W Bailey)

Verifying the Disability Equality Index by measuring how their website conforms with web-access standards: “the DEI score is not a good predictor of the accessibility score.” (Sep, jpdev.pro)

In Brazil, The Brazilians advocating for digital accessibility. (Sep, Fair Planet)

Social Media

In International News:

Twitter’s Layoffs Are a Blow to Accessibility among the many layoffs were the team working on accessibility. (Nov, Wired)

Twitter Was a Lifeline for People With Disabilities. Musk’s Reign Is Changing All of That (Nov, Time)

Accessibility in the Fediverse (and Mastodon) (Oct, Eric Eggert)

More than Just a Hashtag: Disability and TikTok (Nov, PBS)

Disability takes center stage on TikTok “Disabled people's accounts are visible in a way that they are not on other platforms, as they are favored by TikTok's For You page and its discovery-oriented algorithm.” (Aug, Le Monde)

Slack Commits To Making The Digital Workplace ‘More Accessible And Equitable’ (Aug, Forbes)

In Australia, Young people living with disability share experiences and create communities through social media. (Aug, ABC News)

In the United States, Content creation can be a lifeline for disabled creators —but it can also put their mental and physical health at risk. (Oct, Passionfruit)

In Vietnam, ‘I get yelled at a lot’: can TikTok help wheelchair users reclaim the streets of Hanoi? “As her videos went viral, VinBus responded by putting more information on their website, including photos of wheelchair users on buses, and has promised to include people with disabilities in their marketing videos.” (Oct, the Guardian)

Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Response

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In International News:

Feature on why are people with disabilities left out of disaster planning? (Oct, Aljazeera)

Guidance Note on Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Management Operations An Exploration of Good Practices and Resources. (Sep, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery)

In the Asia-Pacific, Disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and measuring progress against the Sendai Framework. (Sep, The Interpreter)

In Canada, Cyclone Fiona: people with disabilities need more support in extreme storms (Oct, the Conversation)

In the Pacific, Pacific Disaster Ready: Disability inclusion tip sheets. (Sep, CBM Australia)

In Pakistan,

In the United States,

“the hardships people with a wide range of disabilities experienced during this cascading disaster, including the inability to power life-giving medical equipment and the intensification of pain and health problems due to the loss of heat and water. Findings also show that participants were not passive victims in the face of these life-threatening challenges; disabled people and parents of those with severe disabilities went to extraordinary lengths to survive and to help others survive the disaster, including providing and receiving critical forms of care from family and community members during the storm. In addition, the study illuminates the short-term impacts of Winter Storm Uri and its long-term consequences, which some participants were still negotiating a year later.” (Sep, Natural Hazards Center)

Economics and Social Protection

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In Ghana, Emotional ‘journey’ of street beggars with vision impairment: (Aug, Disability and Society)

In Norway, Impact of child disability on parental employment and labour income. “The results showed that caring for children with disabilities has a negative effect on mothers’ labour market participation, working hours and labour income. The more severe a child’s condition is, the more likely the mother was to work and earn less, or to stop working entirely.” (Sep, BMC Public Health)

In the United Kingdom, Blind people amongst those worst affected by cost of living crisis (Oct, City A.M.)

Financial Inclusion

In International News:

Inclusive Banking: emerging practices and a call to action to enhance economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. (Apr, IFC)

In Malawi, Persons with disabilities grapple with loan accessibility. (Oct, Disability Justice Project)

In Malaysia,

Social Protection

In International News:

A discussion paper on the Disability Support Gap: Community support systems for persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries (Link to PDF, Aug, CIP)

In Georgia, Georgian court orders government to provide assistant to person with disabilities. (Oct, OC Media)

In Greece, The availability, accessibility, and quality of support services for older persons with disabilities: the formal and informal care services are “not clearly addressing the needs and special characteristics of older persons with disabilities” (Feb, EASPD)

In Ireland, Each annual budget brings fear. The disability sector is always a target. (Sep, The Irish Times)

In New Zealand, Removing Disabling Experiences a vision for a person-directed system that will “provide four enforceable rights to social and income support, habilitation, and healthcare.” (Aug, Warren Forster)

In South Africa, Challenges of caregivers providing care to children with disabilities at non-governmental organisations in Tshwane townships. (Jul, African Journal on Disability)

In Sweden, Austerity and identity formation: How welfare cutbacks condition narratives of sickness:

“Interviewees describe extreme stress as a result of their contacts with the Social Insurance Agency (SIA), which results in a perpetual crisis that is renewed with each new denied application. In particular, the sense of not having a future means that it is hard to construct narratives to make sense of one’s situation. To escape the perpetual crisis, some people have politicised their situation, constructing a narrative about themselves as suffering from oppressive politics. Others have escaped by not applying for sick insurance or other social insurances. But generally speaking, the most common effect of being denied sick insurance is an ongoing crisis that leads to deteriorating health.” (Sep, Sociology of Health and Illness)

In the United Kingdom, UK government errors denied thousands disability benefits: “Campaigners hit out after data reveals majority of successful appeals were due to Department for Work and Pensions mistakes” (Oct, the Guardian)

In the United States,

Education and Childhood

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In International News:

Children with learning differences are being excluded (Oct, World Education Blog)

Fact Sheet on Children with Disabilities (Aug, UNICEF)

Transforming education: reflections on the calls made to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. (Oct, Sightsavers)

The world is diverse and education should reflect it by including persons with disabilities. (in Spanish, Sep, UN)

Global Partnership for Education factsheet on on inclusive education for children with disabilities. (Sep, Global Partnership on Education)

In Belgium, Belgium has the most pupils in special education in all of Europe: why is that? (In Flemish, I used Google Translate, Oct, VRT)

In India, Inclusive education in practice: disability, ‘special needs’ and the (Re)production of normativity in Indian childhoods. (Sep, Children's Geographies)

In Kuwait, Experts of the Committee on the Rights of the Child Commend Kuwait’s Disability Allowance for Children (Sep, OHCHR)

In Middle East and North Africa, The real lives behind the data: Children with disabilities in education across Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territory. (link to pdf, Sep, Humanity and Inclusion)

In Rwanda, Visually impaired teachers want teaching assistants (Oct, The New Times)

In Uganda, A Fundraiser by Connor Scott-Gardner to help Salama Blind School after a Devastating Fire (Nov, Go Fund Me)

Higher Education

In International News:

A discussion forum on quality higher education for persons with disabilities in low and middle income countries. (Sep, CIP)

Employment, Business and Work

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In International News:

Capacity to Contribute: We must do more to improve the labour market inclusion of people with disability. (Oct, The OECD Forum Network)

Disability Inclusion in Employment Intensive Investment Programming a stocktaking and way forward on inclusion in public works initiatives. By yours truly. (Oct, ILO)

Barriers to employment for people with intellectual disabilities in low- and middle-income countries: Self-advocate and family perspectives. “Self-advocates shared experiences in the focus groups of workplace bullying, mistreatment by supervisors and colleagues and exploitation in the workplace which indicates that supporting people to overcome barriers and get into a job is insufficient for ensuring inclusion.” (Jun, Journal of International Development)

UN General Comment on the right of persons with disabilities to work and employment clarifying what governments need to do to realize the right to work. (Sep, A summary from European Disability Forum.)

In the Asia-Pacific, A policy paper on Preferential Contracting for Persons with Disabilities “an in-depth look at the practice of using public procurement to promote the employment of persons with disabilities” (Nov, UNESCAP)

In Australia, (Under)valuing lived experience in the disability workforce: “this study examined the ways in which lived experience was described as an asset in disability workforce recruitment.” (Sep, Australian Journal of Social Issues)

In Canada, Diversity Works research looking at employment journeys of black, indigenous and people of colour with disabilities. (Aug, Canadian Association for Supported Employment)

In Europe,

In India,

In Indonesia,

  • A Different Way of Learning feature on how “Indonesians with Autism Forge Their Own Path to Education and Employment”. (Oct, Disability Justice Project)
  • Inside Indonesia's grassroots fight for accessibility. (Sep, FairPlanet)
  • Out of Their Hands video feature on blind massage therapists and other employment challenges for those with visual impairments, including the impact of the pandemic. (Aug, Disability Justice Project)

In South Korea, ”They cancelled my job interviews because I'm disabled” a linkedin post that went viral. (Sep, BBC)

In the United Kingdom, Positively Purple a new book from Kate Nash on building an inclusive culture in business. (Oct, KoganPage)

In the United States,

Gender Equality and Women with Disabilities

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In International News:

Laws across the world fail to consider disability and gender. A policy brief surveys legislation in 190 economies: only ten of them have mentions of women with disabilities in both their gender equality law and disability rights law. (Oct, World Bank)

In Fiji, Needs assessment on women and young people with disabilities. (Aug, UNFPA)

In Samoa, Needs assessment of women and young people with disabilities. (Aug, UNFPA)

In Uganda, Leading the Charge a feature on Christine Oliver Dhikusooka and her work mobilizing around women with disabilities. (Sep, Disability Justice Project)

In the United States, A federal appeals court finds that gender dysphoria is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). (Aug, CT Mirror)

In Vanuatu, Needs assessment of women and young people with disabilities. (Aug, UNFPA)

International Women's Day

In Europe, Gender Equality Week: outsized discrimination against women with disabilities (Oct, EDF)


Back to contents.


In International News:

Promoting equity in health emergencies through health systems strengthening: “Lessons learned relating to disability inclusion in the COVID-19 pandemic can inform health systems strengthening in recovery efforts, addressing underlying barriers to access and inclusion, and in turn improving preparedness for future health emergencies.” (Oct, International Journal for Equity in Health)

Reimagining Health Systems that expect, accept and connect 1 billion people with disabilities. “People with disabilities have 2.4-fold higher mortality rates than those without disabilities and are missing 10 to 20 years of life expectancy.” (Sep, Missing Billion)

World Alzheimer Report 2022 Life after diagnosis: Navigating treatment, care and support:

“A surprising number of people living with dementia indicated they had not been offered post-diagnosis support beyond the initial information provided immediately after their diagnosis. In lower-income countries, 45% indicated they had not been offered support, while 55% reported they had. In higher-income countries, although 63% reported having been offered post-diagnosis support, 37% indicated they were offered nothing” (Sep, ADI)

In Bangladesh, “We bear it and accept our fate”: Perceptions of healthcare access from people with disabilities in Cox’s Bazar. (Aug, Relief Web)

In the United Kingdom,

  • Recognising lived experience is essential to empowering disabled patients. (Sep, BMJ)
  • Will the NHS Care for Me? feature by a disabled person on why people with a learning disability are more than twice as likely to die from avoidable causes than the rest of the population. (Oct, BBC)
  • Fractured, fighting, fixed: my personal experiences in hospital as a base to reflect on why medical systems struggle with inclusion. (Sep, Disability Debrief)
  • A study on avoidable mortality in children/young people with intellectual disabilities. “Children with intellectual disabilities had significantly higher rates of all-cause, avoidable, treatable and preventable mortality than their peers. The largest differences were for treatable mortality, particularly at ages 5–9 years. Interventions to improve healthcare to reduce treatable mortality should be a priority for children/young people with intellectual disabilities.” (Sep, BMJ Open)
  • Warning over early deaths of learning disabled: “adults with a learning disability were twice as likely to die from preventable illnesses.” (Aug, BBC)

In the United States,


In Bangladesh, An assessment of disability and quality of life in people with spinal cord injury upon discharge from a rehabilitation unit. Unfortunately, post-discharge quality of life decreases and disability level increases. (Oct, Spinal Cord)

History and Memorial

Back to contents.

In International News:

Reader's Block a book on the history of reading differences. (Oct, Combined Academic Publishers)

50th Anniversary of the Independent Living Movement (Aug, ENIL)

Wheelchairs Through Time A visual history of the wheelchair: a look through thousands of years covering palanquins, tricycles, wheelbarrows, thrones, and much more. (Aug, Wayland's Workshop)

In China, Maoism and mental illness: psychiatric institutionalization during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. (Aug, History of Psychiatry)

In Egypt, Sheikh Rafaat: A Genius in Meaning-Based Recitation of Quran. One of the blind men among the brilliant qaris of Egypt (people who recite the Quran). (Sep, International Quran News Agency)

In France, An Early Medieval Prosthetic Hand and what it might show us about violence, community and care. (Sep, History Workshop)

In Sierra Leone, Recaptive number 11,407: Poet Raymond Antrobus traces the lost story of a deaf man freed from slavery. (Oct, BBC)

In the United Kingdom,

  • Ebooks of Paul Hunt's writings. “Paul Hunt was one of the founders of the Disabled People's Movement in Britain, and one of the first activists to argue for the social model of disability.” (Oct, GMCDP)
  • A review of Beholding Disability in Renaissance England a book which argues that “by focusing on disability in Renaissance texts we can collapse barriers between us and the past, while at the same time gain new perspectives on both historical and contemporary perceptions of the disabled body.” (Sep, H-Disability)

In the United States,

Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

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In International News:

Discussion on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian affairs with Ricardo Pla of UNHCHR, on Ukraine and beyond. (In Spanish, Oct, En Marcha)

Disabled refugee students included and visible in education. Case studies of challenges and opportunities in Uganda, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. (Sep, Disabled Refugees Included)

Training Package on Strengthening Protection of Persons with Disabilities in Forced Displacement (UNHCR)

A scoping review of research on adolescents with disabilities’ experiences of COVID-19 and other humanitarian emergencies in low- and middle-income countries. (Sep, Global Health Action)

Around the world, refugees with disabilities face an uphill battle (Aug, Equal Times)

In Kenya,

In Mozambique, Cyclone recovery brings civil society and local government together to build inclusive society. (Oct, UNICEF)

In Nigeria, Stories of being disabled and displaced from Sokoto and Zamfara. (Oct, ICIR Nigeria)

In Somalia, Exclusive humanitarianism: Policy recommendations for genuine inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. (Aug, International Review of the Red Cross)

In Syria, Children with Disabilities Left Unprotected report on the impact of armed conflict. “Most of the children included in this report were born just before or as the war started in 2011 and have not known a time without conflict, displacement, or difficulties in getting the services they need to grow and thrive.” And much as the international community spends billions in humanitarian response, people with disabilities “face systematic challenges in accessing humanitarian services on an equal basis with others.” (Sep, Human Rights Watch)

In Turkey, Protection & Education Needs of Refugees with Disabilities in Southeast Turkey. “Given the often complex needs of children with a disability, access to information about public services was cited by families as being of particular importance.” (Aug, Sened)


In International News:

For Many Disabled People, a Battle to Stay in Australia or New Zealand (Oct, New York Times)

Crossing the Border: How Disability Civil Rights Protections are “powerful tools for ensuring that disabled asylum-seekers have access to the protection and services they need in the U.S. immigration system.” (Aug, American Progress)

In Australia, Bangladeshi refugee describes 'humiliating' treatment because of disability while detained on Nauru. (Oct, SBS News)

In Canada, Migration has always been a disability justice issue. (Sep, Briarpatch)

In the United States, U.S. removes Trump-era barriers to citizenship-test waivers for disabled immigrants (Oct, NPR)

Indigenous People

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In International News:

Intersectionality is a Practice: Inclusive Funding Must Resource Disability and Indigenous Rights. (Oct, Cultural Survival)

Institutions and Deinstitutionalization

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In International News:

UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Guidelines on deinstitutionalization, including in emergencies. “They are intended to guide and support States parties, in their efforts to realize the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community, and to be the basis for planning deinstitutionalization processes and prevention of institutionalization.” (Sep, OHCHR) A statement on the guidelines from the Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalization.

In Australia, Damning aged care audit reveals abuse and neglect of residents across the country. (Oct, the Guardian)

In the Czech Republic, Deaths and abuse of people with severe intellectual disabilities and autism in Czechia. “37-years old woman with intellectual disabilities was killed by a staff member of a “care” institution in Czechia”. (Nov, Inclusion Europe)

In Europe, Deinstitutionalising disabled people: making it happen. “Notably absent from the EU countries with a deinstitutionalisation strategy is the entirety of south-west Europe. None of the most populated EU member states—France, Italy, Spain and Germany—has adopted such a document.” (Sep, Social Europe)

In Indonesia, ‘Not To Be Feared’ Reports from one of Indonesia's last remaining leprosy settlements. (Sep, Disability Justice Project)

In Romania, "Now I support others to get out of institutions" speech from Elisabeta Moldovan, gut-wrenching episodes from her time in institution herself, and how she is changing things. (Sep, Inclusion Europe)

In the United Kingdom, Brother, do you love me? The cry for help that sparked a care-home rescue mission. (Oct, the Guardian)

In the United States, At a Remote Mental Health Facility, a Culture of Cruelty Persists Despite Decades of Warnings. (Sep, Pro Publica)

International Cooperation

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In International News:

Data Quick Guide Towards Disability Inclusive Programme Monitoring (Oct, DCDD)

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in project planning a short guide. (Link to pdf, Oct, GIZ)

In the Asia-Pacific, Persons with Disabilities Key to Achieving Fully Inclusive Societies (Oct, SDG Knowledge Hub)

Global Disability Summit

In International News:

Global Disability Summit 2022 Report (Oct, IDA)

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In Colombia, Documentary on law 1996 of 2019: “a path to equality”. The development and first three years of a law promoting legal capacity of persons with disabilities. (Oct, Paiis Uniandes)

Lived Experience and Opinion

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In International News:

Living Inclusion a campaign featuring the voices and lives of persons with disabilities in the global south. (GIZ)

In Australia, Reflections between Australia and Indonesia on how #MeToo gave me a vocabulary to claim disability rights “my reaction to unsolicited help formed the crux of my dilemma. I felt torn between the need to keep myself safe, and the pressure to meet society’s expectations that I would welcome help.” (Sep, Unbias the News)

In Brazil, An anti-guideline on accessibility to challenge the silos and specificity disability gets put into. (In Portuguese, Oct, SISEM-SP)

In Canada, A Disability Justice Issue featuring writing and art from activists across Canada. (Sep, Briarpatch)

In Kenya, Feature on Eve Kibare's story focussing on managing periods as a visually impaired woman. (Aug, Mummy Tales)

In Tanzania, The life journey of a blind Tanzanian professor. (Oct, The Citizen)

In Uganda, Why I do self-advocacy as a deafblind youth (Oct, Voices of Youth)

In the United States,

“While recovering, communication access is one of my greatest challenges since I can no longer speak. People have talked over me, ignored me, or became impatient as I type my responses. I currently use a text to speech app called Proloquo4text. The voice options are robotic, clinical, and white. It mispronounces slang and Chinglish, a mix of Mandarin and English which is part of my culture. It also fails to capture my personality, cadence, and emotions.” (Oct, KQED)
  • 11 Disability Rights Activists on Where the Fight for Justice Stands (Sep, Teen Vogue)
  • Year of the Tiger. Alice Wong's book on her activist life: “Drawing on a collection of original essays, previously published work, conversations, graphics, photos, commissioned art by disabled and Asian American artists, and more, Alice uses her unique talent to share an impressionistic scrapbook of her life as an Asian American disabled activist, community organizer, media maker, and dreamer.” (Nov, Disability Visibility Project) See an exerpt in Teen Vogue.
  • For 'disabled oracle' Alice Wong, rest is a radical act. (Sep, Los Angeles Times)
  • Society of Disabled Oracles “a living chorus and archive of disabled wisdom from the past, present and future. We have been waiting for you. This is a collection of ‘telegrams’ by disabled oracles to the world.”
  • A new book, by John Kemp, Disability Friendly: How to Move from Clueless to Inclusive, “a call to action for businesses around the world to realize the opportunities presented by employing people with disabilities.” (Aug, Lakeshore)
  • Benevolence Porn “I suggest that we consider benevolence porn as a means of distinguishing media attention that centers the abled person rather than the disabled person.” (Aug, Not an Angry Deaf Person)
  • The Future Is Disabled a new book by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs. (Jan, Arsenal Pulp) See an interview on Ms Magazine.

Mental Health

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In International News:

The story of depression and how we treat it a review of A Cure for Darkness, a new book which “takes a more global and socioeconomically inclusive approach to studying depression”. (Sep, Africa is a Country)

Launch of the report of the Lancet Commission On Ending Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health. (Oct, United for Global Mental Health)

Guidelines on mental health at work: “evidence-based recommendations to promote mental health, prevent mental health conditions, and enable people living with mental health conditions to participate and thrive in work.” (Sep, WHO)

Digital Futures in Mind Reflecting on Technological Experiments in Mental Health & Crisis Support:

The “paradigm of advocating for and developing algorithmic mental health tools has in turn exacerbated harms done to those in crisis, by not recognising either the particularities of their circumstances, or the systemic stigma these systems can reinforce. In this report, the authors present an alternative framework in which every step of the design, training, implementation and regulation of algorithmic healthcare systems would be done with the direct involvement of people who know the worst things that these systems can do, because they’ve lived it.” (link to pdf)

In China, For people with mental health conditions finding work remains a challenge. (Oct, Sixth Tone)

In South Africa, A retrospective study exploring how South African newspapers framed Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders over an 11-year period (2004–2014). (Oct, BMC Psychiatry)

Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism

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In International News:

Global Trends Report on Making Travel Inclusive for All (link to pdf, Oct, Valuable 500)

In Canada, Air Canada broke my $30,000 motorized wheelchair. Here’s what happened next (Oct, Toronto Life)

In Chile, Association of the Blind demands that the government take responsibility for the death of the person who fell onto the metro track. (In Spanish, Sep, ElMostrador)

In the United Kingdom, How can electric vehicles be made more accessible to disabled people? (Sep, Environment Journal)

Policy and Rights

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In China, Draft law to improve accessible facilities under review. (Oct, China Daily)

In Fiji, Analysis of government budget (CIP)

In India, Analysis of government budget (CIP)

In Italy, Lack of financial and social support to family of people with disabilities amounted to human rights violation, according to the UN committee on rights of persons with disabilities. (Oct, UNRIC)

In Jordan, Jordan stands out as a regional leader on disability rights. Celebrating a “sophisticated body of law” and calling for actions to address inequalities and exclusion. (Sep, Gerard Quinn)

In New Zealand,

In Nigeria, 10% of social investment programmes will be set aside for inclusion of persons with disabilities, declares the minister of social development. (Sep, The Cable)

In the Philippines, Analysis of government budget (CIP)

In Saudi Arabia, The Consultative Assembly approved a draft law on the rights of persons with disabilities. (Oct, Zawya)

In Singapore, Experts of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Ask Questions on the Death Penalty and Access to Health Insurance. (Aug, OHCHR)

Politics and Elections

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In the United States,

Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights

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In International News:

Be inclusive: sexual and reproductive health. (Inclusive Futures)

A campaign to end forced sterilisation of persons with disabilities in the European Union:

“The study of EU Member States’ legislation on sterilisation shows widespread forced sterilisation of persons with disabilities, especially women and girls. Forced sterilisation is authorised by the legislation of 14 EU Member States (even though the expression of “forced” is not expressly present in the legislation except for Hungary and Lithuania). The legislation of Czechia, Hungary and Portugal allows forced sterilisation of minors.” (link to pdf, Sep, EDF)

In South Africa, People with intellectual disability have a right to sexuality – but their families have concerns. (Aug, the Conversation)

In the United States,

Sport and Paralympics

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In France, Paris 2024: two years from the Paralympic Games, what are the challenges to be met regarding accessibility? (Aug, California18)

In Qatar, Accessibility takes centre stage as countdown to Qatar 2022 continues (Nov, FIFA) Also on EuroNews.

In the United Kingdom, Did the Paralympic games change things for disabled people? The legacy ten years on. (Oct, Spirit of 2012)

In the United States, Sheri Byrne-Haber’s on the road to the 2024 Paris Paralympics: it “begins with ableism, discrimination and archery”. (Sep, URevolution)

Violence and Harassment

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In Australia, ‘They yell at you’: woman with dwarfism reveals ‘deeply offensive’ abuse received in public. (Oct, the Guardian)

In Kenya, Killing children with disabilities a collective stain (Oct, Nation)

In Mexico, High Toll of Violence For Women With Disabilities, according to a new survey. (Sep, Human Rights Watch)

In Uganda, Disability status, partner behavior, and the risk of sexual intimate partner violence: an analysis of the demographic and health survey data. (Oct, BMC Public Health)

War in Ukraine

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In Russia, Putin's mobilisation plans in tatters after officials enlist handicapped and blind people. (Oct, Express)

Appeals and Statements

In the Ukraine, UN experts call for urgent action to protect Ukrainian children with disabilities in residential care institutions. (Oct, OHCHR)

Situation in Ukraine

In the Ukraine,


In the Ukraine,

Water and Sanitation (WASH)

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In International News:

The inclusion of disability within efforts to address menstrual health during humanitarian emergencies: A systematized review. (Sep, Frontiers)

In Bangladesh, Exploring the implementation of disability-inclusive WASH policy commitments. (Sep, The Daily Star)

In Cambodia, A qualitative cross-sectional study exploring the implementation of disability-inclusive WASH policy commitments in Svay Reing and Kampong Chhnang Provinces. (Sep, Frontiers)

In India, When nature calls, where do we go? on access to public toilets in Chennai. (Oct, DT Next)


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

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