Disability — Page 2 of 5


ICT access and use in Sri Lanka and Nepal Quantitative study findings
The two primary objectives of this report are to introduce a framework to assess and contextualize the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based Assistive Technologies (ATs) that aid persons with disabilities (PWD), and to provide a comprehensive list of what can be considered as AT products with ICT components. The aforesaid framework is based on the Human Activity Assistive Technology (HAAT) Model which highlights that in disability, the technology should follow the activity-needs of the person rather than vice-versa.
LIRNEasia in partnership with the Yarl IT Hub, Jaffna and Nuffield School for the Deaf and Blind, Kaithady launched a project titled, Inclusive Technology for Persons with Disabilities: Mobilization in the Northern Province. This is a part of the disability research LIRNEasia is conducting in India and Sri Lanka with funding from Ford Foundation.
LIRNEasia discussed policy challenges of ensuring access for all as well as the challenges of working from home during a pandemic for women at the the inaugural Sri Lanka Internet Day, organised by the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) on 6-7 April 2021.
One out of every forty Indians live with a disability, yet they remain far underrepresented in all segments of daily life: experiencing lack of access to information, living with scarce livelihood opportunities, inaccessible healthcare and assistive caregiving support, confronting stigma in public infrastructure and transport, and non-contextual or unaffordable assistive tech solutions, the rights and diverse concerns of people with disabilities remain underserved. While technology has been an enabler in resolving challenges in human existence, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and Assistive Technologies (AT) have mainly casted exceedingly niche solutions in response to the needs of persons with disabilities. To this effect, despite having a flurry of assistive tech solutions, most of them only partially meet the requirements of persons with disabilities at best and fail to achieve higher impact, as often users are forced to adopt more than one solution to actualise their potential. Such approaches to solution building underline the gaps and deficiencies inherent in the disability ecosystem that go beyond the challenges of underserved financing ie. limited demand side insights and infrastructure, a distance of dialogue between persons with disabilities and stakeholders and severely under-developed capacity for service delivery and scaling solutions.
The Disability Innovation Pre-Accelerator Lab which was held as a virtual event from 10th August to 26th August was successfully completed. LIRNEasia organized this event in collaboration with Vihara Innovations Network as part of our work on accessibility,  PWDS (Persons With Disabilities) and use of ICT which is funded by the Ford Foundation.
The impact of disaster on a disabled person’s health is significant, including the number of People With Disability (PWD) deaths, injuries, diseases, and psychosocial problems.
Abstract – The article presents the necessary elements of universal design for a situational awareness platform. It builds on Endsley’s three level model and emergency data exchange standards. Thereby, the platform will lay the foundation for wide range of ICT-enabled tools that can customized to benefit each and every heterogeneous disabled persons groups.   Individuals with disabilities are disproportionately affected in disaster, emergency, and conflict situations. One reason is the lack of access to comprehensible and appropriate risk information and means for crying for help to be rescued – we know that People With Disabilities (PWD) are 2 – 4 times more likely to die or suffer in a disaster relative to others.
LIRNEasia entered the disability space because we recognized the transformative potential of smartphones, from our work in Myanmar. It is reassuring to see that this is what PWDs are saying in the US as well. They also talk about well-meaning outsiders proposing solutions to problems that do not exist. That also resonates with our thinking and the way we allocate the resources that we have. We spend a lot of effort to understand the problems that are important to the PWDs in the countries we work in.
Disasters wreak havoc and destroy full-scale infrastructures, homes, schools, hospitals, communication systems, and disrupt access to food, clean water, electricity, and transportation. Individuals with disabilities are disproportionately affected in disaster, emergency, and conflict situations due to inaccessible evacuation, response (including shelters, camps, and food distribution), and recovery efforts (Robinson, 2020; Samant Raja et al., 2013; Stough & Kang, 2015; Wolbring, 2009).  The primary focus of this study was reviewing literature on PWD and DiDRR (Disability inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction) specifically involving Asian countries to find gaps in inclusive crisis communication Additionally, the study explored other relevant literature all of which is discussed in the literature review. Thereafter, the method involved synthesizing the findings to propose a conceptual architecture for ICT-enabled assistive technology in support PWDs facing crisis situations.
LIRNEasia has partnered with Vihara Innovation Network to set up a Disability Innovation Pre-Accelerator Lab from 10th August – 26th August 2020.  Distilling the learnings from phase I research, LIRNEasia and Vihara collectively conceptualized the need for organizing an innovation lab that facilitates a platform for innovating contextual solutions catering to the emerging challenges in the disability segment.  Disability Pre-Acceleration Labs has been visioned to act as a precursor to a disability innovation accelerator—a collaborative to accelerate the development of and access to assistive social and technological solutions that enable disabled people to achieve their human potential. The pre-acceleration lab will bring together innovators, disability, technology, and behaviour change experts, impact investors, and people with disabilities to develop and fulfill the vision of creating context-specific, usable solutions to address human potential barriers faced by people with disabilities. We are inviting a diverse set of participants from different segments of disability to participate in this virtual workshop.
ICT access and use by Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in Sri Lanka
Inclusion is central to everything we do at LIRNEasia. We are also cognizant of windows of opportunity for getting issues on the policy agenda. Thus this oped on elections in a time of pandemic. EVMs can be designed to allow persons with disabilities to exercise their right to vote. They can reduce errors in tabulation and speed up the release of results, but they do not eliminate the need for people to congregate.
Censorship rife in the past, but in ebbs and flows The Myanmar Digital Rights Forum took place on 28 and 29 February 2020. It was the fourth iteration of the event, and my third. It was also the biggest yet, seeing approx. 350 participants from civil society, government, private sector, and academia. Many of these participants believed that digital rights and freedom had depleted in Myanmar over the past year, a poll taken at the forum indicated.
Report of a study of ICT use among PWD in India, conducted for LIRNEasia by VIHARA
Living with disability from birth has helped Rajan develop a “can-do” attitude towards living an active and independent life. Becoming disabled later in life, in contrast, has left our next respondent, in very different circumstances.