There are over a billion people in the world with a disability, 80% of whom live in poverty. In an emergency setting, people with disabilities–especially children– and their communities are often at a disadvantage to access needed support and resources.
When thinking about how to solve for such an important and complex challenge, it's critical to step back and reflect on what a disability is:
Disability is defined as neither purely biological nor purely social, but instead the interaction between health conditions and environmental and personal factors.
This means a person's disability can change given the situation or context they are in. For example, it can be amplified in an emergency or crisis setting. But it also means that there's a dynamic range of solutions and ways to help children with disabilities thrive. We are excited to celebrate a few ideas from the MIKTA Education and Emergencies Challenge that are designing to meet the needs of children with disabilities with creativity and ingenuity. In serving the needs of our most vulnerable, we build our capacity to uplift an entire community.
Save the Children Indonesia: Located in Pacific ring of fire, Indonesia is prone to natural hazards as well as man-made, Save the children Indonesia is creating a holistic kit and training program for children who are blind and deaf in crisis settings to meet their formal and informal education needs. They’ve based the program on curriculum standards and provide training for para teachers, learning apps are available via tablet and mobile phone which are powered by solar energy.
ReAble works to leverage technology to fill some of the gaps in destabilized regions education infrastructure by introducing easily accessible educational apps and tools. For example, they are partnered with the Lebanese Ministry of Education to provide schools with educational VR content which can be shared without internet. They are currently working to tackle financial inclusion and literacy using VR content and mobile apps for young people with disabilities.
Reach and Match focuses on providing learning kits for children with disabilities and giving teachers tools to make developmentally appropriate accommodations for students. The kits and program includes 30+ activities and games based on key learning areas: Braille & print literacy, cognitive skills, sensory integration, sense of satisfaction, language enrichment, body movement and social interaction. They will pilot this work with Save the Children in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Interested in reading Part I, focused on designing for girls? Check it out here.
Interested in reading Part II focused on the Asia Pacific region? Check it out here.