Motivation welcomes milestone government strategy on disability and development, but would like to see it go further.

Monday 3 December 2018

Motivation welcomes the first ever disability and development strategy launched by the UK government today, on International Day of People with Disabilities. The charity highlights that it marks an important milestone for the sector as the strategy recognises disability as a key global issue and commits the Department for International Development (DFID) to delivering improvements in this field.   

As a pioneer of innovative wheelchair design and provision for over 27 years, Motivation is also delighted that assistive technology has been included as a vital cross-cutting theme. However, while a significant step forward, the charity says that the strategy could go further to make a real difference to people in need of assistive technology around the world.

Specifically, Motivation recommends that the strategy should indicate more fully how assistive technology will be delivered across all four areas of the action plan as a powerful enabler for the delivery of social protection, humanitarian action, inclusive education and economic empowerment.

Motivation knows that young people can have their entire future changed by appropriate assistive technology. Sisters Jashmine and Farhanaj were born with under-developed legs and hands and without wheelchairs they were dependent on their parents for everything – including being carried to school.

When the girls were given Motivation hand trikes, they could make their own way down rough local roads to school. Now Jashmine wants to be a doctor or a teacher and Farhanaj has ambitions to be a bank manager.

Tamsin Langford, Head of Programmes at Motivation, says:

“The impact of assistive technology for disabled people in developing countries cannot be underestimated. For many, the right wheelchair provided in the right way provides a lifeline to the outside world – and their inclusion within this. I have also seen so many times how it also enables people to develop confidence and a can-do feeling they’ve never had before.

“There is an urgent need for assistive technology that empowers people to have greater independence so that together we can tackle issues around education, economic empowerment and stigma.”

Founder Director David Constantine says:

“One billion people in the world are currently in need of assistive technology – from wheelchairs to hearing aids. The figure is set to double by 2050. That’s why it’s vital that a strategic approach to disability inclusive development strongly features assistive technology.

“DFID showed a pioneering and ambitious commitment to assistive technology earlier this year with its funding of the AT:2030 programme, which could change the way affordable, well-designed technology helps people in some of the world’s poorest environments. Its strategy needs to sustain that momentum.”

Motivation will continue to work alongside the government to ensure assistive technology plays strong role in achieving disability inclusion.

For more information, contact Anna Reeve, 0117 944 9864, 07791 844345.

Read more about Jashmine and Farhanaj.