Symposium on Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation in Low and Middle Income Countries

Thursday, June 27, 2013 to Friday, June 28, 2013
TBD

Symposium on Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation in Low and Middle Income Countries

Save the Date: June 27th & 28th, 2013

Location: University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Keynote: Appropriate Assistive Technology

Keynote speaker: Chapal Khasnabis, World Health Organization

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The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington will host the symposium, Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation in Low and Middle Income Countries, on June 27 & 28th, 2013 at the University of Washington. Building off of the 2009 and 2010 workshops on Technology & Disability in the Developing World, the 2013 symposium will expand topic areas to include rehabilitation services.

Symposium Objective

To bring together researchers, clinicians, consumers, consumer led organizations, policy makers, technology developers and providers, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders who focus on improving and increasing access to technology and rehabilitation products and services with the goal of ensuring full inclusion and participation for people with disabilities in low-resourced communities in low and middle income countries.

Across the broad areas of technology and rehabilitation in limited resourced environments, we are particularly interested in the following specific topics:

  • Assistive technology and accessible information and communication technology
  • Service delivery models
  • Human resource development
  • Policy, regulatory and funding mechanisms for supporting provision of technology and rehabilitation services
  • Research and evidence-based practice

Rationale

Nearly 80% of persons with disabilities reside in low and middle income countries (600-780 million people). While the size of this underserved population greatly exceeds other vulnerable populations in the developing world (e.g., HIV/AIDS: 34 million), it has received inadequate attention from practitioners and researchers in the fields of international development and global health.

With the passage of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) and publication of the WHO World Disability Report (2011), there is a growing awareness of the critical need to include people with disabilities in global health and development strategies, and the essential role of assistive technology (AT) and rehabilitation in ensuring rights to health, education and employment. However, AT and rehabilitation services remain inappropriate, unavailable and unaffordable to the vast majority of people with disabilities who need it.  

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