The right to rehabilitation & assistive technology: A must for Children with Disabilities

Elaf*, 17, performs the keyboard whereas her sister Malak*, 12, watches, North East Syria. Muhannad Khaled / Save the Kids

There are practically 240 million kids with disabilities on the planet. These kids are 20 per cent much less more likely to have expectations of a greater life in comparison with kids with out disabilities. [1]

In 2016, it was estimated that globally 52.9 million kids youthful than 5 years outdated skilled a developmental incapacity, resembling sensory impairment, mental incapacity, and autism spectrum issues, and 95% of them lived low-middle revenue international locations.[2]

To alter this, kids with disabilities should be supported via early intervention and their rights to rehabilitation and assistive applied sciences should change into a actuality.

The appropriate to rehabilitation is enshrined within the UN Conference on the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities’ Article 26 on Habilitation and rehabilitation which states that:

“States Events shall (…) allow individuals with disabilities to realize and keep most independence, full bodily, psychological, social and vocational means, and full inclusion and participation in all points of life.” This could “Start on the earliest attainable stage, and are primarily based on the multidisciplinary evaluation of particular person wants and strengths;” and embody the promotion of “the supply, information and use of assistive units and applied sciences, designed for individuals with disabilities, as they relate to habilitation and rehabilitation.”

Rehabilitation means a set of interventions designed to optimize functioning and cut back incapacity in people with well being circumstances in interactions with their setting. An individual with an impairment has the precise to rehabilitation in addition to the precise to say no rehabilitation if that’s their alternative.

Assistive applied sciences (AT) is the software of organized information and abilities associated to assistive merchandise, together with methods and companies. Assistive merchandise are divided into six domains; Mobility, Imaginative and prescient, Cognition, Communication, Listening to, Setting.

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Rehabilitation and AT are a part of Common Well being Protection. In terms of kids, it’s particularly important to handle the precise to rehabilitation and assistive applied sciences as a part of early intervention programmes. These programmes determine and handle the wants of particular person kids through the prenatal interval till they flip eight years outdated.

There are numerous several types of assistive merchandise that may assist kids focus and thrive. Every kid’s wants are barely completely different – due to this fact all communities have to have  entry to a spread of high quality AT that’s domestically obtainable, applicable for the particular customers, and appropriate to be used in the environments through which they may use them. Each youngster, their household, academics and all different individuals near the kid should even be supported to keep up the assistive product.

Listed here are 3 ways through which Save the Kids has supported kids with disabilities to take pleasure in their proper to rehabilitation and AT in our programmes:


As a part of Save the Kids Colombia’s venture on optimistic parenting, now we have recognized kids with disabilities in rural communities of Nariño, a division in Colombia that continues to be closely affected by armed battle. Kids, adolescents and their households in these communities are liable to compelled displacement, compelled confinement, recruitment and use by unlawful armed teams and entry to important and primary companies is proscribed together with healthcare and medical prognosis for kids with disabilities.

Save the Kids workers, via youngster safety actions and house-to-house visits, assist determine kids with disabilities and canopy their preliminary medical consultations. 

After having their consultations and getting their measurements taken, kids are supplied with assistive merchandise resembling wheelchairs, strolling frames or mattresses. Then, kids and caregivers are supported to know how every product works and tips on how to comfortably use them along with receiving steering on tips on how to keep them.

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In Malawi, we’re implementing an inclusive early childhood and improvement programme specializing in therapeutic early stimulation of younger kids with disabilities. That is an early youngster home-based programme which is designed based on the person wants of the kid. The venture is applied along with our accomplice St John of God and goals to take away skilled  boundaries to accessing and utilizing skilled assistive applied sciences.

The venture supplies companies of physiotherapy, occupational remedy, psychosocial help resembling optimistic parenting abilities, postural tools, social intervention. The venture is supported by professionals who work to switch applicable home-based therapeutic abilities to folks and caregivers in order that kids don’t go with out necessary companies when they’re at house.

The initiative contains regular visits from professionals to make sure caregivers are doing properly and get continued help. Visits additionally embody progress monitoring companies and specialised help and referrals are supplied when wanted.


Ahmed*, 10, from Gaza misplaced the house he lived in together with his mother and father and 6 siblings because it was utterly destroyed by shelling in Could 2021. This present day, his leg was additionally injured by shrapnel. Ahmed’s* mom says that the challenges imposed by the Israeli blockade, together with the closure of crossings and the rejection of his medical referrals, delayed his important remedy and surgical procedure.

Ultimately, Ahmed* underwent three surgical procedures inside Gaza and in Egypt, however he’ll want a joint transplant as soon as he turns 16, and there are considerations that his leg might need to be amputated. Ahmed’s* household now lives in tough circumstances, in a short lived shelter. He says he lives in concern and anxiousness, and he suffers from insomnia, nightmares, and recurrent ache.

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Ahmed* outdoors his home in Gaza. Picture by Randa Ghazy/ Save the Kids.

Ahmed* says that when he grows up, he hopes to change into a health care provider and carry out surgical procedures on kids who’re in want.

By way of or accomplice in Gaza, MAAN, Save the Kids has been in a position to present Ahmed’s* household with monetary help, in addition to psychosocial help to him and his siblings. He has obtained with blankets, cushions, a closet, a heater and a medical mattress to make sure his situation isn’t made worse between rehabilitation classes and surgical procedure.


The World Well being Group estimates that as we speak, greater than 1 billion individuals want at the very least one assistive product and that this quantity will double to 2 billion by 2030.

To permit extra kids to take pleasure in their lives with out boundaries and ache, Save the Kids will proceed to help kids’s entry to identification, assessments and provision of rehabilitation and AT. Doing so is related to all our work and we imagine that everybody can contribute.

– Dad and mom and caregivers may also help by discovering out which companies can be found of their communities and convey their kids there.

– Personnel at faculties, social companies and inside the well being care system can broaden their information of early identification, screening and referral pathways.

– Organisations and repair suppliers working with kids can map out service suppliers and actively refer kids as needed for early detection and intervention.

– Worldwide actors and governments can construct partnership with knowledgeable organisations to implement and contribute to the World Well being Group’s Rehabilitation 2030 Initiative

– Humanitarian actors can guarantee to obtain and inventory the gadgets on the Priority Assistive Products List as non-food gadgets.

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