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New and Newsworthy

     Disabled People’s International (DPI) has recently joined hands with the CBR Global Network (CGN) to undertake a campaign for the inclusion of disability in two very important goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will map the course of the future global development agenda.
     Below is a link to read a letter that has already been sent to the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon requesting for his intervention on the matter. We are hopeful that this issue will be taken up in the Post 2015 negotiation meetings
     For more information on this campaign please write to Disabled People's International at 

Click here to read the letter sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon 


Wheelchair Facts

According to the World Health Organization, a wheelchair is appropriate when it:
• meets the user’s needs and environmental conditions;
• provides proper fit and postural support;
• is safe and durable;
• is available in the country; and
• can be obtained, maintained and services sustained in the country at an affordable cost.

From the World Health Organization's "Guidlines for the Provision of Manual Wheelchairs in Less-resourced Settings"

Organization Spotlight

Tasmin Langford, Head of Programs
Mission and Background:

     In 1989, Royal College of Art students David Constantine and Simon Gue entered a competition to design a wheelchair suitable for use in developing countries. Robust enough to cope with rough terrain and made from local and affordable materials, their prototype won. The pair used the prize money to travel to Bangladesh where, along with Richard Frost, they built their wheelchair for the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Dhaka. Seeing how an appropriate wheelchair could transform the lives of people living in Bangladesh, the team committed themselves to designing pioneering solutions to ensure more people in some of the world’s poorest countries could enjoy a better quality of life. In 1991, the team set up Motivation, raised funds in the UK and started their first wheelchair workshop in Bangladesh. 
     Since 199,1 Motivation programmes have directly supported over 180,000 people across five continents, but the organisation’s influence can be felt much wider, having played an important role in developing the WHO ‘Guidelines on the provision of Manual Wheelchairs in less resourced settings’.
     While wheelchairs are at our heart, our work is so much more than just getting people mobile. It’s about setting individuals on a journey to a healthy and fulfilling life, where they can participate in all aspects of society. For example, helping disabled children attain an education; empowering disabled adults to enter the workforce; encouraging prosperous and inclusive communities; and challenging stigma and breaking down the barriers that prevent disabled people from living full and meaningful lives. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities around the world by addressing their survival, mobility, empowerment and inclusion. At the same time we recognize that to achieve more we must work in collaboration. We therefore aim to influence sustainable change by engaging with governments, funders and other global humanitarian organisations to use the WHO guidelines as the standard in wheelchair provision and training. 

What is Motivation currently working on?
     Motivation currently has programmes in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, where we are collaborating with a wide range of partners including disabled people’s organisations, wheelchair services, INGOs such as Handicap International, International Committee for the Red Cross, Johanniter International, major corporations such as Ottobock, humanitarian organisations including LDS and Free Wheelchair Mission. We also work very closely with governments to try and bring able sustainable change. Most recently we have been collaborating with the Governments of India, China and Brazil to build capacity and deliver long term change.  

What do you think the advantages are of being a part of a global collaboration network, like ISWP?
     These are exciting times for the wheelchair sector and we are delighted to see the emergence of the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals. It’s what the sector has been crying out for many years and so it is vitally important that the key stakeholders, including Motivation, work together and get it right. This new body has the potential to transform the sector, to provide the necessary platform to bring the main actors and voices together as one.
     It’s a chance to not only lobby governments and put wheelchair users at the forefront of international development policy, but it’s a unique opportunity for all parties to come together and share their experiences and expertise, to collaborate and develop the best possible solutions for disabled people. It is only by collaborating that we can achieve real and significant impact and it is Motivation’s hope that this new movement will see a coordinated effort to roll out the WHO guidelines and eventually see more disabled people receive the right chair in the right way.


Upcoming Events

-April 7th: IDEA TO IMPACT:D-rev and Brilliance:A Case Study in Advancing Global Health Technology. For more information or to RSVP click here
-April 13th-15th: Disability Policy Seminar, Washington D.C. For more information or to register click here
-April 23rd-24th: Elijah's First International Postural Care Conference, Bristol, U.K. For more information click here

Do you have an event, story or organization you would like to see highlighted in an upcoming newsletter? If so, feel free to contact ISWP!
Copyright © 2015 International Society of Wheelchair Professionals, All rights reserved.

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