4. Capacity & Participation

Building community solutions, maximising the power of the Paralympics to overcome stigma and promoting Inclusive Design

  • Accelerate access to Assistive Technology (AT) by learning from and building the capacity of existing community-led activities
  • Build on lessons from London 2012 capturing the effect of the Paralympics on enabling a shift in attitudes
  • Work with communities and stakeholders to improve accessibility of the built environment
  • Action-research working in informal settlements in Sierra Leone and Indonesia to scope community-led solutions to AT
  • Develop mechanisms for the amplification of the views of AT users
  • Development of research in pilot countries
  • International case studies to highlight the opportunity and cost-effectiveness of Inclusive Design
  • Support ATscale the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology to catalyse change, amplify existing work, and facilitate access to AT


  • Inclusive Infrastructure: Led by GDI, ‘Inclusive Infrastructure’ is a 3-year sub-programme, which considers the idea that equal access to AT is dependent on an enabling physical environment. Engaging stakeholders who help shape the built environment, with the inclusion and participation of AT users.
  • Sports Against Stigma: Over the next four years (2020-24) ‘Overcoming Stigma through Paralympic Sport’ - led by Loughborough University - will build on lessons learned from London 2012. The programme will use a four-pillar approach towards overcoming the role of stigma in the adoption of AT, consisting of education, athlete development, Paralympic broadcast and action research activities.
  • Global Partnerships: This sub-programme captures the work that GDI Hub is doing to ensure that partnerships and networks are solidified globally in the effort to ensure that assistive technology reaches those that need it. To support the wider AT2030 programme, several partnerships have developed.
  • Build capacity and participation: To learn from and build the capacity of existing community-led activities, this sub-programme will undertake action research working in informal settlements in Sierra Leone and Indonesia. Scoping of community-led solutions to AT, researching community-led practice; and developing mechanisms for the amplification of the views of AT users to inform the rest of the programme, this sub-programme is led by the Development Planning Unit at UCL with input from Leonard Cheshire.


  • Disability, inclusion and cities: can COVID-19 trigger change?

    Dr Ignacia Ossul Vermehren, Julian Walker, UCL, Development Planning Unit (DPU), Hawanatu Bangura, SLURC, Yirah O’Conteh, FEDURP, Nina Asterina, Kota Kita, Kesuma Anugerah Yanti, Kaki Kota
    Oct. 1, 2020

    COVID-19 has exacerbated the disadvantages experienced by people with disabilities in low-income communities of the global South. Here, the authors explain how urban community organisations are offering effective short-term support and inspiring inclusive longer-term strategies.

  • Gender and disability in informal settlements during COVID-19: What we have learnt so far

    Dr Ignacia Ossul Vermehren
    June 30, 2020

    Dr Ignacia Ossul Vermehren discussed gender and disability in informal settlements during COVID-19. and sheds a ligh on what we've learnt so far.

  • Celebrating International Disability Day in Sierra Leone

    Vicki Austin, Global Disability Innovation Hub
    Dec. 4, 2019

    Vicki shares her reflections of her experience in Freetown to celebrate International Disability Day (as it is called in Sierra Leone) with the communities for the first time.

  • Life Changing Assistive Technology for All in Freetown and Banjarmasin

    Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre, Hawanatu Bangura
    Oct. 6, 2019

    Hawanatu gives an overview of a two-week workshop held in Banjarmasin in May 2019 with a team from UCL (UK), Kota Kita and Kaki Kota (Indonesia), and SLURC (Sierra Leone) as part of the project. The workshop started with site visits to the two communities (Pelambuan and Kelayan) in Banjarmasin where the AT2030 would be implemented. Participants then introduced useful presentations on the wider AT2030 project, disability, AT and informality between the two countries (Indonesia and Sierra Leone).


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Julian Walker

Associate Professor at UCL
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Iain McKinnon

Co-founder and Director of Operations & Inclusive Design
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Braima Koroma

Director of Research and Training
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Sulaiman F Kamara

Research and Community Officer
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Fitria Eka Ramadhini

Research Assistant
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Dr. Abdulaya Dumbuya

Head of Dorothy Springer Trust, Sierra Leone
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Ahmad Rifai

Executive Director
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Fuad Jamil (AA)

Community engagement facilitator
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Nina Asterina

Researcher and project manager
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Kesuma Anugerah Yanti

Research Assistant