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


  • 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.
  • Para Sport Against Stigma: Over the next four years (2020-24) Para Sport Against Stigma - 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Innovation Action Insights Podcast Cover Image

    Innovation Podcast

    Global Disability Innovation Hub, University College London, Giulia Barbareschi, Government of Kenya, ALL Institute (Maynooth University), UK Aid, UCL, Rhys Williams, Dr Rhys Williams, Institute of Making
    Feb. 15, 2021

    A podcast featuring interviews and stories from the brains behind the disruptive and cutting-edge innovations that are aiming to impact the lives of millions of people living in different areas of the world.

  • Man using an assistive tech device in the centre of playground with young people playing football behind him Cover Image

    International Day of Persons with Disabilities in informal settlements in Sierra Leone and Indonesia

    Dr Ignacia Ossul Vermehren, UCL, Nina Asterina, Kota Kita, Hawanatu Bangura, SLURC
    Dec. 3, 2020
    Sierra Leone, Indonesia

    The 3rd of December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We reflect on this year’s theme “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World” through DPU’s research “AT2030: Community led solutions” in informal settlements Sierra Leone and Indonesia.

  • Susiana, her mother and daughter in a low-income neighbourhood in Indonesia. Cover Image

    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.

  • Back of woman in Sierra Leone Cover Image

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

    Dr Ignacia Ossul Vermehren
    June 30, 2020
    Sierra Leone, Indonesia, Chile

    On Tuesday 11th February, we held an event on The Politics of Making Disability Visible in Community-led Urban Research as part of the Dialogues in Development series at The Bartlett Developing and Planning Unit (UCL). The aim of the event was to share reflections and learnings from the action-research project "Community-led solution: Assistive Technologies in Informal Settlements– an ongoing research project in four low-income urban communities: two in Freetown, Sierra Leone and two in Banjarmasin, Indonesia. Dr Ignacia Ossul Vermehren discussed gender and disability in informal settlements during COVID-19. and sheds a light on what we've learnt so far.

  • Asmana stting in a wheelchair, smiling . He is in front of a taxi. Cover Image

    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.


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Fuad Jamil (AA)

Community Engagement Facilitator
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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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Vindi Kurniawan

Former Researcher
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Dr. Abdulaya Dumbuya

Head of Dorothy Springer Trust, Sierra Leone
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Nina Asterina

Researcher & Project Manager
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Ahmad Rifai

Co-Founder & Executive Director
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Kesuma Anugerah Yanti

Research Assistant