UNICEF UK President Olivia Colman visits UNICEF and advocates for disability inclusion
Since the inclusion of assistive technology into its Supply Catalogue, UNICEF has procured and shipped thousands of supply items for children with disabilities.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated on 3 December, is an opportunity to shine a light on assistive technology, supportive devices like wheelchairs and hearing aids that change the lives of children with disabilities, allowing all children, no matter their disability, to learn, play, participate and become active members of their societies.
“For every child means, for every child, no matter the gender, legal status, or ability. Inclusion only happens when children with disabilities are supported with accessible supplies, to not only survive, but also thrive.”
Oscar-winning actor Olivia Colman recently visited the largest humanitarian warehouse in the world, the UNICEF Global Supply and Logistics Hub in Copenhagen, Denmark. She learned about UNICEF’s accessible supplies and how they are supporting children with disabilities worldwide. As the UNICEF UK President, Olivia helps raise awareness of and advocate children’s rights.
Olivia met with UNICEF supply experts who work in innovation and assistive technology and witnessed the wheelchairs, hearing aids and other assistive products UNICEF delivers to children around the world.
UNICEF has recently included several new assistive products into its Supply Catalogue, including 15 different types of wheelchairs, 5 types of hearing aids, as well as 2 types of disability-friendly latrines. Other assistive devices are incorporated into standard supply products, such as braille and bells added to education and recreation supplies including the so-called School-in-a-Box that is shipped to emergency settings around the world.
UNICEF Supply Division drives the process of introducing assistive technology to countries worldwide. The team is dedicated to identifying, developing, and scaling fit-for-purpose and value-for-money products that respond to the unmet needs of children.
Thousands of items that support children in their daily lives have been procured and shipped, including:
- 5,775 wheelchairs for 17 countries (since late 2021)
- 4,353 hearing aids for 6 countries (since late 2021)
- 1,589 disability-friendly latrines for 16 countries (since 2019)
- And thousands of School-in-a-Box kits are purchased every year, all with inclusive elements to support children with learning challenges.