Living with a disability is a challenge wherever you are, but living with a disability in developing country is, for many people, a daily struggle for survival. This is what drives the Motivation Australia team to improve and expand our work.

In places with fewer resources, health services are often far away, don’t have enough trained staff and lack the supplies to provide the health care that people need. Complications that are easily preventable with the right device or service, risk peoples’ lives everyday. Women are triply disadvantaged as they often also contend with the gender prejudices of society, further limiting their opportunities to access health, education and livelihoods.

Children with disabilities are also vulnerable and experience significant disadvantage through inadequate access to health care; reduced access to education; increased likelihood of living in a cycle of poverty; negative attitudes; and limited opportunities for participation in their community.

In the next decade, many countries will be caught in the rising tide of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases that is sweeping through our region. As these young populations age, the pressure on the health systems will be enormous. The personal tragedy will touch every family, and the cost of health care will be crippling. However it doesn’t have to be that way, and here’s why…

3 icons for health and rehabilitation, Assistive Technology and inclusion

Accessing the right Assistive Technology when you need it can save your life. If it’s vital to you, and you don’t have it, it can have a significant impact on your ability to participate in all aspects of daily life. Think about what you’d need to get to work if you couldn’t walk? Or, about how children attend school if they can’t hear or see? Or, about the thousands of people with diabetes having amputations, for want of a simple intervention. It’s a matter of you getting the right assistive device when you need it. This sounds simple, right? but it isn’t.

There’s no point in us just giving out things and hoping it’s going to make a long term difference. We want to create positive and lasting change for people with disabilities. Not only do you have to have a supply of appropriate devices, but it’s really important that they are provided through an individual assessment of your needs, by someone with the training to make sure you understand how to use and look after it. Wherever you live, the best people to provide those services to you, are local people just like you.

Motivation Australia is a development organisation, which means that we train and equip local organisations to provide the health care services and assistive devices that people living in places with fewer resources desperately need. These local organisations work with people with disabilities, NCDs, the frail aged and other vulnerable groups to understand their needs and provide the supports they need, not only to survive, but to thrive. If you think that’s pretty cool, try supporting us by becoming a member or making a donation. Read more about our development approach, we start with the fundamental idea that everyone is equal.