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Themes: Assistive & Accessible Technology

Special Issue of 'Sustainability' journal to be guest edited by GDI Hub

This September Global Disability Innovation Hub is delighted to announce that GDI Hub's Dr Maria Kett, Academic Director Professor Catherine Holloway and CEO Vicki Austin will be guest editing a special edition of the journal Sustainability on 'Critical junctures in Assistive Technology and Disability Inclusion'.

Recent world events have highlighted the potential for a transformation in the way we live and work, with technology playing a key role in these changing environments. They have also highlighted huge inequalities and cracks with supply chains which leave systems vulnerable to shocks. Persons with disabilities, who make up around 15% of the world’s population, already face barriers to accessing education, employment, healthcare and other services.

In this Special Edition, we will focus on assistive technology - the technology used by persons with disabilities - to bridge accessibility gaps in mainstream digital and physical environments. People with disabilities have been shown to be disproportionately affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, as is the case in many humanitarian settings.

There is a growing movement of activity globally to better understand how assistive technology systems and services can be better designed to enable more robust and equitable access to all. Next year, the WHO will publish a World Report on Access to Assistive Technology. Ahead of that, this Special Issue explores how opportunities from recent critical junctures can be harnessed to ensure disability inclusion.

Call for papers

We welcome papers which will help to support the World Report and the ongoing discussion and are seeking submissions on topics including:

  • AT, disability and development in a post-COVID world
  • The role of AT in disrupting the status quo
  • Sustainability of AT supply chains
  • Sustainable design of assistive products and services
  • Local solutions and production of AT
  • Social networks as drivers for change
  • Digital accessibility for sustainability
  • AT innovation for sustainability

Papers should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website.

Deadline 31 May 2021.


The special edition of Sustainability will be published in September along the Tokyo Paralympic Games. If you wish to discuss a submission or find out more please contact Dr Maria Kett at