I am very excited to announce that this week’s installment of Organizational Spotlight will be a sneak-peek into my systematic review of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide that work with people with disabilities! This review was conducted in hopes of finding areas of the world where support for people with disabilities, especially those who are deaf or hard of hearing, is lacking, as well as regions where NGOs are doing a sufficient job tackling the needs of this population. By doing this, I hope to provide DOW with a better understanding of the landscape of NGO support for people with disabilities worldwide. There was a total of 177 NGOs identified across North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, and Australia, all of which were found through a series of google searches. Out of all of the organizations identified, 59 work in North America, 54 in Asia, 40 in Europe, 38 in Africa, 21 in South America, and 16 in Australia. Also, out of the 38 NGOs that work in Africa, 10 of them work in Eswatini!
To break it up even further, I looked specifically at a range of sectors that NGOs focus on in each of these regions. The data collected on these NGOs was split up by their focus sectors and the five that were focused on in this review were equal rights, education, access, research and development, and employment. To give you a preview of the data collected, in North America, 17 organizations focus on equal rights, 13 on education, 13 on access, 11 on research and development, and 5 on employment.
In Asia, 22 focus on equal rights, 14 on education, 10 on access, 8 on employment, and 4 on research and development.
In Europe, 16 focus on equal rights, 9 on education, 8 on access, 5 on employment, and 3 on research and development.
In Africa, 14 focus on equal rights, 13 on education, 7 on access, 3 on research and development, and 3 on employment.
In South America, 8 focus on equal rights, 5 on education, 4 on access, 3 on research and development, and 1 on employment.
In Australia, the continent with the lowest number of NGOs identified, 5 focus on equal rights, 3 on access, 1 on education, 1 on research and development, and 1 on employment.
As a disclaimer, of the 16 non-governmental organizations identified that work in Australia, many of them say that they work to “support” people with disabilities. However, with this focus, a great number of them either do not give a certain focus sector or their focus sector is not one of the major five that this systematic review addressed. Therefore, the results of the organizations working on this continent might be slightly skewed.
Out of all of the NGOs identified, 60 of them work with deaf or hard of hearing youth. That is just under 34% of the organizations identified, which is not a poor starting number. However, only 22 of these organizations work with deaf or hard of hearing youth with a focus on education, which is only 12.4% of the total number of organizations identified. The lack of organizations working to assist this demographic in this sector makes the work that we do here at DOW that much more meaningful. We are working to facilitate a feat that few others are currently attempting to tackle and want our work to result in world where deaf youth have quality access to education and are equipped with the skills and resources required for successful employment as they navigate adulthood. Also, out of the 10 NGOs that work in Eswatini, only one of them works with deaf or hard of hearing persons in the country. However, this organization, called the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), focuses on equal access in all aspects of life in hopes of erasing exclusion compared to Deaf Open World’s focus on education. Based on the data collected from this systematic review, it is evident that there is tremendous room for improvement in the access and quality of education for deaf and hard of hearing youth worldwide. This is why the work done by Deaf Open World as well as other NGOs similar to us is so important. Through the work of DOW, Deaf Education and Arts for African Families (DEAAF), Aurora Deaf Aid Africa (ADAA), and Enabling Education Network (EENET), as highlighted in other installments of Organizational Spotlight, we can help the world of education for deaf and hard of hearing persons move toward a better tomorrow.
Look out for more updates on my systematic review in the near future!
For additional information about DEAAF, ADAA, and EENET, please refer to the past three installments of Organizational Spotlight.