International Day of People With Disabilities 2020

Elsevier, 13th November 2020

December 3rd is the International Day of People With Disabilities (IDPWD). In support of this year's theme - 'Not all Disabilities are Visible' - Elsevier presents presents a curated, open access collection of over 50 journal articles and book chapters focused on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities, many of which are not immediately apparent. This includes mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others. 

According to the WHO World Report on Disability, 15 per cent of the world’s population, or more than 1 billion people, are living with disability. Of this number, it’s estimated 450 million are living with a mental or neurological condition— and two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical help, largely due to stigma, discrimination and neglect. 

Another 69 million individuals are estimated to sustain Traumatic Brain Injuries each year worldwide, while one in 160 children are identified as on the autism spectrum. 

These are just some examples of the millions of people currently living with a disability that is not immediately visible, and a reminder of the importance of removing barriers for all people living with disability, both visible and invisible. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disconnect, disrupted routines and diminished services have greatly impacted the lives and mental well-being of people with disabilities right around the world. Spreading awareness of invisible disabilities, as well as these potentially detrimental impacts to mental health, is crucial as the world continues to fight against the virus. 


Neuron, Volume 100, Issue 2, 24 October 2018, Pages 406-423

This journal article addresses SDG 3 by discussing neurodevelopmental disorders that manifest in early childhood, with a focus on genetics.

Neuron, Volume 101, Issue 5, 6 March 2019, Pages 820-838

This journal article addresses SDG 3 by discussing the genetic basis of Alzheimer's disease, among the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders, whose prevalence is only increasing as the global population ages.

Elsevier Connect, June 3rd 2020

A civil engineer/cyclist helps his research team understand challenges faced by cyclists with disabilities, addressing SDG 3 and 10.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 120, March 2020, 109663

Smart home technologies refer to devices that provide some degree of digitally connected, automated, or enhanced services, but are not always well tailored for all, such as those with disabilities. This article links to SDGs 3, 9 and 10.

Journal of Transport & Health, Volume 18, September 2020, 100913

Transport, a well-recognised determinant of health, is particularly salient to well-being and equitable health outcomes amongst older people and people living with disabilities living in low-and middle-income countries. Contributing to SDGs 3, 10 and 11, this study explores the facilitators and barriers for safe and accessible transportation from the perspectives of older people and those living with disabilities in Sri Lanka.

Journal of Air Transport Management, Volume 87, August 2020, 101851

Passengers requiring special assistance are one of the fastest growing passenger segments worldwide. However there is no set of global standards for disabled air passenger rights. Contributing to SDGs 3 and 10, this article discusses the implications for consumers, airlines and airport operators.

Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, Volume 62, September 2020, 102099

Contributing to SDG 3, this study explores how machine learning can be used to compare connectivity and network measures in the study of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, Volume 62, September 2020, 102098

Contributing to SDG 3, this study looks at magnetic field strength in MRI imaging for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) tests.

Journal of Transport Geography, Volume 87, July 2020, 102818

Contributing to SDGs 5, 8 and 10, this article compares wages and commute times between workers with and without disabilities in the New York metropolitan region and identifies the intraurban zones where residents experience higher inequities in wage earnings and commute times.

Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, Volume 57, March 2020, 101759

Clinical assessment of speech abnormalities in Cerebellar Ataxia (CA) is subjective and prone to intra- and inter-clinician inconsistencies. Contributing to SDGs 3 and 10, this paper presents an automated objective method based on a single syllable repetition task to detect and quantify speech-timing anomalies in ataxic speech. Such a technique is non-invasive, reliable, fast, cost-effective and can be used in the comfort of home without any professional assistance.