Many disabled persons require technical aids. In some countries the technology needed to produce such items is well developed, and highly sophisticated devices are manufactured to assist the mobility, communication and daily living of disabled individuals. The costs of such items are high, however, and only a few countries are able to provide such equipment. Other people need only simple equipment to facilitate mobility, communication and daily living but, although such aids are produced and available in some countries, in many other countries they cannot be obtained because of a lack of their availability and/or of high cost. Insufficient attention is being given to the design of simpler, less expensive devices, with local methods of production which are more easily adapted to the country concerned, more appropriate to the needs of most disabled persons and more readily available to them. The insufficiency of technical aids is matched by an insufficiency of infra-structure of rehabilitation therapists who can provide training in the use of such aids.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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