Disability Inclusion Helpdesk evidence digest highlights the latest evidence, guidance, and programme learning on inclusive education. Within it you’ll also find the latest evidence, guidance and policy news on a range of other disability inclusion topics including stigma, discrimination, and violence; poverty, social protection, and employment; inclusive health systems; and disability inclusion in humanitarian settings.
Early childhood education has the potential to expand opportunities for disadvantaged children, provided that programmes use inclusion as a guiding principle. While the international community has committed to inclusive education, countries vary in their efforts to extend this goal to early childhood. Universal access is the basis of inclusion, and countries must address barriers related to socio-economic status, ethnicity, gender, language, disability and remoteness. Cooperation among multiple actors to identify special needs early and provide integrated services is needed, as are inclusive curricula that support children’s socioemotional development and identity formation. Finally, educators must be given the knowledge, training, and support to implement inclusive practices and work with families from all backgrounds
Policy paper 46.
This report documents the experience of exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences reveal pre-existing structural inequalities that affected the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families before COVID-19, during the pandemic, and beyond, and this report raises up the voices of those most excluded in a time of global crisis and demands an inclusive COVID-19 recovery.
This report includes the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and families across eight different issue areas. Across these themes, we examined how and why people with intellectual disabilities were left out and excluded in pandemic responses, what pre-existing conditions and inequalities contributed to their vulnerability and exclusion, and how future policy structures could begin to address both this immediate and systemic exclusion.
Together, these experiences and policy solutions form our global agenda for inclusive COVID-19 recovery, an action plan to ensure that government efforts to ‘build back better’ are inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. To better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted in Kenya as part of the Inclusion Works programme.
This qualitative study was undertaken as part of the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funded Inclusion Works programme which aims to improve inclusive employment for people with disabilities in four countries: Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in 2020 the work of this consortium programme was adapted to focus on pandemic relief and research activities, while some other planned work was not possible.
This qualitative study was undertaken as part of the work of the FCDO funded Inclusion Works programme which aims to improve inclusive employment for people with disabilities in four countries: Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in 2020 the work of this consortium programme was adapted to focus on pandemic relief and research activities, while other planned worked was not possible.
The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) led a piece of qualitative research to explore the experiences and perceptions of the pandemic and related lockdowns in each country, using a narrative interview approach, which asks people to tell their stories, following up with some further questions once they have identified their priorities to talk about. 10 people with disabilities who were involved in Inclusion Works in each country were purposively selected to take part, each being invited to have two interviews with an interval of one or two months in between, in order to capture changes in their situation over time. The 10 interviewees had a range of impairments, were gender balanced and were various ages, as well as having differing living and working situations.
The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. In order to better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted as part of the Inclusion Works programme in Bangladesh.
An overview of social protection measures announced in response to COVID-19 that have made specific reference to persons with disabilities. Rather than seeking to provide an exhaustive survey of measures, it identifies the main characteristics and trends for social protection responses that specifically sought to support persons with disabilities during the crisis. This brief focuses on specific crisis response measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledging that persons with disabilities also benefited from access to health care and income support provided through pre-existing social protection schemes and programmes. The document provides an update to an initial analysis in May 2020 (UNPRPD, 2020).
This overview draws on a database of social protection measures specifically relating to disability, which is provided as an Annex to this paper.
The partnership of UNFPA with This-Ability Trust, an organization that advances disability rights and inclusion by working with groups, to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services for women and girls with disabilities is reported. The partnership, which has reached 12,000 people in eight counties, also educates both recipients and caregivers on menstrual health management when distributing dignity kits with washable sanitary pads. The report highlights Mombasa-based Ms. Wanjiru who runs a group for persons with disabilities that includes a programme on sexuality for young women, whose families and caregivers are often uncomfortable discussing menstrual hygiene
Employment contributes to well-being and dignity. Additionally, it can break the vicious cycle of poverty and the resulting negative mental health. However, nearly two-thirds of persons with disabilities aged 15 years and over are unemployed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The ratio of persons with disabilities in employment compared to the general population in employment is almost half. Furthermore, among people with disabilities who are employed, two-thirds continue to experience workplace barriers. Inequality and discrimination in employment deprive persons with disabilities of their rights. Goal 8 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly calls for “promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.” The United Nations’ ‘Disability and Development’ report highlights the international frameworks relevant to optimize opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in employment, to achieve Goal 8. This brief will provide an overview of the available literature on LMICs’ efforts to promote inclusive employment underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) framework.
Stigma refers to the labelling of an individual or group of people in a way that ultimately denies them full social acceptance and equality of opportunity, and is often the root cause of discrimination and exclusion experienced by people with disabilities. The negative implications of stigma are far-reaching and profound, including limiting opportunities for accessing health care, education or livelihoods; affecting quality of life and wellbeing, and increasing the risk of violence and abuse. Stigma is intersectional, meaning that women and girls with disabilities often experience several layers of discrimination, on account of both their disability and their gender. Reducing stigma experienced by women and girls with disabilities is therefore critical to supporting their full inclusion in society on an equal basis as others.
Evidence was reviewed and recomendations are provided.
This report documents the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during COVID-19 and proposes a global agenda for inclusive COVID recovery developed by Inclusion International’s membership. The global agenda is a set of imperatives for policy and programming to ensure that “building back better” creates a more inclusive world.
The right to the highest attainable standard of health is fundamental, as health is a precondition for equal participation in society. People with disabilities continue to experience discrimination, barriers and rights violations in their access to health. This Issue Brief outlines how governments, international organisations and development actors can mainstream disability inclusion into their health strategies, services and interventions.
This systematic literature review was undertaken to understand the extent, quality and findings of published and unpublished literature on interventions designed to tackle disability-related stigma and discrimination in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.
The primary focus of this review was to identify studies that describe the effectiveness of interventions to tackle disability-related stigma and discrimination. The secondary set of objectives focused on understanding the individual, interpersonal, organisational, community and public policy factors that are associated with stigma and discrimination.
The Global Leprosy Strategy 2021–2030 “Towards zero leprosy” was developed through a broad consultative process with all major stakeholders during 2019 and 2020. Valuable inputs were provided by national leprosy programme managers, technical agencies, public health and leprosy experts, funding agencies and persons or members of communities directly affected by leprosy.
The Strategy aims to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It is structured along four pillars:
(i) implement integrated, country-owned zero leprosy road maps in all endemic countries;
(ii) scale up leprosy prevention alongside integrated active case detection;
(iii) manage leprosy and its complications and prevent new disability; and
(iv) combat stigma and ensure human rights are respected. Interruption of transmission and elimination of disease are at the core of the Strategy
Rehabilitation is described as a set of measures to optimise the functioning of individuals, and is important for wellbeing, participation and quality of life. Rehabilitation includes diagnosis, treatments, surgeries, assistive devices and therapies. Not all people who need rehabilitation are people with disabilities, and not all people with disabilities need rehabilitation. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently estimated that 1 in 3 people globally (2.41 billion people) would benefit from rehabilitation: this number has increased nearly two thirds since 1990, due to population growth and increase in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). In contrast, there are estimated to be less than 10 skilled rehabilitation practitioners per million population in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), and only 5 – 15% of people in need of assistive devices are thought to have received them.
Evidence is reviewed and recommendations provided
This is an updated evidence review looking at the evidence on factors affecting access to and uptake of family planning for women and girls with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries and the evidence on good practice on increasing full free and informed contraceptive choice for women and girls with disabilities.
1) What is the evidence on factors affecting access to and uptake of family planning for women and girls with disabilities in low and middle income countries, highlighting examples from FP2020 commitment-making countries?
2) What is the evidence on good practice on increasing full free and informed contraceptive choice for women and girls with disabilities – from the same countries or elsewhere?
Compared with other children, children with disabilities are less likely to receive an education, less likely to be employed as adults, more likely to be victims of violence, less likely to start their own families and participate in community events, and more likely to live in poverty.
The exclusion of children with disabilities affects not only them, but imposes costs on the whole community. If these children lack the opportunity to be productive, society loses out on what they could have produced. The barriers faced by people with disabilities can also create more responsibilities for their family members, which can limit their opportunities to work or get an education.
Moreover, the impact of exclusion extends beyond the economic cost. If people with disabilities are absent from public discourse, the community cannot benefit from their ideas. If they are excluded from political participation, the government cannot truly represent the interests of all citizens.
A growing body of research suggests that the costs of exclusion are high. Fortunately, evidence also demonstrates that there are effective ways to ameliorate these costs. A strong case can be made for the social and economic benefits of inclusion. This paper is an effort to begin making that case.
COVID-19 is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic and responses to it. The aim of this research was to better understand how people with disabilities who are often excluded from research have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh and Nepal. In order to better understand how it has affected some of the most marginalised groups of people with disabilities, this study used in-depth qualitative research to focus on people with intellectual, psychosocial, deafblindness and other multiple impairments.
আমরা বাংলাদেশে (20 জন লোক) এবং নেপালে (15 জন লোক) বসবাসরত 35টি ডিজেবলড লোকদেরকে কোভিড-19 প্রাদুর্ভাব চলাকালীন সময়ে তাদের জীবন সম্পর্কে জিজ্ঞাসা করেছি। তাদের মধ্যে বধিরতা, নেত্রহীনতা, বৌদ্ধিক ডিজেবিলিটি এবং মানসিক ডিজেবিলিটি’র মতন বিভিন্ন ধরণের ডিজেবিলিটি রয়েছে। তাদেরকে জিজ্ঞাসা করার প্রধান কারণ হল যে প্রায়শই তাদেরকে তাদের জীবন সম্পর্কে কিছুই জিজ্ঞাসা করা হয় না। আমরা ডিজেবলড বাচ্চাদের বাবা-মাদেরকেও তাদের অভিজ্ঞতা সম্পর্কে জিজ্ঞাসা করেছি।
हामीले बङ्गलादेश (20 जना मानिस) र नेपाल (15 जना मानिस) मा अपाङ्गता भएका 35 जना व्यक्तिलाई कोभिड-19 को प्रकोपको समयमा आफ्नो जीवन बारे हामीलाई बताउन अनुरोध गर्यौं। उहाँहरूलाई वणदृष्टिविहीन, बौद्धिक अपाङ्गता र मनोसामाजिक अपाङ्गता जस्ता विभिन्न अपाङ्गता थिए। उहाँहरूलाई प्रायः आफ्नो जीवन बारे नसोधिने भएकोले हामी उहाँहरूलाई सोध्न चाहन्थ्यौं। हामीले अपाङ्गता भएका बालबालिकाका आमाबुवाहरूलाई पनि सोध्यौं।
Developed by Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice (SPACE) in collaboration with the UNPRPD joint program on inclusive Social Protection, the UNPRPD global initiative on COVID 19 inclusive response and recovery, and Humanity & Inclusion.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that countries which have disability identification mechanisms and registries already in place have been in a better position to provide fast relief and expand shock responsive support to persons with disabilities and their families.
This guidance note includes:
- Brief introduction to the definitions and terminology surrounding disability and the concept of inclusive social protection
- Summary of the rationale for the inclusion of persons with disability in social protection programming
- Examples for overcoming the challenges for outreach, identification, and registration, and needs assessment
- Some country examples
- Overall implications for future programming.
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion