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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Digital information systems serving the social protection sector, and especially social assistance, are increasingly prominent and will continue to be, as is the case within all other sectors. “Why? Because the ability of a country to care for its people and respond to their lifecycle needs depends on its ability to identify those who are in need, enroll them, provide tailored benefits and services, and follow up to cater to evolving circumstances”. Governments also need to be able to monitor programme implementation and impact, feeding into longer-term decisions on design and resource allocation. “All of these actions require accessible, dynamic and real-time data and information exchange if the goal of universal coverage is to be achieved” (Chirchir and Barca, 2019).
The coverage (% of the population included in the information system), relevance (amount/type of data they store), and accessibility (e.g. level of interoperability/data sharing across the government data ecosystem) of these administrative data systems has also been increasing in many countries – posing important opportunities and challenges to policy-makers. The question is how to develop these systems in a way that is inclusive and right-based, leveraging technology “to ensure a higher standard of living for the vulnerable and disadvantaged” (Alston, 2019) rather than becoming a further barrier to inclusion. To illustrate the point this paper specifically focuses on gender and disability inclusion, while acknowledging similar considerations apply to all other forms of (intersectional) exclusion.
In December 2020, IDA coordinated with local and regional partners 4 (four) GDS consultations involving persons with disabilities in Africa, Latin America and Asia. These were the beginning of a series of more than 20 workshops that IDA is planning with partner organizations in different parts of the world, to assess progress made against national commitments adopted in 2018, discuss thematic priorities, and plan events, discussions and training for the run-up to the main GDS event in Oslo.
In total, consultations have been carried in 15 countries with more than 100 participants, reaching 5 (five) underrepresented groups: persons with intellectual & psychosocial disabilities, indigenous persons with disabilities, youth, and women
Health system strengthening refers to initiatives that improve one or more functions of health systems, leading to better health. There is a large body of evidence on what works to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), much of which is aligned to the World Health Organization (WHO) health system building blocks (service delivery; health workforce; information; medical products, vaccines and technologies; financing; and leadership/governance). Despite the fact that some people with disabilities have additional health needs, and many face additional barriers to accessing healthcare, inclusion of people with disabilities is largely missing from this evidence base. Separately, a smaller evidence base exists on increasing the effectiveness of specific health-related services targeting people with disabilities, such as health-related Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), rehabilitation services more broadly, and mental health services. This second evidence base is less closely aligned to the building blocks. Reviewing these outputs in parallel goes some way towards identifying effective strategies for strengthening health systems for disability inclusive development.
The road map sets global targets and milestones to prevent, control, eliminate or eradicate 20 diseases and disease groups as well as cross-cutting targets aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. Three foundational pillars will support global efforts to achieve the targets: accelerate programmatic action (pillar 1), intensify cross-cutting approaches (pillar 2) and change operating models and culture to facilitate country ownership (pillar 3).
The disease summaries annexed to the road map detail the current epidemiological status and burden of disease, core strategic interventions and progress towards the 2020 targets of the previous road map. The targets, sub-targets and milestones for 2030, and the critical actions required to achieve them, were used to generate the evidence in the road map document endorsed by the World Health AssemblY
The World Report on Hearing (WRH) has been developed in response to the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA70.13), adopted in 2017 as a means of providing guidance for Member States to integrate ear and hearing care into their national health plans.
Based on the best available evidence, this report presents epidemiological and financial data on hearing loss; outlines available cost-effective solutions and sets the way forward through ‘Integrated people-centered ear and hearing care’ (IPC-EHC). The report proposes a set of key H.E.A.R.I.N.G. interventions that must be delivered through a strengthened health system to realize the vision of IPC-EHC.
The WRH was developed in collaboration with experts and stakeholders in the field of ear and hearing care who informed the report’s strategic direction and ensured that it reflects a range of cultural contexts and approaches to hearing care. The report is global in its reach while keeping a special focus on low- and middle-income countries, where the number of people with hearing loss is not matched by the availability of services and resources.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, children with disabilities were among the most disadvantaged, facing increased exposure to abuse and discrimination and reduced access to services in many parts of the world. Understanding these pre-existing vulnerabilities can help anticipate how the COVID-19 pandemic could sharpen existing inequities and can shed light on where targeted efforts may be required.
The publication below draws on pre-COVID data to highlight how children with disabilities face greater risks in the midst of this pandemic. It documents what has happened to services for children and adults with disabilities across the world and includes examples of what has been done to address disruptions in services. It also discusses the challenges in generating disability-inclusive data during the pandemic.
Inclusivity is a key element to exceptional travel experiences – enabling individuals all over the world to experience diverse countries, cultures and opportunities. Yet often, disability inclusion is not at the forefront of travel products and services.
This report will support travel providers to understand why disability inclusion matters to the industry whilst celebrating and learning from providers already striving to be more inclusive through their innovative practices
To gather stories and examples of best practice from within the travel industry, we developed a “Call for Case Studies” survey which was distributed to both Leonard Cheshire and Expedia Group’s networks. From these submissions, we selected examples which highlighted innovative practice and represented our key themes of the report
As we move towards a more digital society, it is critical that digital technologies are inclusive of everyone, including persons with disabilities. However, research conducted by the GSMA Assistive Tech programme suggests that a disability gap exists in mobile access and use.
Driving greater inclusion of persons with disabilities requires data and evidence to inform actions from multiple stakeholders. This report looks to understand the digital divide experienced by persons with disabilities, identify existing barriers to digital inclusion and define strategies and actions to close the mobile disability.
This report uses data from the GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2019 to explore the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities in eight LMICs: Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda. This report looks at key stages and milestones in the journey to mobile internet use that can pose barriers to regular and diverse mobile use
An interview is reported with Lucas Paes de Melo, the CEO of Amparo, to discuss the journey so far of prosthetics company, Amparo. Rather than focus on the product, this insights paper provides an honest reflection of the journey to establishing an assistive technology company and delves into transferable insights. In doing so, they aim to provide insights to help current and future AT entrepreneurs to see behind the curtain of working in this space.
A comprehensive, authoritative and evidence-based overview of the current state and future trends in humanitarian action with three sections: Global Trends; Inter-Agency Coordinated Appeals; and Delivering Better. There is a short section on people with disabilities in Global Trends.
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