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Taking a Disability-Inclusive Approach to Pandemic Responses

WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
2021

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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities globally, yet the impact has not been equal. People with disabilities were already often living with severe disadvantage and marginalisation and, as predicted by many disability-focused agencies, Covid-19 has exacerbated these inequalities. Emerging evidence from Inclusive Futures, a UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded programme, highlights the catastrophic emotional and material impacts on people with disabilities in Nepal and Bangladesh. To respond to and plan for future crises, decision makers should consult inclusively with both organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) and people with disabilities themselves.
 

The effective engagement toolkit

LEONARD CHESHIRE
March 2021

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The engagement toolkit is a practical resource guide for anyone committed to ensuring the voice of disabled people is front and centre of their work.

Starting with influencing approaches on policy, campaigning and public affairs engagement, the toolkit provides:

• Step by step guidance on entry points for developing productive and mutually beneficial relationships with the disability community.
• Quick guides on key disability movement context, approaches and best practice
• A breakdown of key elements of the Influencing Cycle.
• Examples of where good practice has worked well.
• Links to in-depth information for further learning.

Invisible to the Law: COVID-19 and the legal consciousness of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh

MIZAN, Arpeeta Shams
2021

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Despite disability rights being recognized through formal legislation in Bangladesh, the rights of persons with disabilities are still not effectively ensured. State interventions during the pandemic have not sufficiently accommodated the rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pre-existing social prejudices have added to their plight. Due to social prejudice and myriad access to justice challenges, persons with disabilities in Bangladesh face negative attitudes when it comes to exercising their legal rights. The article uses primary data obtained through qualitative interviews and secondary sources to illustrate how the Covid19 pandemic has reinforced structural discriminations and increased the vulnerability of persons with disabilities

Perspectives on access and usage of assistive technology by people with intellectual disabilities in the Western Cape province of South Africa: Where to from here?

BOOT, Fleur H
KAHONDE, Callista
DINSMORE, John
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
2021

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Background: Whilst assistive technology (AT) can play an important role to improve quality of life, health inequity regarding access to appropriate AT for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) is still very much present especially in low resource countries.

 

Objectives: This study focused on exploring factors that influence access to and continued use of AT by people with ID in the Western Cape province of South Africa and to suggest potential implications of these findings and actions required to promote access to AT.

 

Method: A qualitative approach was used to explore the experiences of people with ID and providers of AT. Face-to-face interviews with 20 adults with mild to profound ID, and 17 providers of AT were conducted and the data were analysed thematically.

 

Results: People with ID within the study setting faced many challenges when trying to access AT and for those who managed to acquire AT, its continued usage was influenced by both personal characteristics of the user and environmental factors. Important factors that influence AT access and use for people with ID found in this study were (1) attitudes from the community, (2) knowledge and awareness to identify AT need and (3) AT training and instructions to support the user and care network.

 

Conclusion: With the perspectives of both the providers and users of AT, this study identified priority factors, which could be addressed to improve AT access and use for people with ID in the Western Cape province.

Disability & inclusion survey, Malakal Protection of Civilians site

International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM)
February 2021

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The International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM), Protection and Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support teams joined efforts with Humanity & Inclusion (HI) to undertake an assessment of the level of access to services and the barriers faced by persons with disabilities within Malakal Protection of Civilian site (PoC site). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) contributed to the qualitative component of the study as the main Protection and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) actors operating within the PoC site. The study, based on data collected between March 2020 and June 2020, aims to improve the knowledge base available to the humanitarian community about access to services by persons with disabilities living in the site. It provides a quantitative estimate of the prevalence of disabilities among the IDP population and an assessment of the barriers faced by persons with disability in accessing humanitarian services across sectors. It also seeks to empower persons with disabilities living within the PoC site, giving them the opportunity to express their concerns and preferences with regards to possible solutions and targeted interventions. It is hoped that the resulting data will help camp management and other service providers operating within Malakal PoC site, including IOM, UNHCR and DRC, to better account for the concerns and needs of persons with disability in humanitarian programming and service delivery. This study builds onto and expands previous studies in Naivasha IDP Camp (formerly Wau PoC AA Site) and Bentiu PoC Site.

Impact of Covid-19 on people with disabilities in Albania

LAHE, Alma
SHEHU, Arlinda
January 2021

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This report aims to assess the level of access that People with Disabilities have to services and institutions during the pandemic period, as well as to analyze their economic and financial needs to cope with the consequences of the crisis caused by COVID-19.

The survey was conducted in the form of a quantitative field survey. 360 individuals participated in the survey: 199, or 55.3%, of the participants were people with disabilities (PWDs) while the remaining 161 persons, or 44.7%, were guardians or parents of a person with disabilities. The survey was conducted in all 6 districts of the country. The questionnaire was designed to gather information on the perceptions, attitudes, behaviors and experiences of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 period.

An overview of assistive technology products and services provided in Malawi

SMITH, Emma M
EBUENYI, Ikenna D
KAFUMBA, Juba
JAMALI-PHIRI, Monica
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
MUNTHALI, Alister
2020

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Background

Assistive technology is the products and services used by individuals with functional limitations to enable participation in society and realisation of rights afforded by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Assistive Product List is a comprehensive list of products identified as essential for access through universal health coverage. Key stakeholders, including organisations of persons with disabilities, civil service organisations, academic organisations and government ministries are collaborating to integrate assistive technology into policy and develop a priority assistive products list for Malawi.

 

Objective

To understand the organisational characteristics of, and assistive products provided by, key stakeholders working in AT in Malawi.

 

Study Design

Online survey of representatives from key stakeholder organisations.

 

Methods

We surveyed representatives of key stakeholder organisations to gather information regarding assistive technology product and service provision in Malawi. Responses were analysed using counts for closed-ended questions, and conventional content analysis for open-ended questions.

 

Results

A total of 36 of the 50 APL products were provided by eight organisations. Related services were provided for 36 of the 50 APL products by twelve organisations. Five organisations reported providing both products and services. Products and services are largely funded by donation and provided free to those who require them.

 

Conclusion

A range of organisations in Malawi play a role in assistive product delivery and related services. Coordinated AP delivery and service provision is required at a national level which is sustainable and inclusive, and is based on identified needs of the Malawian population.

Accessible to All: Creating learning materials for children with disabilities in Cambodia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tajikistan

EducationLinks
December 2020

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Examples are outlined of how good practices in the provision of accessible learning materials are being put into practice by USAID in partnership with organisations addressing the education needs of students with disabilities:

  • Expanding access through Universal Design for Learning in Cambodia: All Children Reading
  • Applying a user-centered design approach in Kenya: eKitabu and Deaf-led Sign Language Video Stories
  • Promoting sustainable accessible standards in Rwanda: Soma Umenye
  • Supporting underserved languages in accessible formats: The Global Digital Library
  • Fostering parental involvement in Tajikistan: USAID Read with Me

 

Disability inclusion in the United Nations system - Report of the Secretary General

SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
October 2020

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When launching the Strategy in June 2019, the Secretary-General stated that the United Nations would lead by example and raise its standards and performance on disability inclusion across all pillars of its work, from Headquarters to the field. The present report outlines the first steps on the path to achieving transformative and lasting change for persons with disabilities across the United Nations system

 

The report is organized into seven sections. Following the introduction, an overview of the advances made in the United Nations on disability inclusion, including the adoption of the Strategy, is provided in section II; the first year of implementation of the Strategy at the entity and country levels is reported on in section III; coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and recovery efforts are the focus of section IV; the overarching actions for implementation of the Strategy are considered in section V; challenges and opportunities are highlighted in section VI; and the conclusion and recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly are contained in section VII. The report provides an analysis of information from 57 United Nations entities1 that reported under the Strategy ’s entity accountability framework and seven United Nations country teams that completed the accountability scorecard on disability inclusion as part of a targeted roll-out.

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in social protection for COVID-19 recovery and beyond

COTE, Alex
BALASUBRAMANIAN, Meenakshi
WANGARE, Fatma
HUDA. Karishma
DOS SANTOS, Joaozito
O'BRIEN, Felicity
September 2020

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The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the barriers and inequalities faced by persons with disabilities. Consultation with organisations representing persons with disabilities across regions highlighted the limitation of social protection systems in LMICs to provide adequate support due to lack of social protection schemes, low coverage, and inadequacy of existing schemes. There is little in the way of publicly funded community support services and in some contexts an overreliance on residential institutions, whose users have been disproportionally represented among COVID-19 fatalities. 

In the midst of the crisis, countries have been struggling with inaccessible information (e.g sign language), the lack of universal schemes, and national disability registry for broad outreach and fast relief.

The webinar aimed at providing a global overview of the social protection response for persons with disabilities and their families as well as the different key social protection issues to consider for an inclusive COVID-19 recover

Disability inclusion in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No: 51.

CORBY, Nick
CLUGSTON, Naomi
September 2020

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This briefing note provides guidance on how to incorporate disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects. It is intended to inform the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) Good Governance Fund (GGF). This Note provides basic, introductory guidance on disability inclusion to FCDO advisers and managers engaging with economic and governance reform and sets out opportunities for the FCDO’s programmes and policy dialogue to deliver positive impacts for people with disabilities. The Note addresses three key questions: 2 1. What is the broad status of the rights of people with disabilities in GGF countries and are there any significant differences between the countries? 2. What are the recommended entry points for incorporating disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects within the five GGF thematic areas? 3. How should the GGF incorporate disability inclusion into the next business case?

 

An annex provides short notes on several factors for each country. The factors are: the legal framework; disability prevalence; economic inclusion; social inclusion; institutionialisation; access to justice; receptions and representation in the media.

Gap Analysis: the inclusion of people with disability and older people in humanitarian response

ROBINSON, Alex
MARELLA, Manjula
LOGAM, Lana
July 2020

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To build the evidence base on inclusion, and inform our priorities for innovation, the Elrha Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) commissioned a Gap Analysis on the Inclusion of People with Disability and Older People in Humanitarian Response. This is the first of two reports from the Gap Analysis and summarises findings from the literature review components of this work. The Gap Analysis has been led by the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. The Nossal Institute team was supported by Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund’s Office for Indonesia and the Philippines (ASB) in the review of grey literature.  This report begins by outlining the approach taken to the academic and grey literature reviews. This is followed by an overview of findings, which maps evidence from different sectors against thematic areas based on the Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities (HIS).

 

Supplementary information is available as a separate accompanying annex. The annex includes a summary of each article identified in the review arranged by HIS and sector; graphs showing the distribution of articles, including by year, humanitarian context, and geographical region; and a list of guidelines on the inclusion of people with disability and older people in humanitarian response

The impact of an inclusive education intervention on learning outcomes for girls with disabilities within a resource-poor setting

CAREW, Mark
DELUCA, Marcella
GROCE, Nora
FWAGA, Sammy
KETT, Maria
May 2020

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Background: Despite a global commitment to the right to education for persons with disabilities, little is known about how to achieve inclusive education in practice, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the majority of the world’s people with disabilities reside. Moreover, although exclusion from education is magnified by intersecting gender and socioeconomic inequalities, there is especially little knowledge regarding what approaches to inclusive education are effective amongst girls with disabilities living in resource-poor settings.

 

Objectives: The objective of this article was to assess the impact of an inclusive education intervention led by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on the educational attainment of girls with disabilities in the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya.

 

Method: A quasi-experimental design was employed, where the literacy and numeracy educational attainment of the intervention and control groups was compared over two time points a year apart (Time 1 and Time 2; total matched N = 353). During this period, activities pertaining to six core components of a holistic inclusive education model were implemented.

 

Results: Relative to the control group, girls with disabilities in the intervention group reported a greater increase in literacy and numeracy attainment, adjusted for grade and level of functional difficulty.

 

Conclusion: Findings suggest that the intervention was successful in engendering additional improvements in the educational attainment of girls with disabilities from the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya. Results highlight both the applicability of NGO-led interventions in settings, where national implementation of inclusive education is constrained, and the potential of taking such interventions to scale.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

COVID-19 at the intersection of gender and disability: Findings of a global human rights survey, March to April 2020

McRAE, Amanda
May 2020

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This report is based on the results of a global survey conducted in March and April 2020, targeted at the personal experiences of women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities and COVID-19. This survey, which was intended to be primarily qualitative, asked respondents to provide narrative information about the following topics: access to health services, including sexual and reproductive health services; rationing of healthcare; personal safety and violence; access to support services to meet daily living needs; and access to education, employment, and other income. The results are based on 100 respondents. Recommendations are given.

The impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities: a rapid review. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Query No: 35

MEANIE-DAVIS, Jessie
LEE, Harri
CORBY, Nick
April 2020

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There is currently very limited data and evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and pre-existing health conditions, with no disability-disaggregated data on mortality rates available in the public sphere. However, reports from the media, disability advocates and disabled peoples’ organisations (DPOs) point to several emerging impacts, including primary and secondary impacts including on health, education, food security and livelihoods.  Most of the available data is from high income countries (HICs) though reports from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are likely to emerge. Evidence was gathered by a rapid desk based review. Gaps are identified. 

 

The section concerned with lessons drawn from similar epidemics draws heavily on lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, and touches on lessons from the Zika outbreak in 2015-2016 and the SARS pandemic in the early 2000s.10 It also touches briefly on SARS, MERS and H1N1 (swine flu). 

 

Primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities are reviewed.


People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 not only because it can exacerbate underlying medical conditions, but because of attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers to their participation in and benefit from the pandemic response. For example, inaccessible public health messaging and healthcare facilities, and stigma and discrimination.

“Disability Is Not Weakness” Discrimination and barriers facing women and girls with disabilities in Afghanistan

GOSSMAN, Patricia
April 2020

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Everyday barriers that Afghan women and girls with disabilities face are described.  Decades of conflict have decimated government institutions and development efforts have failed to reach many communities most in need. Obtaining access to health care, education, and employment, along with other basic rights, is particularly difficult for Afghan women and girls with disabilities, who face both gender discrimination and stigma and barriers associated with their disability.

 

This report is based primarily on research by Human Rights Watch researchers from April 2018 through January 2020 in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat, Afghanistan. 23 interviews with women with disabilities and 3 interviews with family members of women and girls with disabilities were conducted. 14 healthcare and education professionals were interviewed, including representatives from the United Nations and international and local nongovernmental organizations providing services to persons with disabilities in Afghanistan

Accelerating Disability Inclusive Formal Employment in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda: What are the Vital Ingredients?

WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
MADER, Philip
BROWN, Simon
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
March 2020

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This Working Paper provides an overview of disability as a concept and relevant global treaties and statistics, including evidence of trends and complexities in promoting disability inclusive employment broadly and with some focus on formal employment specifically. We describe the current situation in each of the four focus countries, demonstrating the similarities and differences between them. We then discuss some promising interventions that have been tried, usually on a small scale, in diverse settings, and which may be applicable in our four focus countries (Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda). Finally, we present the potential interventions that will be trialled in the Inclusion Works programme, using an innovation-driven, adaptive management approach.

 

The Inclusion Works programme (2018–2022), funded by the UK Department for International Development, aims to improve employment rates for people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. 

 

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UK government or members of the Inclusion Works consortium.

Intersection of disabilities and violence against women and girls in Tajikistan

MASTONSHOEVA, Subhiya
February 2020

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This report is a study into the intersection of gender, violence and disabilities, with a focus on the role of disabilities in increasing the risk of sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence perpetrated against women with disabilities and women parenting children with disabilities in Dushanbe, Bokhtar and Khorog (Tajikistan). The study targeted women and men between the ages of 18-65 living with disabilities or parenting children with disabilities. Field data were collected through 12 focus group discussions (four in each location) divided by age and gender, with men and women living with disabilities or parenting children with disabilities. 30 repeat in-depth interviews were conducted with women and men with disabilities among different age groups, as well as women with children with disabilities.

Integrating geospatial data and measures of disability and wealth to assess inequalities in an eye health survey: An example from the Indian Sunderbans

MOHANTY, Soumya
et al
December 2019

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The Sunderbans are a group of delta islands that straddle the border between India and Bangladesh. For people living on the Indian side, health services are scarce and the terrain makes access to what is available difficult. In 2018, the international non-governmental organisation Sightsavers and their partners conducted a population-based survey of visual impairment and coverage of cataract and spectacle services, supplemented with tools to measure equity in eye health by wealth, disability, and geographical location. Two-stage cluster sampling was undertaken to randomly select 3868 individuals aged 40+ years, of whom 3410 were examined

 

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Dec; 16(23): 4869

doi: 10.3390/ijerph16234869

Disability at a Glance 2019: Investing in accessibility in Asia and the Pacific — Strategic approaches to achieving disability-inclusive sustainable development

TATA, Srinivas
et al
December 2019

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This report lays out foundational concepts and terminologies related to disability and accessibility, and outlines the tools and approaches for successful investment in accessibility. Furthermore, it identifies drivers and added values of investment, and analyses the status of disability-inclusive development and accessibility investment across Asia and the Pacific. Finally, it provides recommendations to governments across key areas of focus to ensure that societies are built to be sustainable and inclusive.

Case studies from Australia, the Republic of Korea and India are presented.

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