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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.

Systematic review of interventions for reducing stigma experienced by children with disabilities and their families in low and middle-income countries: state of the evidence.

SMYTHE, Tracey
ADELSON, Jaimie
POLACK, Sarah
March 2020

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A literature review was carried out to identify and assess the evidence for interventions to reduce stigma experienced by children with disabilities and their families in low and middle-income settings. A systematic review of seven databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Global Health, PsycINFO, Social Policy and Practice, CINAHL, IBSS) for articles published January 2000 to April 2018 was carried out. Data were extracted on study population, study design, intervention level(s) and target group, and type(s) of stigma addressed. A narrative approach was used to synthesise the results.

Twenty studies were included. The majority (65%) of interventions targeted enacted stigma (negative attitudes) and the most common intervention approach was education/training (63%). Over half (54%) of interventions were delivered at the organisational/ institutional level and only four studies targeted more than one social level. The most common disability targeted was epilepsy (50%) followed by intellectual impairment (20%). 

doi: 10.1111/tmi.13388

Trop Med Int Health. 2020 Mar

WBU [World Blind Union] Call to Action -19 Actions for an inclusive Covid-19 response

MUTUKU, Terry
2020

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This Call for Action is produced by World Blind Union, the global organisation representing the estimated 253 million persons who are blind and partially sighted worldwide. The actions reflect the urgent needs of WBUs constituency following the spread of COVID-19. WBU recognises the diversity of needs among persons with disabilities, especially in times of crises, and urge governments and relevant stakeholders to adopt inclusive approaches to "leave no-one behind".

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

Making the future of work inclusive of people with disabilities

ILO GLOBAL BUSINESS AND DISABILITY NETWORK
FUNDACION ONCE
November 2019

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This is a first exercise to connect different areas of debate, looking at the key trends of the future of work from a disability perspective and seeking to identify specific action needed in order to shape the future of work in a more disability-inclusive way.

Chapters include: Work and disability - overview of current situation; megatrends of future work and persons with disability (technological revolution, skills revolution, cultutral change, demographic change and climate change); and Roadmap for an inclusive future of work.

 

The following five key objectives for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the future of work have been identified:

1. New forms of employment and employment relations integrate disability inclusion

2. Skills development and life-long learning made inclusive of persons with disabilities

3. Universal Design embedded in development of all new infrastructure, products and services

4. Assistive technologies, existing and newly developed, to be made affordable and available

5. Measures to include persons with disabilities in growing and developing areas of the economy

 

Governments, companies, disability NGOs, trade unions and academia must be encouraged to commit and contribute towards achieving these objectives through different actions. An inclusive future of work can be reached through coordination and alliances among the different stakeholders

Persons with disabilities in a just transition to a low-carbon economy

HASAN, Maria
November 2019

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Implementing a just transition to a low-carbon economy that aims to leave no one behind will require a context-specific and locally determined mix of legal standards, social protection, skills development and attitudinal transformation that create an enabling environment for green jobs to perpetuate and decent work opportunities for persons with disabilities to proliferate. If done right, a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all can contribute to the goals of achieving social justice, decent work, social inclusion and the eradication of poverty. At this unique time that climate action is accelerating and the transition to green economies has started to take form, a just transition - that is inherently disability-inclusive - represents a unique opportunity to shape a future that works for all.

 

Topics discussed include: Persons with disabilities in a world of work confronted by climate change; Understanding the future of the world of work; Existing frameworks to guide action; An inclusive transition to a low-carbon economy; Key recommendations

Regional advocacy for persons with disabilities: Regional sustainable development forums and regional integration

WAPLING, Lorraine
STEFF, Marion
et al
November 2019

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The project report is an outcome of a programme focussing on the implementation of the SDGs and advocacy to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in all sustainable development processes. The programme pays particular attention to allocation of resources which must be in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Regional monitoring of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides opportunities for DPOs to advocate for inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This project report aims to provide information and learning about this can best be done, using examples of current practices from different UN regions and their Regional Integration Organisations.

 

Regional integration mechanisms in the African Union, the Arab league, the Association of South East Asian Nations, the European Union, the Organisation of American States and the Pacific Islands Forum are explored. 

Disability inclusion helpdesk; evidence digest issue 2, December 2019

SDDirect
November 2019

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Produced by the Disability Inclusion Helpdesk. A summary of the latest evidence on disability inclusion in international development from programmes and researchers around the world are highlighted:

·         Access to health: the missing billion

·         Sexuality and disability for children and youth in China

·         Analysing INGO practice 

·         Disability and technology

·         Disability and inequality in Liberia 

·         Pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood in Nepal 

·         Violence against women and girls with disability in Nepal

 

Brief overviews are provided of policy and news from the UK, various UN organisations, Asia Pacific Social Protection Week and South Africa

 

Brief updates of DFID's (UK Departments for International Development) funded programmes are given including: Disability Inclusive Development (DID) Programme; Inclusion Works; The Disability Catalyst Programme; Programme for Evidence to Inform Disability Action (PENDA), Innovating Pathways for Employment Inclusion (IPEI)

Social protection and disability in Zambia

KIDD, Stephen
WAPLING, Lorraine
KABARE, Krystle
October 2019

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This report presents findings from a short study in Zambia to examine its social protection system and programmes and identifies the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in accessing them. The study was undertaken by a visit to Zambia between 31st October – 4th November 2016 during which a range of interviews and focus group discussions were undertaken. The study was supported by a review of the literature and some limited analysis of administrative data.

Topics presented in the report include:

  • the broader context of Zambia particularly around issues of education, health and consumption dynamics
  • the national population of persons with disabilities
  • key challenges faced by persons with disabilities
  • the legislative and policy framework on disability in Zambia
  • the governance of social protection and support for persons with disabilities
  • the disability classification system and an overview of the social protection system
  • the evolution of the Social Cash Transfer and access to the scheme by persons with disabilities 

Bridging the mobile disability gap in refugee settings

DOWNER, Matthew
September 2019

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This case study highlights refugees with disabilities’ access to mobile services and the benefits and challenges associated with using these services in three different humanitarian contexts. The analysis is based on a representative survey of refugees in three contexts: Bidi Bidi refugee settlement (Uganda), Kiziba refugee camp (Rwanda) and with urban refugees in Jordan. It also includes qualitative data drawn from two focus groups conducted with refugees with disabilities in Bidi Bidi and Kiziba. The survey used the Washington Group Questions (WGQs) to assess prevalence of disability amongst the refugee population

Disability stigma in the Disability Inclusive Development (DID) programme countries: an overview of the evidence

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
September 2019

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This literature review outlines factors contributing to disability stigma in low- and middle-income countries. Overviews of disability stigma in the six Disability Inclusive Development (DID) programme countries – Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania – are presented next. The review then looks at the literature on interventions to reduce disability stigma. Interventions aimed at addressing disability stigma in developing countries have been aimed at the intrapersonal and familial level; the interpersonal level; and the structural level.

Cameroon: People With Disabilities Caught in Crisis - Funds Needed to Scale Up Humanitarian Response

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
August 2019

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Over the past three years, Cameroon’s Anglophone regions have been embroiled in a cycle of violence that has claimed an estimated 2,000 lives and uprooted almost half a million people from their homes. People with disabilities caught in the violence struggle to flee to safety when their communities come under attack. They also face difficulties in getting necessary assistance.

Between January and May 2019, Human Rights Watch interviewed 48 people with disabilities living in the Anglophone regions, their family members, representatives of UN agencies, and national and international humanitarian organizations to investigate how the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions has disproportionately affected people with disabilities. Some of their stories are presented.

 

The missing billion - Access to health services for 1 billion people with disabilities

KUPER, Hannah
HEYDT, Phyllis
July 2019

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One billion people around the world live with disabilities. This report makes the case that they are being “left behind” in the global community’s work on health. This lack of access not only violates the rights of people with disabilities under international law, but UHC (Universal Health Care) and SDG 3 cannot be attained without better health services for the one billion people with disabilities. 

Health and healthcare are critical issues for people with disabilities. People with disabilities often need specialized medical care related to the underlying health condition or impairment (e.g., physiotherapy, hearing aids). They also need general healthcare services like anyone else (e.g., vaccinations, antenatal care). On average, those with disabilities are more vulnerable to poor health, because of their higher levels of poverty and exclusion, and through secondary conditions and co-morbidities. People with disabilities therefore may require higher levels of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services. However, health services are often lower quality, not affordable, and inaccessible for people with disabilities. In many situations these barriers are even more significant for women with disabilities, compared to men with disabilities.

Guidelines. Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action

IASC TASK TEAM ON INCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN HUMANITARIAN ACTION
July 2019

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The guidelines set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings. The recommended actions in each chapter place persons with disabilities at the centre of humanitarian action, both as actors and as members of affected populations. They are specific to persons with disabilities and to the context of humanitarian action and build on existing and more general standards and guidelines. These are the first humanitarian guidelines to be developed with and by persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in association with traditional humanitarian stakeholders. Based on the outcomes of a comprehensive global and regional multi-stakeholder consultation process, they are designed to promote the implementation of quality humanitarian programmes in all contexts and across all regions, and to establish and increase both the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their meaningful participation in all decisions that concern them. 

 

Chapters include:

  • What to do - key approaches to programming
  • Data and information management
  • Partnerships and empowerment of organisation of people with disabilities
  • Cross cutting considerations
  • Accountability to affected people and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse
  • Humanitarian response options
  • Stakeholder roles and responsibilities
  • What sectors need to do
  • Camp coordination and camp management
  • Education
  • Food security and nutrition
  • Livelihoods
  • Health
  • Protection
  • Shelter and settlements
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene

Every learner matters: Unpacking the learning crisis for children with disabilities

McCLAIN-NHLAPO, Charlotte
et al
June 2019

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This paper was developed by the World Bank in partnership with Leonard Cheshire and Inclusion International. It is an attempt to add knowledge to the current understanding of the importance of learning achievements, with a focus on children with disabilities. While the premise is that inclusive education refers to the inclusion of all children, the focus of this paper is on children with disabilities.

The aim of the paper is to:

  • Provide an evidence-based review of educational participation of children with disabilities.
  • Establish a case for focusing on learning achievements for students with disabilities.
  • Take stock of current mechanisms of measurement of learning outcomes and review their inclusivity.
  • Explore evidence of practice and systems which promote disability-inclusive learning for all. 

Four case studies are provided - from Pakistan, South Africa, Canada and UK.

Guidelines on best practice for persons living with deafblindness

ZWANENBURG, Aline
TESNI, Sian
June 2019

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These guidelines were developed to advance understanding of the needs and challenges of persons living with deafblindness and to promote their inclusion in society. The target audience are members of the CBM Federation with particular interest to, among others staff at Regional and Country Offices, Member Associations, co-workers, partners (including governments, education agencies, public and private service providers, and professionals), as well as persons living with deafblindness and their families.

 

Part One gives an overview of the impact deafblindness can have on an individual’s development and learning. It emphasises the need for a continuum of services and programmes, including early detection, referral, educational input, and family support.

 

Part Two outlines components of education and rehabilitation programmes. It provides guidelines on communication, holistic assessment procedures, assistive devices, advocacy and self-determination, transition planning, and discusses the importance of on-going regular access to health and therapeutic services.

 

Part Three considers how to improve and expand existing services through the provision of on-going personnel capacity building, and through networking with key stakeholders, to consider intersecting issues and service expansion. Each section includes an overview of the topic explored, some case studies and considerations for service implementation.

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