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Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 response: Applying the IASC Guidelines

Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP)
September 2020

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On 17 September 2020, during a webinar organized jointly by ICVA, PHAP, IASC, and the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, we discussed how the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action can be implemented in the COVID-19 response. We started with a presentation of the recent note produced by the Reference Group and endorsed by the IASC on this topic, followed by a discussion of challenges in the current response and ways to overcome them.

The webinar shared practical examples of how response to COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts has been made more inclusive of persons with disabilities, drawing on learning from the past 6+ months to present concrete actions that humanitarian actors can take, in partnership with local organizations of persons with disabilities. The webinar aimed to provide a space for learning and exchange of experience between organizations of persons with disabilities, NGOs, UN entities, and other humanitarian actors.

Disability inclusive health, WASH and livelihoods in the COVID-19 response - Thematic guidance notes

AUSTRALIAN HUMANITARIAN PARTNERSHIP (AHP)
September 2020

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Practical guidance has been developed for disability inclusion within the priority sectors of Health, WASH, and Livelihoods and Food Security. This guidance has been developed to inform the AHP Disaster READY program and COVID-19 humanitarian response efforts, and contribute to sectoral understanding of inclusive humanitarian response and disaster preparedness.

COVID-19 and its impact on persons with disabilities

MERKT, Jess
September 2020

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of persons with disabilities is highlighted and the setbacks its socio-economic consequences could have on their independence, employability, and inclusion — especially in countries that are already dealing with armed conflict and violence are elucidated. The career development programme introduced by ICRC is briefly mentioned.

Breaking down the barriers for people with disabilities through innovation in Africa

GSMA
September 2020

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During this interactive session, hosted by GSMA’s Assistive Tech team, we shared insights on the mobile disability gap, including findings from our gender and disability research, and lessons learnt from the innovation landscape. We also heard from several leading assistive tech innovators supporting the digital inclusion of people with disabilities, both visible or unseen across emerging markets

Disability Debrief: an international update on persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 crisis

TORRES FREMLIN, Peter
September 2020

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This is an update on disability news around the world relating to the COVID-19 crisis, from late April to the end of September 2020. It's a snapshot of news, statistics, policy, and experiences of persons with disabilities around the world. Links are prvided to the original resources.

 

Topics covered include:

  • What has happended so far: Data on COVID-19 and mortality; Care homes and institutional settings; Impact on persons with disabilities; Gathering data and the gaps; Experiences of Persons with Disabilities
  • Disability in response; International response: Collections of resources; Country and Regional Approaches; Resources by disability
  • Inclusion in protection and interim measures; Masks / face coverings; Physical distancing and isolation; Lockdown and confinement; Institutions and long-term care facilities; Coming out of lockdown; Social protection and services
  • Health, treatment and recovery
  • Across society and sectors: Care; Culture and sport; Digital accessibility and inclusion; Education and young people; Elections and politics; Humanitarian and Refugees; International cooperation; Justice; Mental Health; Transportation and travel; Violence; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); Work and skills
  • Rebuilding / what happens next; New perspectives and recovery; Social protection; Work and employment

 

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

Understanding disability extra costs

CENTRE FOR INCLUSIVE POLICY
September 2020

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Extra costs incurred by people with disabilitites are illustrated through case studies of children, adults and older people with disabilities. 

Inclusive design and accessibility of the built environment in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

PATRICK, Michaela
McKINNON, Iain
AUSTIN, Vicki
September 2020

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This case study on inclusive infrastructure in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is the first part of a series of six global case studies. The series is being developed to understand global priorities for inclusive design within the Inclusive Infrastructure work of the AT2030 programme; to build evidence on the awareness, understanding, acceptance, application and experience of Inclusive Design and accessible environments globally, particularly in lower and middle-income countries

Making research disability-inclusive – reflections from Nigeria

MOHAMMED, Anu
September 2020

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Improvements made to inclusivity of disability research in Nigeria following participation in Inclusive Futures and training in the use of the Washington Group Short Questions are described. Applications of these lessons to recent research on COVID-19 in Nigeria is reported.

Meet the business owner training youth with disabilities

SIGHTSAVERS
September 2020

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Sightsavers’ Connecting the Dots initiative in Uganda offers young people with disabilities the opportunity to learn a new trade and gain valuable work experience. Over 500 young people in the Masindi area of Western Uganda have taken part in Connecting the Dots, a scheme that links them up with training and employment opportunities. After completing a three-month course learning a trade of their choice – including construction work, welding, tailoring or hairdressing – they are connected with local employers where they spend three to six months working on the job. Several examples are highlighted.

A country report: impact of COVID-19 and inequity of health on South Korea’s disabled community during a pandemic

LEE, Seungbok
KIM, Jongbae
2020

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The South Korean media boasts of its leading success–during the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak–in flattening of the curve thereby mitigating the grave outcomes of the public health crisis. Much of the success is reportedly attributed to the rapid and advanced development of test kits, essential equipment and implementation of protocols in precautionary measures. However, it has been an arduous task to stay afloat for one particular vulnerable community. The disabled citizens of Korea were confronted by the realities of health inequity during this disastrous period. Pre-existing the pandemic onset, the disabled community have faced stigmatization and under many circumstances de-prioritization by their own society. Through the lense of a visiting physician, my hope is to poignantly and respectfully share personal experiences and thoughts on these realties impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea.

Barriers to accessing primary healthcare services for people with disabilities in low and middle-income countries, a Meta-synthesis of qualitative studies

HASHEMI, Goli
WICKENDEN, Mary
BRIGHT, Tess
KUPER, Hannah
2020

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Background: Access to healthcare contributes to the attainment of health and is a fundamental human right. People with disabilities are believed to experience widespread poor access to healthcare services, due to inaccessible environments and discriminatory belief systems and attitudes. Qualitative data on these bar- riers has not previously been systematically reviewed. A meta-synthesis was undertaken of qualitative studies exploring the barriers to primary healthcare services experienced by people with disabilities in low- and mid- dle-income countries.

 

Methods: Six electronic databases were searched for relevant studies from 2000 to 2019. Forty-one eli- gible studies were identified.

 

Results: Findings suggest that the people with disabilities’ choice to seek healthcare services or not, as well as the quality of intervention provided by primary healthcare providers, are influenced by three types of barriers: cultural beliefs or attitudinal barriers, informational barriers, and practical or logis- tical barriers.

 

Conclusion: In order to achieve full health coverage at acceptable quality for people with disabilities, it is necessary not only to consider the different barriers, but also their combined effect on people with dis- abilities and their households. It is only then that more nuanced and effective interventions to improve access to primary healthcare, systematically addressing barriers, can be designed and implemented.

Covid-19 Double Jeopardy for Persons with Disability

ADD International
August 2020

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SUMMARY

This report presents the findings from telephone interviews with 91 representatives from 15 Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) partners in Bangladesh, to ask about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities in Bangladesh.

The report finds that, in the Covid-19 pandemic, some persons with disabilities experience double jeopardy—not only are persons with disabilities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, but they are also disproportionately excluded from protection and survival support.

Persons with disabilities report being disproportionately excluded from Covid-19 support. 63% of respondents report not receiving the same protection and survival support as others. Two-thirds of those who described their personal experiences reported supply shortage or diversion of essential food and medical supplies as reasons for why they had been excluded.

Relief that has been provided has not met need. Many respondents (84%) report that survival support does not meet their basic needs. Support received has mostly been food instead of cash. Some (17%) report difficulty in following Covid-19 advice, mostly because they cannot afford protection materials.

Persons with multiple disabilities are being left further behind. Respondents with multiple functional difficulties experience more exclusion than respondents with one functional difficulty. This finding of disproportionate exclusion is statistically significant and consistent with qualitative responses, which show that most of those that did report challenges in following received advice were persons with multiple functional difficulties. This strongly suggests that persons with multiple functional difficulties experience more barriers. Persons with multiple functional difficulties who were excluded tended to report difficulties in communicating, remembering, self-care and walking.

The economic impact of the pandemic is acute for persons with disabilities. On average, respondents report losing 65% of their income since the Covid-19 crisis began, which in absolute terms, after adjusting for purchase power parity, is the equivalent of moving from £167 to £58 in monthly earnings.

Some respondents report that they are skipping meals and going hungry. Anecdotal reports reveal that families are reverting to one main meal every two days, or two main meals every three days. Many are borrowing and relying on family support to meet their daily needs to survive, and some of those who already depended on family support have had that support reduced or withdrawn. On balance, future plans reflect a sense of precarity due to uncertainty, ranging from feelings of hope with specific plans to powerlessness with no plans.

Government can do more. Many respondents said government should prioritise persons with disabilities and provide more relief. Many voiced concerns about how relief was being distributed or stolen, and that it is not reaching those most in need. The majority of respondents said that NGOs and wealthy people should play a role in support efforts.

How can we measure disability in research related to the COVID-19 response?

MACTAGGART, Islay
KUPER, Hannah
August 2020

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There is growing evidence that COVID-19 is disproportionally impacting the lives of people with disabilities. This includes evidence of the increased risk of severe outcomes of contracting COVID-19 amongst people with existing health conditions, including many people with disabilities. It also includes a wide range of other potential impacts such as: reductions or disruptions in non-COVID-19 health or rehabilitation services, the effects of shielding on isolation and mental health, the implications of social distancing on people who require carer support, and the impact on poverty, participation and wellbeing due to disrupted disability-inclusive development programmes.

 

Measurement of disability in research has historically been contested and a number of different tools exist. Clear guidance is needed on how to determine which tool to use to understand the situation of people with disabilities in different settings, and plan responsive and inclusive COVID-19 programmes and policies to support their needs. Good quality, comparable data on disability is essential for tracking the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as prevention and mitigation interventions, amongst people with disabilities. Such evidence is also imperative for tracking progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, and UNCRPD compliance.

 

This evidence brief synthesises findings from a scoping review of ICF-compatible tools to measure disability in population-based surveys with a focus on LMICs (2018), protocols and research outputs from seven population-based surveys of disability across Asia, Africa and the Pacific, secondary analyses of the South African Census, US National Health Interview Survey and three Demographic and Health Surveys, reflections from global stakeholders in disability measurement (including the UN Flagship Report on Disability), and evidence compiled for the upcoming Global Disability Research Massive Open Online Course at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

International Principles and Guidelines on access to justice for persons with disabilities

SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL ON DISABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY
August 2020

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The International Principles and Guidelines on access to Justice for persons with disabilities are a practical tool to support States in designing and implementing justice systems that provide equal access to justice for persons with disabilities, in line with international human rights standards. They are a result of consultations and collaboration with disability rights experts, organizations of people with disabilities, States, academics, and other practitioners.

 

The document outlines 10 principles of access to justice for people with disabilities

Barriers experienced by people with disabilities participating in income-generating activities. A case of a sheltered workshop in Bloemfontein, South Africa

TINTA, Nokuthula
STEYN, Hester
VERMAAS, Jana
2020

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Background: People with disabilities often participate in income-generating activities (IGAs) in sheltered workshop in South Africa. However, they face many barriers that limit their ability to participate effectively in economic activities hosted by the workshops.

 

Objectives: To illustrate the barriers that limit the participation of people with disabilities in IGAs in a sheltered workshop.

 

Method: A qualitative exploratory single case study was conducted in a sheltered workshop. Eighteen participants, age 22 to 52 years with various disabilities were purposively sampled. Observations and semi-structured interview guides were used to generate data. Verbatim transcription was used after which content analysis was applied to identify ideas and concepts relating to barriers experienced by people with disabilities participating in IGAs.

 

Results: Some of the barriers participants experienced included institutional barriers (ability to use working tools, inability to concentrate for long periods, lack of funds, language barriers, lack of motivation, activities that are not stimulating and lack of artistry skills) and attitudinal barriers (exclusion from decision making) These barriers had an adverse influence on their performance in IGAs.

 

Conclusion: The study found eight different barriers that existed in a sheltered workshop which limited the participation of the people with disabilities that attended the workshop. This information can be used to develop strategies to address each barrier and promote increased participation of the individual thereby improving their quality of life.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020 

COVID-19, Amplifying Voices: Our Lives, Our Say: Learning from COVID-19 through the experiences of blind and partially sighted persons across the world

ZAYED, Yana
et al
August 2020

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The World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a study to examine the extent to which COVID-19 pandemic has exposed some deep structural inequalities in society. Data gathered from the study is evidencing that persons with disabilities, older persons, and persons from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds are among those hardest hit by the pandemic. While this report puts a spotlight on the voices of blind and partially sighted persons, many of the experiences shared strongly resonate with numerous other studies that are also highlighting how marginalised groups have been affected by this crisis. Through this report, WBU hopes to raise awareness on the specifics of what those challenges have meant in reality for its constituents, as well as shed light on what have been effective resilience strategies for them. The study was made possible with the support of CBM Global

To understand the situation of our constituents, the World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a global survey in collaboration with key stakeholders. In April 2020, the WBU launched an open online survey for seven weeks in Spanish, French and English, seeking information from blind and partially sighted persons on how COVID-19 was impacting their day to day life. 853 people participated in the survey. The respondents expressed in their own words how their lives had been and continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This report is a compilation of those voices. It depicts the ways in which COVID-19 response measures taken by state and non-state actors have created additional barriers and challenges for blind and partially sighted people. It also includes powerful testimonies on how people have shown resilience in the face of adversity.

 

 

Covid-19 tip sheets & book of flip charts

ENABLEMENT
August 2020

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In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Enablement developed tip sheets on four main topics for Light for the World:


- Eating and drinking
- Epilepsy, Nodding Syndrome and medication
- Active lifestyle
- Communication


These are meant to support those working with and/or caring for children and adults with disabilities. The tip sheets include visuals and some supporting text.

The book of flip charts carries the same content as the tip sheets, with visuals on one side for the caregivers of people with disabilities to see, and slightly more elaborate text on the other page for the fieldworker.

Pages

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