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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.

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

Protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/2019/373) [EN/AR/RU]

UNHCR SECRETARY GENERAL
May 2019

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The present report is submitted pursuant to the request contained in the statement by the President of the Security Council of 21 September 2018 (S/PRST/2018/18). It also responds to the Council’s requests for reporting on the protection of medical care and on conflict and food insecurity, contained in resolutions 2286 (2016) and 2417 (2018), respectively. Section II provides a summary of achievements and challenges to the United Nations work on protecting civilians over the past 20 years. Section III reviews the current state of the protection of civilians and emphasizes the enduring relevance of the protection agenda 20 years on. Section IV focuses on the central challenge of enhancing respect for the law – the first of three protection priorities identified in the report of 2017 (S/2017/414) and discussed in the report of 2018 (S/2018/462) – with a particular focus on the conduct of hostilities. Section V discusses how the Council and Member States can rise to meet this challenge and, moreover, strengthen the practical impact of the protection agenda in the years ahead.

Family planning for women and girls with disabilities

FRASER, Erika
CORBY, Nick
January 2019

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Individual, environmental, attitudinal and institutional factors affecting access to and uptake of family planning for women and girls with disabilities in low and middle income countries are explored through a rapid literature review. Evidence of good practice concerning increasing full free and informed contraceptive choice is also examined.

 

Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report. Pilot 2

Report on accessibility audit in Kathmandu, Nepal

December 2018

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In Nepal, the Accessible Physical Infrastructure and Communication Services directive for People with Disability 2013, is a key legal measure taken by the government for promoting accessibility. To supplement the government’s initiation in achieving the goal of making inclusive society for all, National Federation of the Disabled – Nepal (NFDN), in partnership with CBM, carried out accessibility audit of 150 public infrastructures as a model initiative. This included government buildings, public parks and open spaces, roads and streets, corporate sectors, commercial sectors and other infrastructures within Kathmandu valley and identified the remedial actions needed to make these sectors accessible for all including Persons with disabilities. To achieve this, a set of comprehensive audit tools and checklists were developed. The Kathmandu district, Lalitpur District and Bhaktapur District were assessed.

Disability in South Sudan. K4D Helpdesk Report

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
March 2018

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Decades of conflict in South Sudan, pre and post-independence in 2011, poverty and poor access to services have increased the rate of disability and rendered people with disabilities more marginalised and excluded as a result of the numerous attitudinal, environmental, and institutional barriers they face, and the lack of concerted efforts to include them. This rapid review identifies the available evidence on the experiences of people with disabilities living in South Sudan.

Strengthening environmental sustainability and inclusion in health and other development programs. Practical guidance for environmental sustainability, accessibility, gender, safeguarding and disaster risk reduction

CBM
2018

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The purpose of this booklet is to promote discussion and innovation for strengthening environmental sustainability and inclusion in health and other development activities. The case studies and checklists are designed to foster creative thinking and the ongoing gathering of evidence related to these topics. The booklet will be useful to anyone seeking high quality outcomes from health and other development programs. The information was first compiled for CBM’s engagement in the General Assembly of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness 2016, however will be useful for advancing sustainable development with inclusion in any context.

The case sutdies are: Environmental Sustainability in Eye Health, Caritas Takeo Eye Hospital (CTEH), Cambodia; and  Strengthening Accessibility and Inclusion in Eye Health. UMC Kissy Eye Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa

Disability in Somalia

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
January 2018

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People with disabilities have been identified as a particularly marginalised and at risk group within Somali society as a result of the numerous attitudinal, environmental, and institutional barriers they face, and the lack of concerted efforts to include them . This rapid review identifies available evidence on the experiences of people with disabilities living in Somalia. It was found that there are still numerous evidence gaps in relation to the experiences of people with disabilities living in Somalia.

New Earth Disability Newsletter - December 2017

Alex Ghenis
December 2017

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New Earth Disability is a groundbreaking project looking at how climate change will affect people with disabilities. NED is now a major initiative at the World Institute on Disability, a leading nonprofit focusing on disability research, education and partnerships!

Smarter, greener, more inclusive? Indicators to support the Europe 2020 strategy. 2017 edition

EUROSTAT
July 2017

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The focus of this publication is on showing progress of the EU and its Member States towards the goals and targets defined in the Europe 2020 strategy. The analysis of long-term trends, as described by the strategy’s headline indicators, is accompanied by additional contextual information, which improves understanding of the driving forces behind the developments that these indicators show. The current edition builds upon and updates the previous releases. The publication provides analyses based on the most recent statistics in the five thematic areas of employment, R&D and innovation, climate change and energy, education, and poverty and social exclusion. Each area is analysed in a dedicated chapter. An executive summary outlines the main statistical trends observed in the indicators. Additional country profiles describe the progress of each Member State towards its national Europe 2020 targets

DOI: 10.2785/760192

Improving mental health and related service environments and promoting community inclusion WHO QualityRights training to act, unite and empower for mental health (Pilot version)

FUNK, Michelle
DREW, Natalie
2017

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This document provides training and guidance on the key standards related to the physical and social environment within mental health and related services that need to be met to promote good outcomes, independent living and community inclusion. Service assessment and improvement tools are provided. Training tools (core and advanced) and guidance tools are introduced. Guidance is given for facilitators and learning objectives, resources and outcomes are provided for three topics: What makes a good environment?; The right to an adequate standard of living in mental health and related services; and Living independently and being included in your community.

United Nations Global Sustainable Development Report 2016

Uinted Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
July 2016

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This report was prepared to inform the discussions at the high-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development in 2016. The theme chosen for the HLPF is "ensuring that no one is left behind". The report builds on GSDR2014 and GSDR2015. The approach is of an assessment of assessments, documenting and describing the landscape of information on specific issues or nexuses of issues. Specifically, the report keeps the ‘science-policy interface’ and ‘SDGs as integrated system’ as main threads. Main topics include: ensuring that no one is left behind and the 2030 Agenda; the infrastructure – inequality – resilience nexus; perspectives of scientists on technology and the SDGs; inclusive institutions for sustainable development; and identification of emerging Issues for sustainable development. An annex addresses persons with disabilities specifically, highlighting their over-representation in the "furthest behind".

Transforming our world : the 2030 agenda for sustainable development

UNITED NATIONS (UN)
October 2015

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This document presents the finalised text for adoption of the UN’s 2015-2030 Sustainable Development agenda, a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.  The Agenda seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom and recognises that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. It calls for countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, to implement this plan and  pledges that no one will be left behind. It seeks to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve, and it is anticipated that the Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet

 

The document provides an introduction and vision, shared principles and commitments, the world today and the new agenda, the means of implementation, the follow up and review, and a call for action to change our world. It then specifically outlines the new agenda of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the associated 169 developmental targets, the means of implementation and global partnership, and the expected follow-up and review over the next 15 years at national, regional and global levels

 

The 17 SDGs include: 

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Expanding universal design process : Thailand

SAWADSRI, Antika
Ed
June 2015

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This issue of the Design for All Institute of India’s monthly newsletter higlights universal design process in Thailand. A range of topics are discussed, such as, universal design, related research, accessibility in places of worship and classrooms, and individual perspectives on accessibility from a wheelchair-user and a person with a visual impairment

Vol 10, No 6

Include all, safety for all

ARBEITER SAMARITER BUND (INDONESIA)
May 2015

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This video presents information about best practices in inclusive disaster risk reduction, particularly for the inclusion of people with disabilities.  It highlights information about the lack of opportunities for involvement for those with impairments, and the risks that this could pose in emergency situations. It then presents best practice methods that can be used or adapted by the person with disability in emergency situations, along with disabled survivors of emergency or disaster situations

 

Note: this video was produced as part of "Promoting the Inclusion of People with Disability in Disaster Management in Indonesia", a partnership project between Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ASB) & the Centre for Disability Research and Policy (CDRP), University of Sydney

Climate change’s role in disaster risk reduction’s future : beyond vulnerability and resilience

KELMAN, Ilan
GAILLARD, JC
MERCER, Jessica
March 2015

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‘This article uses vulnerability and resilience to explore the intersections and overlaps amongst climate change, disaster risk reduction, and sustainability. Critiquing concepts such as “return to normal” and “double exposure” demonstrate how separating climate change from wider contexts is counterproductive. Climate change is one contributor to disaster risk and one creeping environmental change amongst many, and not necessarily the most prominent or fundamental contributor. Yet climate change has become politically important, yielding an opportunity to highlight and tackle the deep-rooted vulnerability processes that cause “multiple exposure” to multiple threats. To enhance resilience processes that deal with the challenges, a prudent place for climate change would be as a subset within disaster risk reduction. Climate change adaptation therefore becomes one of many processes within disaster risk reduction. In turn, disaster risk reduction should sit within development and sustainability to avoid isolation from topics wider than disaster risk. Integration of the topics in this way moves beyond expressions of vulnerability and resilience towards a vision of disaster risk reduction’s future that ends tribalism and separation in order to work together to achieve common goals for humanity’

The right to adequate housing for persons with disabilities living in cities

UNITED NATIONS HABITAT
2015

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“This study reviews the literature on the meaning and impact of the right to adequate housing for persons with disabilities in cities. It uses the foundational framework of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and demonstrates how the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides a new understanding of this complex right”

 

Adequate Housing Series

Dialogues on sustainable development : a disability-inclusive perspective

KEOGH Mary
2015

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“This publication, with contributions from civil society, UN agencies and EU institutions as well as disability and development organisations…highlights the many commonalities between disability-inclusive development and a range of overarching development themes. It is structured around the three basic elements of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental sustainability – and discusses a range of sub topics relevant to these areas” 

 

Note: easy-to-read version is provided as a related resource link

Making sure people with disabilities everywhere can have a better future

CHRISTOFFEL BLINDENMISSION (CBM)
2015

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“This easy-to-read version outlines countries’ development plans looking at how all people in the world can have a better life. The plans involve jobs and money, having a say, women and girls, making cities easier to live in, being clean and safe, coping when big problems happen and having access to information. A case study is also provided

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