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What do we know about how to support mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic from past infectious disease epidemics?

QURESH, Onaiza
SCHERER, Nathaniel
July 2020

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The question and the problem:

Symptoms of mental ill-health are common during widespread outbreak of an infectious disease, with high rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reported during recent epidemics, such as the recent Ebola crises and SARS-CoV-1. Elevated symptoms of mental ill-health are not limited to patients only, and are seen in healthcare workers, family members and indeed more widely across the general population. Early evidence coming from the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates high rates of mental ill-health and mental health service provision is needed. This evidence brief summarises evidence on mental health support during COVID-19 and other recent pandemics, informing policy and practice during this crisis.

How can social protection responses to COVID-19 be made disability inclusive?

BANKS, Lena Morgon
HUNT, Xanthe
June 2020

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Question & problem

The COVID-19 pandemic and strategies essential for its containment are resulting in severe strains on economies, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These impacts will be felt most by groups already in or at risk of poverty, including the estimated 1 billion people with disabilities globally. Interventions to address the short- and long-term economic effects of the pandemic are urgently needed. Some countries have begun implementing or announced plans for interventions addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19, such as food assistance, emergency cash transfers, unemployment assistance or expansions to existing social protection programmes. As these programmes are developed, it is important to consider the extent to which their design and delivery is inclusive of people with disabilities. Failure to adequately include people with disabilities in this process will lead to widening inequalities.

How do we improve access to healthcare for people with disabilities?

HUNT, Xanthe
August 2019

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Gaining access to healthcare is often a challenge for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. Part of this has to do with a general dearth of healthcare services in low-resource settings. But part of this difficulty has to do with structural, attitudinal, economic and social barriers to participation and healthcare which affect people with disabilities more than people without disabilities. This lack of access to healthcare is a problem because, in general, people with disabilities may need to access healthcare more frequently than people without disabilities. Full and equitable access to quality healthcare is a human right, and an important imperative of the global agenda. This evidence brief summarises what we know about how to improve access to healthcare for people with disabilities in low-resource settings.

What interventions are effective to support home-based carers?

HUNT, Xanthe
August 2019

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Question & problem

Many people with disabilities require the assistance of other people in order to go about their daily lives. In high-income countries, home-based carers are professional or para-professional workers who provide assistance to people with disabilities, in their homes. They are often well-trained, and remunerated for their services. However, individuals with disabilities in many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) predominantly live with their family, and receive home-based care from family members. There are some stresses associated with giving care to others, and these include burnout, compassion fatigue, and an array of emotional and social consequences related to the caring role. The carers, too, need care. This evidence brief summarises what we know about how to support home-based carers, taking into consideration that these people, in LMIC, are often untrained, unpaid family members of the person for whom they are caring.

How do we ensure that children with disabilities are not bullied in school?

HUNT, Xanthe
August 2019

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Question & problem

Students with disabilities are bullied more often than their typically developing peers. Students in schools for children with disabilities may be victimized more often than students with disabilities in inclusive settings. Being bullied, which can take forms which are physical, verbal, indirect (relational, emotional, or social), and/or sexual, is associated with negative academic, social, and psychological outcomes for the victim. This evidence brief summarises what we know about how to prevent bullying of children with disabilities.

What works to improve educational outcomes of children with disabilities in school?

HUNT, Xanthe
August 2019

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Question & problem

For people with disabilities, a major determinant of social and economic outcomes in adulthood, is access to, and the adequacy of, education in childhood and adolescence. Yet, children with disabilities are less likely to be enrolled in, or complete, school. Further, there are substantial gaps in the evidence regarding what works to improve educational outcomes of children with disabilities in school. Educational outcomes, here include academic achievement, pass rates, and grade completion. Many studies measure child behaviour and proxy or distal outcomes in response to various interventions, but not actually how children with disabilities do in these domains. This is particularly the case in LMIC, where there is a dearth data about the effects of educational policies and practices on child educational outcomes.

How do we ensure that social protection assistance initiatives work for people with disabilities?

HUNT, Xanthe
August 2019

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Question & problem

Social protection systems and other financial assistance, including cash transfers and integrated benefits packages, may be important ways to facilitate the inclusion of people with disabilities in services and society. There is limited information, however, with regards to their impact in low- and middle-income settings. To understand how these programs work, it is important to recognise that there are disability-targeted entitlements, but people with disabilities may also be eligible for mainstream programmes aimed at other targeted groups, such as people of a certain socio-economic status. This evidence note summarises what is known about challenges faced by both of these types of initiatives, as well as evidence-based recommendations to strengthen them.

How do we provide mental health support to children with psychosocial disabilities in school?

QURESH, Onaiza
August 2019

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Question & problem

It is estimated that approximately 10-20% of children, adolescents and young people (under the age of 18) worldwide have a disabling mental health condition. Approximately two-thirds of the global youth population goes to school for a significant proportion of the day. The idea of delivering mental health support in the setting has gained prominence as a way to increase the coverage and accessibility of mental health support for children. While there is a wealth of evidence around school mental health approaches in HIC, there is limited information with regards to their impact in low- and middle-income settings. This evidence brief explores what has worked for the delivery of school mental health initiatives in diverse settings, as well as evidence-based recommendations to strengthen them.

What are the key considerations for including people with disabilities in COVID-19 hygiene promotion programmes?

WILBUR, Jane
HUNT, Xanthe
August 2019

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Question & problem

People with disabilities may be more likely to acquire COVID-19, and if infected may be more likely to experience serious symptoms, or die. Aside from those consequences of the pandemic related to morbidity and mortality, people with disabilities are often reliant on carers to aid with common daily tasks, and so social distancing measures may be unfeasible. Furthermore, safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and facilities may be inaccessible to people with disabilities, and, in many settings, efforts to deliver services in a socially-distanced world have resulted in the roll out of digital or remote healthcare approaches which are sometimes not accessible or inclusive. One of the key interventions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been international attention, and improved funding, programming and media messaging in support of WASH. People with disabilities – who are most at risk of negative consequences of COVID-19 – most need access to such interventions. Yet, WASH access is considered to be one of the biggest challenges of daily life for many people with disabilities.

Uzbekistan: Case for inclusion

NAM, Galina
2019

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The inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream education has become an important agenda for many developing countries. The Uzbekistan government has also attempted to provide equal educational opportunities to this previously excluded group of children. Despite these efforts, however, many children with disabilities remain segregated. The total number of children with disabilities under 16 years old in the country is 97,000 (Uzbek Society of Disabled People, 2014). The majority of them either study at specialised educational institutions, or receive home-based education. Those who are placed at specialised institutions are often deprived of resources and services necessary to receive adequate education (UNICEF, 2013). While limited by the lack of reliable empirical data and research, this article aims to present the current situation in the development of inclusive education in Uzbekistan. It outlines the major legislative documents intended to support inclusive education and identifies some of the current obstacles to inclusive education practices.

 

Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, Vol 30, No 1 (2019)

Exploring the experiences of students with visual impairments at the University of Botswana

OATS, Reginald
DISELE, Chawapiwa
2019

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Purpose: This paper sought to document the responsiveness of the University of Botswana towards the academic needs of students with visual impairments. The study examined the academic experiences of students with visual impairments enrolled at the University and explored their information-seeking needs. The study was informed by the theory of social justice.

Method: This was a qualitative study. Data was collected from students with visual impairments and academic staff from different faculties at the University of Botswana, through document analysis, interviews and observation techniques.

Results: The findings revealed that students with visual impairments experience extra challenges compared to students without disabilities. This is mainly because they do not get full support to enable them to excel academically. Furthermore, lecturers use teaching methodologies that do not accommodate these students, and learning materials are not adapted to formats suitable for them. Access to information is another major concern that hinders the participation of students with visual impairments in tertiary institutions.

Conclusion: The study recommends that lecturers need to be trained on suitable methods to teach students with visual impairments and how best to deliver academic content to them.

 

Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, Vol 30, No 1 (2019)

Disability and inclusive education - A stocktake of education sector plans and GPE-funded grants

BANHAM, Louise
PAPAKOSTI, Elena
et al
March 2018

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This report was commissioned by the Global Partnership for Education’s Secretariat to take stock of how disability and inclusive education are included in education sector plans in 51 countries, including GPE-funded programs, such as education sector program implementation grants, program documents, implementation progress reports education sector analysis, if applicable, and other relevant GPE program documents.

This report documents progress and highlights the need to step up support to GPE partner countries on disability and inclusive education, to improve consideration of issues around disability and inclusion in education sector analysis and sector planning processes to better promote the achievement of GPE 2020 strategic goal 2, and to fulfill the transformative vision of Agenda 2030

Inclusive education and accountability mechanisms. Paper commissioned for the 2017/8 Global Education Monitoring Report, Accountability in education: Meeting our commitments

ABU ALGHAIB, Ola
TROMP, Roseanne
October 2017

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"The adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and in particular Articles 24, 31 and 33, which requires countries to develop an inclusive education system for all children as well obliging them to implement and monitor the process, presents both a challenge and an opportunity to the countries of the world. This report discusses the advances that have been made in terms of the implementation of inclusive education system for people with disabilities, as well as the challenges that are still ahead. The UNCRPD requires ratifying countries to submit Country Reports on the implementation of the Convention to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The present report is unique in that it is based on a thorough analysis of these Country Reports. In addition, it is based on a thorough review of literature about inclusive education for people with disabilities"

 

Women and girls with disabilities. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. General comment No. 3 (2016). Article 6.

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR)
September 2016

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"International and national laws and policies on disability have historically neglected aspects related to women and girls with disabilities. In turn, laws and policies addressing women have traditionally ignored disability". "Article 6 serves as an interpretation tool to approach the responsibilities of States parties across the Convention, to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of women and girls with disabilities, from a human rights-based approach and a development perspective". These general comments take the form of an introduction, normative content, states parties’ obligations, the interrelationship of article 6 with other articles of the Convention (perspectives of women with disabilities in CRPD provisions) and national implementation

Right to inclusive education. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. General comment No. 4 (2016). Article 24

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR)
September 2016

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"States parties must ensure the realisation of the right of persons with disabilities to education through an inclusive education system at all levels, including pre-schools, primary, secondary and tertiary education, vocational training and lifelong learning, extracurricular and social activities, and for all students, including persons with disabilities, without discrimination and on equal terms with others". "The right to inclusive education encompasses a transformation in culture, policy and practice in all formal and informal educational environments to accommodate the differing requirements and identities of individual students, together with a commitment to remove the barriers that impede that possibility". The difference between exclusion, segregation, integration and inclusion is highlighted. Core features of inclusive education are set out. These general comments take the form of an introduction, normative content, states parties’ obligations, relations with other provisions of the Convention and implementation at national level." 

Ensuring that no one is left behind. High-level political forum (HLPF) 2016 position paper by Persons with Disabilities.

INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
2016

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This position paper states that "only by utilising the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a guiding framework in implementing the SDGs, will it be ensured that exclusion and inequality are not created or perpetuated". Proposals are made and background presented on the topics of: the unfinished work of the MDGs; realising, through an enabling environment, the full potential of persons with disabilities; working together to protect our planet; and reaching the farthest behind first

Gender and disability : a way forward to overcoming multiple discrimination

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL
2015

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This advocacy briefing paper presents key information about the inclusion of disability in gender policies and programs. It highlights key facts and issues such as women and girls with disabilities facing multiple discrimination, gaps in political and program responses and legal policy and frameworks. It outlines practical steps can be taken by development actors at different levels and suggests ways to measure progress

 

Advocacy briefing paper

Disability framework : one year on : leaving no one behind

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (DFID)
December 2015

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“The DFID vision is a world where no one is left behind. A world where people with disabilities have a voice, choice and control over the decisions that affect them. Where they participate in and benefit equitably from everyday life, everywhere. Our first Disability Framework was launched in December 2014. It focused on inspiring their colleagues to do more, with support from civil society partners…This updated Framework reflects lessons they have learned over the past year and outlines the next steps we will take as an organisation to deliver their vision”

Community-based rehabilitation in a post-soviet environment in Azerbaijan : where society meets ideology

BURCHELL, Gwen
2015

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This paper explores UAFA’s experience, since 2002, in working with Azerbaijani stakeholders to move from the medical approach to disability, propagated by the Soviet model of planning and implementation, to a social, community-based approach. The paper highlights the common misconceptions and how these can be overcome, including the policy gaps that challenge effective implementation.

 

The importance of creating and maintaining a core team is discussed, alongside the process that UAFA has developed for building up teams of CBR workers. Finally, the paper raises the issue of introducing outcomes-based evaluation in a society that has no such prior experience, followed by an account of the continual challenge faced by most programmes–namely, how to achieve sustainable funding.

 

 

Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, Vol 26, No 3

Inter-agency and expert group on the sustainable development goal Indicators : tentative timeline, work plan and organization of work

INTER-AGENCY AND EXPERT GROUP ON THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL INDICATORS
July 2015

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A brief guide on the prospective Sustainable Development Agenda from the Inter-Agency and Expert Group, giving a tentative outline as to the timescale that will be followed in the deliberation and creation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators. This guide begins with a table overview of this timescale and is then followed by a description on how the work within the group is to be aggregated and organised

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