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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.

COVID-19 blog series

SDDirect
April 2020

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The principal aim of this COVID-19 Blog series is to inspire and support the international community to identify, prioritise and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable individuals and nations as part of both the immediate humanitarian response and long-term recovery planning

Blogs include:

  • Recommendations for a disability-inclusive response to COVID-19 (Print and Audio)
  • Why people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 (Print and Audio)

COVID-19 response: Considerations for children and adults with disabilities

UNICEF
April 2020

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A guidance note on considerations for children and adults with disabilities in the COVID-19 response. The guidance describes what we need to know about the situation of persons with disabilities in COVID-19 response, and what we need to do in five key points: Limit human to human transmission and protect individuals from exposure; minimise morbidity and mortality; prevent and address the secondary impact of the outbreak- minimise the human consequences of the outbreak; enhance risk reduction and in-country preparedness including coordination; inclusion in UNICEF operations

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) translated resources

WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES AUSTRALIA (WDDA)
March 2020

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WWDA has produced an Easy English ‘What is Coronavirus‘ document for women or girls with a disabiliity to explain some key facts about COVID-19 in a simple way.

The document is available in 11 different languages (each as a PDF or Accessible Word DOC)

Estimated prevalence of disability and developmental delay among pre‐school children in rural Malawi: Findings from ‘Tikule Limodzi’, a cross‐sectional survey

MURPHY, Rachel
et al
January 2020

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This study measured and compared the prevalence of disability and developmental delay among children attending preschool centres in rural Malawi. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 48 preschool centres in Thyolodistrict, Malawi. Data were collected from parents or guardians of 20 children per centre. Disability was ascertained using the Washington Group/UNICEF Child Functioning Module. Child development was measured using the language and social domains of the Malawi Development Assessment Tool. A total of 960 children were enrolled; 935 (97.4%) children were assessed for disability and 933 (97.2%) for developmental delay; 100 (10.7%) children were identified as having a disability

 

Child Care Health Dev. 2020;46:187–194.
https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12741

Early rehabilitation in conflicts and disasters

LATHIA, Charmi
SKELTON, Peter
CLIFT, Zoe
Eds
January 2020

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When emergencies strike, there is a huge surge in the need for Early Rehabilitation. Early Rehabilitation for patients with traumatic injuries in conflicts and disasters is now recognised as being an integral part of a patient’s recovery. However, the majority of rehabilitation professionals in countries that experience such emergencies do not have all the skills needed to treat all of the injuries. HI, in collaboration with leading organisations (ICRC, MSF-France, CBM, Livability & the WHO), has created this educational resource package to fill this gap

Each chapter of this handbook has been written by experts in their field. It includes pictures and evidence based treatment protocols to help rehabilitation professionals around the world to delivery high quality early rehabilitation intervention. Chapters included are:

  • Key Challenges in Delivering Early Rehabilitation in Conflicts and Disasters
  • Early Rehabilitation Patient Assessment and Treatment - the Basics
  • Early Rehabilitation of Fractures 
  • Early Rehabilitation of Peripheral Nerve Injuries
  • Early Rehabilitation of Amputees
  • Early Rehabilitation of Acquired Brain Injuries
  • Early Rehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Early Rehabilitation of Burns

Videos accompany each of the chapters. The handbook contents are directly linked to modules taught on disasterready.org where there are additional accompanying resources designed to be used in conflict and disasters settings

Disability measurement in household surveys : A guidebook for designing household survey questionnaires (English). LSMS guidebook.

TIBERTO, Marco
COSTA, Valentina
January 2020

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This Guidebook supports the implementation of the Washington Group Short Set (WG-SS) – a set of questions designed to identify (in a census or survey format) people with a disability – in multi-topic household surveys, towards improving the collection of disaggregated disability data. The first section presents an overview of the disability definitions in the sociopsychological literature, exploring how disability is defined and who is considered disabled. The second section looks at three different methods for capturing disability in multi-topic household surveys: the Washington Group (WG) question sets, the World Health Organization (WHO) survey instruments for disabilities, and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) module on disabilities. The third section presents the six core WG-SS functional domains, ‘seeing’, ‘hearing’, ‘walking’, ‘cognition’, ‘selfcare’, and ‘communication’, that are intended for the general population five years of age and above. Finally, the Guidebook offers a series of recommendations for ensuring the improvement of disability data collection in multi-topic household survey.

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".

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. Case studies collection 2019. 39 examples of field practices, and learnings from 20 countries, for all phases of humanitarian response

PALMER, Tom
et al
December 2019

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Published at the same time as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, this report aims to support their uptake and promote learning by example. This report presents 39 short case studies on inclusive practices for persons with disabilities in humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction (DRR). It is designed for humanitarian stakeholders with limited experience of working with and for persons with disabilities, as well as for organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) planning to engage in humanitarian action and DRR. The report draws lessons from field practices, but does not provide technical guidance. The IASC Guidelines are the reference document to seek in-depth theoretical and technical information

 

The case studies focus on:

  • Inclusive disaster risk reduction and preparedness
  • Collecting and using disability disaggregated data for assessments and programming.
  • Participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in humanitarian response and recovery
  • Removing barriers to access humanitarian assistance and protection.
  • Influencing coordination mechanisms and resource mobilization to be inclusive

 

The evidence presented in this report was identified in 2017-2018 through a desk review of publicly available reports and internal documents on projects implemented by CBM, HI and IDA members, as well as their partners and affiliate members. Field visits to Lebanon, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, and the Philippines conducted in 2018 also informed the case-study collection and documentation

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 Data Lab learning paper: a practical guide to disability data

JENKINSON, Astrid
et al
December 2019

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The Bond Disability and Development Group (DDG) has commissioned this learning paper to summarise discussions which took place at the DDG’s Data Lab workshop, held in London on 22 October 2019, and to be used as a reference document going forward. This first workshop focused on why organisations need to collect disability data; what tools are available and practical ways in which these can be used. This learning paper provides a summary of these discussions and can act as a guide and reference tool for organisations looking to be more inclusive in their programming, generally, and in their data collection practices, specifically. A number of case studies and numerous resource references are provided.

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