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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)

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".

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.

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

IASC Guidelines, Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action

INTER-AGENCY STANDING COMMITTEE (IASC)
November 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.

Optimising the performance of frontline implementers engaged in the NTD programme in Nigeria: lessons for strengthening community health systems for universal health coverage

OLUWULE, A
et al
November 2019

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This research article focuses on optimising the performance of frontline implementers engaged with NTD programme delivery in Nigeria. Three broad themes are examined: technical support, social support and incentives

Qualitative data was collected through participatory stakeholder workshops. Eighteen problem-focused workshops and 20 solution-focussed workshops were held  in 12 selected local government areas (LGA) across two states in Nigeria, Ogun and Kaduna States

 

Human Resources for Health, 2019 Nov 1;17(1):79

doi: 10.1186/s12960-019-0419-8

India’s disability estimates: Limitations and way forward

RAKHI, Dandona
et al
September 2019

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With India preparing for the next decennial Census in 2021, disability estimates and data collection methodology between the Census 2011 and the most recent population-level survey for India and its states were compared, to highlight the issues to be addressed to improve robustness of the disability estimates in the upcoming Census.

 

Data from the Census 2011 and from two complementary nationally representative household surveys that covered all Indian states with the same methodology and survey instruments–the District-Level Household Survey-4 (DLHS-4, 2012–2013) and the Annual Health Surveys (AHS three rounds, 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13) were used. Data from DLHS-4 and AHS 2012–13 round were pooled to generate estimates for the year 2012–13. Data collection methodology between the sources was compared, including the review of definitions of each type of disability. The overall, mental, visual, hearing, speech, and movement disability rate (DR) per 100,000 population were compared between the sources for India and for each state, and the percent difference in the respective rates was calculated
 

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.

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