To understand the impact of the COVID-19 public health response on families of children with disabilities in Central Uganda we conducted phone interviews with parents and children during the first 5 months of the outbreak (March - July 2020). Most parents and children were well informed about COVID-19 and were keen to adhere to government prevention measures. The majority said lock-down measures had a negative effect on their mental and physical health, social life, finances, education and food security. Access to medical services and medication for chronic illness had been limited or absent due to restrictions in travel, some facilities restricting access, and limited financial resources. The majority of parents reported loss of work which resulted in difficulties in finding enough food and paying rent. Parents worried about children missing education and friends. We suggest greater attention to children with disabilities and their families when implementing mitigating and long-term responses.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
Resources on coronavirus and disability
This is a database of resources from experts around the world on coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it intersects with disability.
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Purpose: The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost all aspects of our lives, and the field of childhood disability is no exception.
Methods: This article is based on an invited lecture by the first author at a conference–the eHealth Summit (“Pediatric Rehabilitation in a Digital Space”)–organized by the other authors and their colleagues in May 2020.
Results: The first author offers his own experiences and perspectives, supplemented by comments and observations contributed by many of the 9000+ attendees at this talk, as curated by the second and third authors. The basic messages are that while life for families of children with developmental disabilities, and for service providers who work with them, is significantly altered, many important lessons are being learned.
Conclusions: The comments from participants support the currency of the ideas that were presented, and encourage childhood disability professionals to reflect on what we are learning, so that we can seize the opportunities they afford to do things differently–and we believe better–moving forward.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, children with disabilities were among the most disadvantaged, facing increased exposure to abuse and discrimination and reduced access to services in many parts of the world. Understanding these pre-existing vulnerabilities can help anticipate how the COVID-19 pandemic could sharpen existing inequities and can shed light on where targeted efforts may be required.
The publication below draws on pre-COVID data to highlight how children with disabilities face greater risks in the midst of this pandemic. It documents what has happened to services for children and adults with disabilities across the world and includes examples of what has been done to address disruptions in services. It also discusses the challenges in generating disability-inclusive data during the pandemic.
The number of Palestine refugees registered by UNRWA recently grew to 5.7 million (from 5.5 million in 2019) in all its five field of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. Among them are Palestine refugees with disabilities, who have long-term impairments, which in interactions with attitudinal, institutional, and environmental barriers prevent their full and effective participation on an equal basis with others in society. Persons with disabilities constitute an estimated 15 per cent of the global population1, and may constitute a higher percentage in humanitarian contexts, such as Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, in particular, which are UNRWA fields of operations.
The main actions undertaken in 2020 discussed in the report are:
- targeted and disability-specific services for persons with disabilities
- disability inclusion through programmes
- inter-agency coordination
- international protection advocacy
International Disability Alliance call on all policy-makers and health-care planners in every region and in every country to include persons with disabilities and support networks of their choice in priority groups to receive vaccinations, and to make sure that all persons with disabilities can access vaccinations on the basis of accessible and understandable information, through informed consent
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified in December 2019 with millions of cases reported globally in the succeeding months. Initial hospitalisation strives to minimise multisystem organ failure and of those that survive, individuals can present with profound rehabilitation needs. The purpose of this case series is to describe occupational therapy (OT) and special technology considerations for three male Veteran patients hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
This is a descriptive case series using a retrospective electronic health record review at a Veterans Administration hospital. The case series includes three male Veterans with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (ages 69–78) who were referred to OT. The cases were selected to demonstrate the novel use of technology and strategies to reduce the risk of transmission. In two of three of our cases, we describe acute rehabilitation with a focus on activity tolerance, participation in occupations, and discharge planning. In all cases, we measured vital signs and activity tolerance as primary outcomes.
Results and conclusions:
The findings suggest that outcome measures focussing on activity tolerance to maintain stable vital signs during the recovery phase is central to the progression of activities. We observed in our cases that the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance (PEOP) model can guide practice and complement the medical model in management of these patients. We utilised technology to engage family members in the rehabilitation care and minimise exposure risks.
A brief overview is given of the set up and work of the ICRC's orthopaedic programme in Afghanistan and the life's work of it's head, Alberto Cairo. The impact of COVID-19 and the importance of sport are highlighted.
Save the Children aims to contribute to more children with disabilities receiving a quality education by both mainstreaming disability into their programmes and offering targeted interventions to them and their families where needed.
Examples are given from their current programmes in Uganda, Rwanda and Kosovo.
The impact of COVID-19 is examined.
Children with disabilities face multiple obstacles to access and thrive in education. In low- and middle-income countries, 50% of children with disabilities are out of school. More than 40% of countries in the regions of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean still lean towards segregated education systems. Obstacles for the education of children with disabilities exist both within and outside the education system. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated inequalities in education. In times of crisis, coordinated multi-sectoral approaches are even more important to address the complexity and interdependency of children’s care, safety, wellbeing and education.
The extensive experience of Humanity & Inclusion and its partners across the 27 countries where they implement Inclusive education projects was crucial to develop this report and to nourish it with first-hand expertise and evidence. The Report contains arguments, testimonies, case-studies, and a list of actionable recommendations for governments in low and middle income countries, aid donors, and multilateral agencies
Participants shared their experiences and views on the strategies that make education systems, supported by health and social welfare systems, more resilient to pandemics and that ensure that children with disabilities are at the heart of preparedness responses
The international symposium "Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities: From commitment to action", co-organized by UNESCO, the Leonard Cheshire, and the Ministry of Education of Portugal brought together a wide range of stakeholders across the globe to discuss progress, successes achieved and challenges to ensure full participation and access to quality learning opportunities for all learners.
The symposium aims were to:
- review persisting, as well as new challenges, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that are hindering the fulfilment of the right to inclusive education for learners with disabilities.
- facilitate the exchange of experiences on factors influencing successful inclusive policies and practices for learners with disabilities and strengthen dialogue and cooperation amongst stakeholders at policy and practice levels.
- explore how the inclusion of learners with disabilities in inclusive settings can be more effectively addressed by governments with regards to the commitments of Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the CRPD General Comment 4 on article 24, and Sustainable Development 4 SDG 4, to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The programme included:
Opening session - Accelerating efforts towards inclusive education for learners with disabilities. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)
Session 1 - From legislation to inclusive practices: Re-designing policy frameworks, funding and monitoring arrangements across sectors for inclusive education for learners with disabilities. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)
Session 2 - Revisiting the teaching and learning process to ensure access and participation of learners with disabilities.
Session 3 - Moving towards inclusive and safe learning environments, including by addressing violence and bullying against learners with disabilities.
Closing session - Rebuilding a Stronger Global Disability Inclusive Education System post COVID-19. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)
This report looks at the extent to which older people’s rights are being upheld in emergencies and their needs met. The picture it paints is a bleak one. Although some efforts are being made to support older people, overall, the humanitarian system is failing by the standards it has set itself.
The report draws on the findings of needs assessments carried out by HelpAge International in the 13 months to the end of 2019. We interviewed 8,883 people aged 50 to 80 - plus affected by natural disasters, conflict or socioeconomic crises in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Since the data was collected, COVID-19 has swept across the globe. The pandemic has both increased the need for humanitarian aid and disrupted its delivery. The response to coronavirus has thrown into stark relief the gulf between the risks older people are facing and the level of support available to them. The findings in this report provide important lessons for improving this response
Links to resources on information about COVID-19 for the general public and also specifically for health workers are provided. Links are provided for country specific information.
A COVID safe workplace plan template and a COVID workplace attendance register template have been developed to help health services and departments in the Pacific region to plan for and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their workplace.
This toolkit was created in response to increasing interest and requests from persons with disabilities and their representative organizations from all over the world. The aim of this toolkit is to contribute to the growing global dialogue on the importance of data on persons with disabilities, specifically to provide some basic knowledge on data collection, analysis, and use of data for evidenced based advocacy to influence policy and decision makers. The toolkit discusses the use of the WG questions as best practices to be employed in data collections and disaggregating data by disability.
Nicole LeBlanc, a disability rights activist, talks about the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and what she hopes for the next 30 years. Areas highlighted on the road to achieving equality and equity for all include health and health services, housing, flexible working, vocational rehabilitation and disaster preparedness.
This event was organised by Leonard Cheshire Disability Philippines Foundation Inc and Chambers of Massage Industry of Visually Impaired in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Sustainable Livelihood Program. The programme is outlined and followed by an Open Forum for questions and discussion.
A message by the chair of the Disability Working Group at GANHRI (Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions), on the occasion of the launch of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor Global Report.
Topics covered in this disability inclusion evidence digest Jan -Mar 2020 include:
- Mental health and development
- Education, children and disability
- Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
There is a section on Policy and News and a list of recently published (Oct 2020) Helpdesk updates
Statistic Report - People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. They must be included meaningfully in the response and recovery.
This report presents findings from telephone interviews with 87 members from Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) partners and 10 DPO/Self-Help Group (SHG) leaders from organisations with 1,998 members in 10 districts across 7 provinces of Cambodia, to ask about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities.
Three patterns emerge from these interviews: there is a pattern of compounding vulnerability to violence; a pattern of significant livelihood loss that is felt differently by disability type and gender; and a link between livelihood loss and pronounced increase in economic and psychological violence against women and girls with disabilities.
Evidence from these interviews suggests that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, some women with disabilities are at increased risk of violence and suffering a dramatic loss in household earnings. Reported violence risk increase is mostly psychological and economic, higher among older respondents and most pronounced among those who already experienced medium to high risk of violence before COVID-19.