Resources search

“Everything is Totally Uncertain Right Now”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Bangladesh

SHAW, Jackie
AKTER, Fatema
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2021

Expand view

The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. In order to better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted as part of the Inclusion Works programme in Bangladesh.

Taking a Disability-Inclusive Approach to Pandemic Responses

WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
2021

Expand view

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities globally, yet the impact has not been equal. People with disabilities were already often living with severe disadvantage and marginalisation and, as predicted by many disability-focused agencies, Covid-19 has exacerbated these inequalities. Emerging evidence from Inclusive Futures, a UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded programme, highlights the catastrophic emotional and material impacts on people with disabilities in Nepal and Bangladesh. To respond to and plan for future crises, decision makers should consult inclusively with both organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) and people with disabilities themselves.
 

‘Because of COVID, Everything is a Mess’ How Have People with Disabilities Experienced the Pandemic in Nepal and Bangladesh?

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
THOMPSON, Stephen
SHAW, Jackie
WICKENDEN, Mary
KAYASTHA, Shubha
SIGDEL, Anita
AKTER, Fatema
BOSRI, Rabia
March 2021

Expand view

COVID-19 is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic and responses to it. The aim of this research was to better understand how people with disabilities who are often excluded from research have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh and Nepal. In order to better understand how it has affected some of the most marginalised groups of people with disabilities, this study used in-depth qualitative research to focus on people with intellectual, psychosocial, deafblindness and other multiple impairments.

 

আমরা বাংলাদেশে (20 জন লোক) এবং নেপালে (15 জন লোক) বসবাসরত 35টি ডিজেবলড লোকদেরকে কোভিড-19 প্রাদুর্ভাব চলাকালীন সময়ে তাদের জীবন সম্পর্কে জিজ্ঞাসা করেছি। তাদের মধ্যে বধিরতা, নেত্রহীনতা, বৌদ্ধিক ডিজেবিলিটি এবং মানসিক ডিজেবিলিটি’র মতন বিভিন্ন ধরণের ডিজেবিলিটি রয়েছে। তাদেরকে জিজ্ঞাসা করার প্রধান কারণ হল যে প্রায়শই তাদেরকে তাদের জীবন সম্পর্কে কিছুই জিজ্ঞাসা করা হয় না। আমরা ডিজেবলড বাচ্চাদের বাবা-মাদেরকেও তাদের অভিজ্ঞতা সম্পর্কে জিজ্ঞাসা করেছি।

 

हामीले बङ्गलादेश (20 जना मानिस) र नेपाल (15 जना मानिस) मा अपाङ्गता भएका 35 जना व्यक्तिलाई कोभिड-19 को प्रकोपको समयमा आफ्नो जीवन बारे हामीलाई बताउन अनुरोध गर्‍यौं। उहाँहरूलाई वणदृष्टिविहीन, बौद्धिक अपाङ्गता र मनोसामाजिक अपाङ्गता जस्ता विभिन्न अपाङ्गता थिए। उहाँहरूलाई प्रायः आफ्नो जीवन बारे नसोधिने भएकोले हामी उहाँहरूलाई सोध्न चाहन्थ्यौं। हामीले अपाङ्गता भएका बालबालिकाका आमाबुवाहरूलाई पनि सोध्यौं।

Invisible to the Law: COVID-19 and the legal consciousness of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh

MIZAN, Arpeeta Shams
2021

Expand view

Despite disability rights being recognized through formal legislation in Bangladesh, the rights of persons with disabilities are still not effectively ensured. State interventions during the pandemic have not sufficiently accommodated the rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pre-existing social prejudices have added to their plight. Due to social prejudice and myriad access to justice challenges, persons with disabilities in Bangladesh face negative attitudes when it comes to exercising their legal rights. The article uses primary data obtained through qualitative interviews and secondary sources to illustrate how the Covid19 pandemic has reinforced structural discriminations and increased the vulnerability of persons with disabilities

Considering age and disability in the Rohingya response

ASSESSMENT CAPACITIES PROJECT (ACAPS)
February 2021

Expand view

This report evaluates existing data on the Rohingya refugee response. It highlights the key challenges and constraints faced by persons with disabilities (PwD) and older people in accessing essential services and explores how COVID-19 and related containment and risk mitigation measures have affected humanitarian programming for PwD and older people. It also identifies information gaps and challenges linked to disability prevalence in the camps

 

This secondary data review focuses on the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and combines publicly available secondary data with 11 key informant interviews conducted with age and disability experts working on the humanitarian response. The interviews took place between 1 July–30 August 2020 with experts from the UN, national NGOs, INGOs, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.  

Disability, Sociodemographics, and Discrimination: A Descriptive Analysis of Household Survey Data from Bangladesh

Ekman, Björn
Borg, Johan
Khan, AHM Noman
Bari, Nazmul
Tanbir, Moin
Emmelin, Maria
2020

Expand view

Purpose: Disability affects upwards of one billion people worldwide, the majority of whom live in low- and middle-income countries. Based on survey data from Bangladesh, the aim of the study is to contribute to an improved understanding of the experiences of people with disabilities in terms of discrimination, health, and sociodemographic indicators.

 

Method: A descriptive analysis of data is presented, from a survey implemented in 2016 on a sample of adult persons with disabilities from 18 districts in Bangladesh (n=1,900). The summary statistics of main indicators and correlation analysis of key variables are given.

 

Results: Women comprised around 40% of the sample. The mean age was 36 years (minimum 18 years and maximum 55 years). Women had lower socioeconomic status than men (p<0, 01), were less likely to be well-educated or employed, had worse self-assessed health (p<0, 05), and were less likely to be able to read and write. Men were more likely to have a physical disability than women (p<0, 01). Both women and men reported unmet needs in terms of access to assistive products and not receiving a benefit. Around 40 % of the sample reported having experienced discrimination, with no significant differences between women and men.

 

Conclusion and Implications: Many women and men with disability experience some forms of discrimination, including in matters pertaining to healthcare, education, and employment. Such experiences may have a negative impact on their life chances. However, women and men with a disability differ in several important respects, both in terms of socioeconomic status and types of disability. Such differences need to be considered for effective and equitable policy development.

The mobile disability gap report 2020

ARANDA-JAN, Clara
December 2020

Expand view

As we move towards a more digital society, it is critical that digital technologies are inclusive of everyone, including persons with disabilities. However, research conducted by the GSMA Assistive Tech programme suggests that a disability gap exists in mobile access and use.

Driving greater inclusion of persons with disabilities requires data and evidence to inform actions from multiple stakeholders. This report looks to understand the digital divide experienced by persons with disabilities, identify existing barriers to digital inclusion and define strategies and actions to close the mobile disability.

This report uses data from the GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2019 to explore the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities in eight LMICs: Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda. This report looks at key stages and milestones in the journey to mobile internet use that can pose barriers to regular and diverse mobile use

Disability employment law briefing - Bangladesh

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
2020

Expand view

This document provides information on the current legal requirements regarding people with disabilities in the workplace. It touches upon areas such as reasonable accommodations and discrimination laws as well as other key legislation.

The disability-confident employers' toolkit

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
November 2020

Expand view

Here you can find all documents in one zipfile that relate to the disability-confident employers’ toolkit: a unique portfolio of practical guides, checklists, case studies and resources that make it easier for any business to be disability confident.

Unheard children. Championing deaf children’s rights to family, community, education and independence in developing countries

DEAF CHILDREN WORLDWIDE
November 2020

Expand view

This report highlights the specific barriers facing deaf children and young people and demonstrates a number of smallscale approaches and initiatives that have succeeded in breaking down some of these barriers.

Topics are:

  • Language and communication. Early diagnosis and support (example from Bangladesh). Effective and affordable hearing technology. Communication choices. What is sign language? Tanzanian Sign Language – the need for more interpreters
  • Families. Early diagnosis and support. Upskilling parents and primary caregivers. Power to the parents (example from Uganda). Catalyst for change (example from India). 
  • Communities. Deaf role models (example from Bangladesh). Challenging the public and professionals. Educating the police force (example from India). Sharing knowledge across organisations
  • Education. Intensive communication. Extra help in the classroom (example from Kenya). Making secondary education accessible. Developing sign language skills. Inclusive further and higher education
  • Independence. Listening to deaf young people. Involving deaf young people in research. Support to make informed choices. Challenging perceptions in the workplace (example from Kenya)

 

 

Action on COVID-19 Evidence on the Response of Disabled People’s Organisations during Pandemic

ADD International
October 2020

Expand view

In June 2020, ADD International conducted structured interviews with leaders from ten Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) which are participating in the Inclusion Works programme in three districts in Bangladesh to understand impact of and response to Covid-19 among DPOs.

 

Evidence from these interviews suggest that the economic impact of Covid-19 on persons with disabilities has been acute, and DPOs are taking critical action. DPOs are engaging with power holders to make relief, livelihood support and information accessible to persons with disabilities. DPOs are in touch with their members, but they face barriers in doing their work during this time, and more could be done to reach the most excluded.

The impact of Covid-19 on people with disabilities – emerging findings

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
THOMPSON, Stephen
WICKENDEN, Mary
WAKOKO, Eric
AKTER, Fatema
NJUNGI, Josephine
CHUBA-UZO, Shadrach
September 2020

Expand view

Emerging evidence suggests that people with disabilities are amongst the groups most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in all aspects of their lives. In order to provide more systematic evidence, narrative interviews were conducted with a diverse group of 40 jobseekers with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda who are involved with the Inclusion Works programme. The first round of interviews were conducted in July and August 2020. Initial key findings are given.

 

Generating disability statistics: Models of disability measurement, history of disability statistics and the Washington Group Questions

Development Initiatives
September 2020

Expand view

This paper provides an overview of progress towards the creation of accurate and comparable disability statistics, the critical issues that impact on the measurement of disability, and discusses one of the most prominent international efforts to improve data on disabilities – the Washington Group on Disability Statistics.

Covid-19 Double Jeopardy for Persons with Disability

ADD International
August 2020

Expand view

SUMMARY

This report presents the findings from telephone interviews with 91 representatives from 15 Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) partners in Bangladesh, to ask about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities in Bangladesh.

The report finds that, in the Covid-19 pandemic, some persons with disabilities experience double jeopardy—not only are persons with disabilities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, but they are also disproportionately excluded from protection and survival support.

Persons with disabilities report being disproportionately excluded from Covid-19 support. 63% of respondents report not receiving the same protection and survival support as others. Two-thirds of those who described their personal experiences reported supply shortage or diversion of essential food and medical supplies as reasons for why they had been excluded.

Relief that has been provided has not met need. Many respondents (84%) report that survival support does not meet their basic needs. Support received has mostly been food instead of cash. Some (17%) report difficulty in following Covid-19 advice, mostly because they cannot afford protection materials.

Persons with multiple disabilities are being left further behind. Respondents with multiple functional difficulties experience more exclusion than respondents with one functional difficulty. This finding of disproportionate exclusion is statistically significant and consistent with qualitative responses, which show that most of those that did report challenges in following received advice were persons with multiple functional difficulties. This strongly suggests that persons with multiple functional difficulties experience more barriers. Persons with multiple functional difficulties who were excluded tended to report difficulties in communicating, remembering, self-care and walking.

The economic impact of the pandemic is acute for persons with disabilities. On average, respondents report losing 65% of their income since the Covid-19 crisis began, which in absolute terms, after adjusting for purchase power parity, is the equivalent of moving from £167 to £58 in monthly earnings.

Some respondents report that they are skipping meals and going hungry. Anecdotal reports reveal that families are reverting to one main meal every two days, or two main meals every three days. Many are borrowing and relying on family support to meet their daily needs to survive, and some of those who already depended on family support have had that support reduced or withdrawn. On balance, future plans reflect a sense of precarity due to uncertainty, ranging from feelings of hope with specific plans to powerlessness with no plans.

Government can do more. Many respondents said government should prioritise persons with disabilities and provide more relief. Many voiced concerns about how relief was being distributed or stolen, and that it is not reaching those most in need. The majority of respondents said that NGOs and wealthy people should play a role in support efforts.

COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts: no excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind! Evidence from HI's operations in humanitarian settings

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2020

Expand view

This collection and review of evidence aims to illustrate how the COVID-19 crisis triggers disproportionate risks and barriers for men, women, boys and girls with disabilities living in humanitarian settings. It highlights recommendations for humanitarian actors, to enhance inclusive action, aligned with existing guidance and learnings on disability inclusion. It is based on evidence, including testimonies, collected by HI programs in 19 countries of intervention. Special efforts were made to reflect the voices of persons with different types of disabilities, genders and ages, residing in different geographical areas and living circumstances, including refugee and internally displaced persons’ settlements and host communities.

 

Evidence has been collected through primary data collection among HI teams and partners, working in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in April/May 2020. Data was extracted from assessments conducted by HI and partners in Bangladesh, Egypt, Haïti, Indonesia, Philippines, Jordan, Lebanon, Somaliland and Togo. Testimonies from affected communities, staff and partners were collected in Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Somaliland, South Sudan, Rwanda, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.

 

Access to age-assistive technology: A resilience building measure for older people

HISCOCK, Diana
MALIK, Deepak
June 2020

Expand view

The intersection between age, gender and disability and the use of assistive technology (AT) by older people, in emergency response and as a tool for disaster risk reduction (DRR) is explored. The report shows that AT can have a positive impact on independence, vulnerability reduction and resilience building for older women and men in humanitarian crises. This report urges for sensitization and capacity building of humanitarian organizations for the inclusion and promotion of assistive product (AP) provision in humanitarian response and offers insight into key areas to enable AT provision to successfully meet the needs of older people.

 

The study employed primary research methods to gather both quantitative and qualitative information through a semi-structured survey with HelpAge programme beneficiaries in five countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. The survey incorporated the Washington Group short set of questions (WGQs), designed to identify people with functional difficulties in six core functional domains: mobility, vision, hearing, cognition, self-care and communication (Washington Group on Disability Statistics, 2016). The report also summarises secondary research including a literature review, information from rapid needs assessments carried out by HelpAge, and maps out relevant policy changes which have led to better recognition of the intersectionality and importance of AT for older men and women.

Inclusion Works Bangladesh Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2020

Expand view

This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation in relation to formal sector employment for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh?”. It has been prepared for the Inclusion Works programme (which works on disability inclusive formal employment in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda), to better understand the current context and available evidence in Bangladesh, and will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion, especially in relation to employment. It focuses on persons with disabilities, employers, policy, the disability movement, and partnerships. This situational analysis (SITAN) synthesises the most recent existing literature and evidence (drawing on government and non-government sources available online) about Bangladesh generally and on factors relating to persons with disabilities involvement in formal employment.

 

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UK government or members of the Inclusion Works consortium.

Disability Inclusive Development - Bangladesh Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2020

Expand view

This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Bangladesh. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Bangladesh, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

Pages

E-bulletin

Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion

Subscribe to updates