Inclusive Futures played a crucial role in supporting some of the most marginalised people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper summarises what we learned and it can be used to include people with disabilities in future programming, particularly in contexts at risk of crisis.
This article explores COVID-19 related experiences of disabled people in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda. Narrative interviews generated storied responses, focussing on respondents' priorities, which enabled us to hear what was most significant for them and their families. 143 interviews were conducted online or by phone by 7 local researchers (3 disabled), with appropriate inclusive support. Nearly everyone was interviewed twice to capture the progression of impacts over time. The data was analysed thematically through a virtual participatory approach. An overarching 'subjective' theme of feelings experienced by the participants was labelled 'destabilisation, disorientation and uncertainty'. We also identified 'concrete' or material impacts. People experienced various dilemmas such as choosing between securing food and keeping safe, and tensions between receiving support and feeling increased vulnerability or dependence, with interplay between the emotions of fear, loss and hope. We found both the concept of liminality and grief models productive in understanding the progression of participants' experiences. Disabled people reported the same feelings, difficulties and impacts as others, reported in other literature, but often their pre-existing disadvantages have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including poverty, gender and impairment related stresses and discrimination, inaccessible services or relief, and exclusion from government initiatives.
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.
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।
An introduction into South Asia looking at the pandemic who people are struggling with in 2020. The DGS has aimed to first identify and acknowledge the diversity of disability experiences in the Global South and, second, make these experiences readily available and accessible to disabled people and their communities in the regions where the contributors themselves are from. In fact, in undertaking this special issue as editors, we would like to recognize the incredible persistence of our contributors to continue to work with us throughout the development of the papers, alongside acknowledging the many original contributors who were also unable to accept our invitation to participate because of the covid19 pandemic impacts upon every aspect of their lives.
The COVID 19 pandemic crisis is unfolding against the backdrop of several important milestones for equality and the human rights of various marginalized groups including women and girls, indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities in all their diversities and intersections in Nepal. The COVID-19 pandemic has entrenched systemic gaps, underlying structural inequalities and pervasive discrimination, more visible with inadequate healthcare, access to information, employment and livelihoods, and social protection system mainly for marginalized groups. This study aims to understand the challenges and impacts of the COVID 19 on marginalized groups including persons with disabilities in Nepal. Based on qualitative research with primary and secondary information, the paper emphasizes the experiences and realities of marginalized groups during the lockdown and pandemic situations. Some of the existing challenges faced by marginalized groups include access to information and health measures related to COVID 19, access to livelihoods and employment, increasing rates of suicide, violence against women from marginalized groups, women with disabilities, and others. The study will integrate these components and deal with intersections with concrete recommendations.
Access to appropriate assistive technology is a challenge worldwide and especially in low GDP-per-capita countries. Nepal is one example of a country with several coinciding challenges: some claim having a high rate of blindness in the general population, a low-GDP-per capita and some studies claim it has a low literacy rate, especially in rural areas. Without appropriate assistive technology, some disabled youth may not get full access to education.
To gain insight into assistive technology use in rural Nepal, five blind teenagers in a mixed secondary school with disabled and non-disabled students in rural Nepal were interviewed about their daily smartphone use.
The results show that all the participants used screen readers on donated smartphones. None of the participants had received formal training in using smartphone screen readers and therefore lacked knowledge about basic and essential operational aspects of the devices as well as misguided expectations about the technology.
One implication of the findings is that smartphone accessibility features training material needs to be made easily available to schools and all disabled youth worldwide, as smartphones are increasingly becoming available in low-income remote regions with low literacy rates. The built-in accessibility features of smartphones promise disabled youth a non-stigmatizing platform for social participation and access to the information society.
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.
The aim of this study was to assess the association between anxiety and depression with physical and sensory functional difficulties, among adults living in five low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
A secondary data analysis was undertaken using population-based disability survey data from five LMICs, including two national surveys (Guatemala, Maldives) and 3 regional/district surveys (Nepal, India, Cameroon). 19,337 participants were sampled in total (range 1,617–7,604 in individual studies). Anxiety, depression, and physical and sensory functional difficulties were assessed using the Washington Group Extended Question Set on Functioning. Age-sex adjusted logistic regression analyses were undertaken to assess the association of anxiety and depression with hearing, visual or mobility functional difficulties.
The findings demonstrated an increased adjusted odds of severe depression and severe anxiety among adults with mobility, hearing and visual functional difficulties in all settings (with ORs ranging from 2.0 to 14.2) except for in relation to hearing loss in India, the Maldives and Cameroon, where no clear association was found. For all settings and types of functional difficulties, there was a stronger association with severe anxiety and depression than with moderate. Both India and Cameroon had higher reported prevalences of physical and sensory functional difficulties compared with Nepal and Guatemala, and weaker associations with anxiety and depression
This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Nepal?”. 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 Nepal. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Nepal, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.
A collection of stories from people with various disabilities across the globe sharing their experiences with the COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic risk reduction strategies implemented by their governments. Some stories are written by IDA and some are external.
- How absence of transport can be fatal: A Story from Uganda
- In Uganda, a Deaf man loses his leg after being shot during curfew
- Voices of Mexico: Disability and COVID-19 | Voces de Mexico: Discapacidad y COVID-19
- COVID-19 in Mexico: the experience of deafblind children told by their mothers (Espanōl)
- Reaching Persons with Deafblindness
- COVID-19 and The Forgotten People (Indonesia)
- When accessible information is far from a reality: Zimbabwe during COVID-19
- The experience of a blind woman in Kenya under COVID-19 outbreak
- Being a single mother of two persons with disabilities under COVID-19 (South Africa)
- Autistic students in South Africa: how has their life changed?
- The Story of Rose Rokiatou: COVID-19 Pandemic and Financial Vulnerability of Persons with Disability in Mali
- COVID-19 in Romania: Life-threatening situations reported
- COVID-19 in Nepal: What are the challenges for indigenous persons with disabilities?
- COVID-19 in India : Technology can be your best friend or worst enemy
A series of videos providing short reports from HI personnel on the potential impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities living in already difficult situations.
This edition of the Disability inclusion helpdesk summarises the major announcements, events and reports published on 3rd December 2019, International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
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
Determinants of school achievement in Nepal among persons with and without disabilities as well as among each type of impairment were determined using data from a nationally representative disability inclusive survey collected in 2015. The individual level data used in this article comprise 2123 persons with and 2000 persons without disabilities.
Disability and Rehabilitation
Aim: Many children with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries do not attend school and one-third are out of school. In order to ensure that education is for all including children with disabilities, research is needed on barriers to schooling to identify targets for intervention. The study will examine the determinants of school achievement among persons with and without disabilities as well as among each type of impairment.
Methods: The study will utilize data from a recent national, representative household survey on living conditions among persons with and without disabilities. The individual level data used in this article comprise 2123 persons with and 2000 persons without disabilities.
Results: The results show that an alarmingly high proportion of persons in Nepal have not accessed formal education, with access being significantly lower among persons with disabilities. While the results may be influenced by the assumed relationship between disability and poverty, results from analyzing the cross-sectional data cannot be conclusive on the influence of disability vs. poverty in determining differences in access and school attainments. Increased environmental barriers, higher age, rural location, and increased levels of disability were found to be associated with lower educational achievement. Pronounced differences in access to education were found between impairment types, with individuals with physical impairments achieving the highest level and individuals with multiple impairments, hearing and mental impairments achieving lowest.
Conclusions: It is necessary both to strengthen the entire educational sector and at the same time allocate resources that will ensure that all children are on board and that particular efforts are implemented to cater for those who are easily side-lined.
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.
This report illustrates how rehabilitation contributes to achievement of several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), improves global health, and promotes the realisation of human rights for all. The purpose of this report is to provide evidence to stakeholders upon which to build successful strategies to improve the availability of quality, coordinated, affordable, and user-centred rehabilitation. By situating disability and rehabilitation within global discourse and policy, it is intended to provide guidance on the implementation of effective rehabilitation-focused policy and practice, contributing to progress towards global development goals.
SDGs 1,3,4,5,8, 10 and 11 are considered
The report concludes with sets of specific recommendations for different stakeholders (states, donors and civil society, including disabled people’s organisations), which have the potential to strengthen rehabilitation services and improve the health and wellbeing of millions around the world. Included in annex are case studies of government donors and their progress towards meeting the recommendations set out in this report. These case studies are intended to serve as examples for stakeholders for how some of the recommendations have already been included within national policies and activities, where gaps exist and identify areas for improvement.
This study explores participation of people with disabilities in social protection programmes, with Tanahun District of Nepal as the study setting. This research uses mixed methods to assess coverage (through direct survey), how coverage varies amongst people with disabilities (e.g. by gender, impairment type), as well as challenges and facilitators to enrolling in or using relevant social protection programmes. This research benefits from a population-based study design and from the use of the Washington Group question sets
The European Journal of Development Research (2019) 31:929–956
Supporting people with disabilities into employment is important not only in providing income, but research in Nepal has shown positive life changes including increased confidence, social status, and acquiring new skills. This document provides a rapid review of the evidence of the types of interventions used to reduce barriers and support people with disabilities into employment, as well as the impact of training programmes on employment and/or livelihood outcomes (Section 4). Case studies are included in Section 5 and Annex 1 to give further details on key learnings.
Case studies outlined are
- Vocational training programme by Madhab Memorial Vocational Training Institute (MMVTI), Bangladesh
- Gaibandha Food Security Project (Bangladesh)
- Self-help groups (Nepal)
- EmployAble programme (Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia)
- Economic Empowerment of Youth with Disabilities (Rural Uganda)
- Access to Livelihoods Programme (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa)
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