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Meeting basic needs for women and girls with disabilities during COVID-19

WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
UN WOMEN
July 2020

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In March and April 2020, Women Enabled International (WEI) conducted an online qualitative survey of issues impacting women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming (TGNC) persons with disabilities, which received 100 responses from around the world. These individuals identified that COVID-19 had had a significant impact on their ability to meet basic needs, achieve an adequate standard of living, and live independently, including because of issues related to employment and income, access to support services and assistive devices, access to public transportation, and access to assistance from friends, family, and the public. This policy brief will discuss some of the findings from this survey to illustrate how the pandemic worsens existing realities of marginalised communities and will provide recommendation to stakeholders, in particular UN agencies and UN Country Teams and their partners, on how to mitigate adverse effects of pre-existing inequalities faced by women, girls and TGNC persons with disabilities, including on how to engage with networks and organizations as active agents in the process of ‘building back.’

Persons affected by leprosy and the COVID-19 global health crisis

GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR ZERO LEPROSY (GPZL) WORKING GROUP 2
June 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted leprosy control and prevention and the lives of persons affected by the disease.

Seven consultative calls were carried out with persons affected individuals and organizations from April – May 2020, speaking with over 100 individuals from more than 25 organizations from 22 different countries. The first six calls were conducted based on geographical region, including: Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. The final call was for women affected by leprosy.

The following issues were raised on a consistent basis, across geographies, as major concerns for persons affected during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Access to health care
  • Access to fundamental goods
  • Access to government support
  • Access to stable livelihoods
  • Access to information about COVID-19
  • Intersecting vulnerabilities

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Amid COVID-19

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS
Ministry of Social Development
Independent Commission for Human Rights
June 2020

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This document make specific recommendations on support and protection to be provided to persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 response, and to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to maintain their active participation as well as to avoid discrimination at all levels against them

What is digital accessibility and why is it so important?

Nomensa
May 2020

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This webinar outlines digital accessibility and where to start. It is based on a benchmark report carried out in the Netherlands. It discusses the rational of how easy it for someone with an access needs to use a particular online product. 

Further, looks at the requirements of WCAG 2.1 at level AA. And discusses what does digital accessibility actually mean and how do you know which guidelines you should meet.

 

Alastair Campbell the Director of Accessibility at Nomensa who was jointly responsible for writing the International Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidelines.

Persons with disabilities must not bear the brunt of COVID-19 aftermath: Lessons from Ebola in Liberia (SDDirect COVID-19 pandemic blog series)

CAREW, Mark
May 2020

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The importance of ensuring persons with disabilities are not excluded as part of COVID-19 responses is explored.
Lessons learnt from the 2014-2017 Ebola outbreak in Liberia are discussed highlighting access to information, access to healthcare and the social impact. Research in Liberia combined surveys and interviews with people from households with a disabled person as well as those without, and included responses from 560 persons living in areas that had ‘many’ or ‘few’ cases of Ebola.

Guidance for including people with disabilities in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance for development partners

PREGEL, Andrea
LE FANU, Guy
May 2020

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Practical guidance is provided for development partners to develop disability inclusive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic during the emergency phase of the COVID19 pandemic. In the immediate- and long-term response to the pandemic, it is vital that all development partners take steps to strengthen health systems that are disability-inclusive.

 

Topics include: intersectionality; assessing gaps and needs; engaging people with disabilities and DPO's; accessible and inclusive communications; healthcare and essential services; livelihoods and social protection; education; independent living and housing; and evidence generation.

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.

Inclusive Governance sector guiding note on COVID-19

April 2020

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Humanity & Inclusion inclusive governance approach fits in with the governments (national, regional and local) context, governments are in charge of the response to the crisis. In these types of contexts, humanitarian actors do not have the leadership and mandate to make decisions. Governments are creating policies in response to Covid-19 and must include persons with disabilities as equal citizens within their response frameworks. 

Key messages :

  • DO NO HARM: Protect yourself and your family, staff, partners and of course the beneficiaries.
  • Work closely with other stakeholders and ensure coordination in the response is happening at all levels
  • Follow HI’s guidelines and the guidance from the national and local authorities regarding COVID 19 at all times. 

English pages 1-7 and français ci-dessous pages 7-13.

Access and humanitarian protection: Lessons from restricted operational contexts and their application to the COVID-19 operational environment

April 2020

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On 22 April, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), PHAP, and the Global Protection Cluster (GPC) organized the first of a series of webinars on access and humanitarian protection. The event provided an overview of the key terms, concepts, interlinkages, and dilemmas of protection and access in armed conflict, disaster, and health emergencies. What are the main protection concerns particular to hard-to-reach areas? What challenges do protection actors face in terms of access? Are maintaining access and protection priorities at cross purposes or can they help reinforce each other? This introduction was followed by a discussion with protection experts, exploring the ways in which existing lessons from protection programming in hard-to-reach areas can be applied to protection operations in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

The webinar recording and it's transcript are available

Reaching persons with deafblindness during the Covid-19 pandemic

INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
April 2020

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People with deafblindness are concerned about having a barrier to access information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Geir Jensen, a man with deafblindness and the President of the World Federation of the Deafblind (WFDB) living in Norway, shares the challenges that he faces. Despite Norway having inclusive policies and high-quality support services for deafblind persons, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many challenges for them

 

This is one story as part of the Voices of People with Disabilities during COVID19 Outbreak series

Key issues on promoting employment of persons with disabilities

FREMLIN, Peter Torres
et al
April 2020

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This document brings together the technical advice of the disability team at the Gender, Equality and Diversity branch (GED) in the ILO. The information in this document is pragmatic guidance, rather than statement of institutional position. ILO positions can be found in the statements and standards that are linked to throughout

Accelerating Disability Inclusive Formal Employment in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda: What are the Vital Ingredients?

WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
MADER, Philip
BROWN, Simon
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
March 2020

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This Working Paper provides an overview of disability as a concept and relevant global treaties and statistics, including evidence of trends and complexities in promoting disability inclusive employment broadly and with some focus on formal employment specifically. We describe the current situation in each of the four focus countries, demonstrating the similarities and differences between them. We then discuss some promising interventions that have been tried, usually on a small scale, in diverse settings, and which may be applicable in our four focus countries (Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda). Finally, we present the potential interventions that will be trialled in the Inclusion Works programme, using an innovation-driven, adaptive management approach.

 

The Inclusion Works programme (2018–2022), funded by the UK Department for International Development, aims to improve employment rates for people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. 

 

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.

Video Storybooks from eKitabu

eKitabu
2020

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eKitabu’s Studio KSL and Studio RSL create Kenyan Sign Language and Rwandan Sign Language videos and video storybooks to support accessible, early grade reading

Understanding the mobile disability gap Insights on mobile phone access and usage by persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh

ARANDA-JAN, Clara
BOUTARD, Alizee
December 2019

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This research aims to bridge the knowledge gap and to understand the potential of mobile phones as assistive technologies (ATs) for persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh. This report presents, for the first time, an evaluation of the gap and barriers to mobile phone ownership experienced by persons with disabilities, as well as the usage patterns of four main mobile-enabled services (voice, SMS, mobile internet and mobile money) and the role of mobile phones to enable access to basic services, such as education, healthcare, transportation, employment and financial services. Finally, the report explores the characteristics of access and usability of mobile products and services along the customer journey.

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

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