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Disability Rights Defenders Newsletter November 2020

DISABILITY RIGHTS DEFENDERS
English
November 2020

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This newsletter, shares court cases and resources with anyone interested in disability rights. There is also information about webinars, news and job opportunities. It is mostly based in Europe.

Disability inclusion in the United Nations system - Report of the Secretary General

SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
English
October 2020

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When launching the Strategy in June 2019, the Secretary-General stated that the United Nations would lead by example and raise its standards and performance on disability inclusion across all pillars of its work, from Headquarters to the field. The present report outlines the first steps on the path to achieving transformative and lasting change for persons with disabilities across the United Nations system

 

The report is organized into seven sections. Following the introduction, an overview of the advances made in the United Nations on disability inclusion, including the adoption of the Strategy, is provided in section II; the first year of implementation of the Strategy at the entity and country levels is reported on in section III; coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and recovery efforts are the focus of section IV; the overarching actions for implementation of the Strategy are considered in section V; challenges and opportunities are highlighted in section VI; and the conclusion and recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly are contained in section VII. The report provides an analysis of information from 57 United Nations entities1 that reported under the Strategy ’s entity accountability framework and seven United Nations country teams that completed the accountability scorecard on disability inclusion as part of a targeted roll-out.

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in social protection for COVID-19 recovery and beyond

COTE, Alex
BALASUBRAMANIAN, Meenakshi
WANGARE, Fatma
HUDA. Karishma
DOS SANTOS, Joaozito
O'BRIEN, Felicity
English
September 2020

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The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the barriers and inequalities faced by persons with disabilities. Consultation with organisations representing persons with disabilities across regions highlighted the limitation of social protection systems in LMICs to provide adequate support due to lack of social protection schemes, low coverage, and inadequacy of existing schemes. There is little in the way of publicly funded community support services and in some contexts an overreliance on residential institutions, whose users have been disproportionally represented among COVID-19 fatalities. 

In the midst of the crisis, countries have been struggling with inaccessible information (e.g sign language), the lack of universal schemes, and national disability registry for broad outreach and fast relief.

The webinar aimed at providing a global overview of the social protection response for persons with disabilities and their families as well as the different key social protection issues to consider for an inclusive COVID-19 recover

Disability inclusion in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No: 51.

CORBY, Nick
CLUGSTON, Naomi
English
September 2020

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This briefing note provides guidance on how to incorporate disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects. It is intended to inform the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) Good Governance Fund (GGF). This Note provides basic, introductory guidance on disability inclusion to FCDO advisers and managers engaging with economic and governance reform and sets out opportunities for the FCDO’s programmes and policy dialogue to deliver positive impacts for people with disabilities. The Note addresses three key questions: 2 1. What is the broad status of the rights of people with disabilities in GGF countries and are there any significant differences between the countries? 2. What are the recommended entry points for incorporating disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects within the five GGF thematic areas? 3. How should the GGF incorporate disability inclusion into the next business case?

 

An annex provides short notes on several factors for each country. The factors are: the legal framework; disability prevalence; economic inclusion; social inclusion; institutionialisation; access to justice; receptions and representation in the media.

Product Narratives: the challenges of supply and demand-side barriers for priority AT

HOLLOWAY, Cathy
OLDFREY, Ben
END FINEBURG, Alison
SEGHERS, Frederic
SOENDERGAARD, Dennis
English
September 2020

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This Disability Innovation Live session, looked at the Assistive Technology (AT) Product Narratives (PNs). The Product Narratives were developed by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) under the FCDO funded AT2030 programme, led by GDI Hub, in support of the ATscale Strategy.

These PNs set out what we know about the state of the global market for each AT product, and identify global recommendations for how to address some of the barriers to access currently experienced in low and middle-income countries. In this session, we hear from the experts about what the PNs are, how they will inform global policy, and how we hope they will help us reach more people with life-changing AT

COVID-19, Amplifying Voices: Our Lives, Our Say: Learning from COVID-19 through the experiences of blind and partially sighted persons across the world

ZAYED, Yana
English
et al
August 2020

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The World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a study to examine the extent to which COVID-19 pandemic has exposed some deep structural inequalities in society. Data gathered from the study is evidencing that persons with disabilities, older persons, and persons from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds are among those hardest hit by the pandemic. While this report puts a spotlight on the voices of blind and partially sighted persons, many of the experiences shared strongly resonate with numerous other studies that are also highlighting how marginalised groups have been affected by this crisis. Through this report, WBU hopes to raise awareness on the specifics of what those challenges have meant in reality for its constituents, as well as shed light on what have been effective resilience strategies for them. The study was made possible with the support of CBM Global

To understand the situation of our constituents, the World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a global survey in collaboration with key stakeholders. In April 2020, the WBU launched an open online survey for seven weeks in Spanish, French and English, seeking information from blind and partially sighted persons on how COVID-19 was impacting their day to day life. 853 people participated in the survey. The respondents expressed in their own words how their lives had been and continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This report is a compilation of those voices. It depicts the ways in which COVID-19 response measures taken by state and non-state actors have created additional barriers and challenges for blind and partially sighted people. It also includes powerful testimonies on how people have shown resilience in the face of adversity.

 

 

Neglected and forgotten: women with disabilities during Covid crisis in India

GOYAL, Nidhi
RAGHAVAN, Srinidhi
KOTHARI, Ketan
English
July 2020

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This report is a collaborative initiative of Rising Flame and Sightsavers to respond to the urgent needs of women with disabilities in India during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The aim of this research was to capture and amplify voices and narratives of women with disabilities  and to make strong recommendations to ensure inclusion of women with disabilities in social, legal, policy and systemic responses.

Online and telephonic research consultations were carried out in May 2020,  within the barriers faced or accommodations needed by participants, including access to internet, the need for sign language interpretation and the establishment of a safe space. A total of 82 women with disabilities and 12 experts across 19 states and nine self-identified disability groups participated in the research.

Broadly, the study is divided into access, food and essentials, social protection, health, hygiene and sanitation, education, employment and livelihood, domestic violence and emotional well-being. The study explores the ongoing barriers experienced by women across disabilities and makes recommendations to build back a better and more inclusive world.

Persons with disabilities in the context of internal displacement. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (A/HRC/44/41)

UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL (UN HCR)
English
May 2020

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In her report, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, provides an account of the activities she has undertaken pursuant to the mandate given to her by the Human Rights Council in resolution 41/15.

In the thematic section of the report, the Special Rapporteur examines the specific experiences of persons with disabilities in the context of displacement. She analyses the obstacles to the equal enjoyment of their rights and recommends actions to ensure inclusive protection, assistance and durable solutions.

The impact of an inclusive education intervention on learning outcomes for girls with disabilities within a resource-poor setting

CAREW, Mark
DELUCA, Marcella
GROCE, Nora
FWAGA, Sammy
KETT, Maria
English
May 2020

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Background: Despite a global commitment to the right to education for persons with disabilities, little is known about how to achieve inclusive education in practice, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the majority of the world’s people with disabilities reside. Moreover, although exclusion from education is magnified by intersecting gender and socioeconomic inequalities, there is especially little knowledge regarding what approaches to inclusive education are effective amongst girls with disabilities living in resource-poor settings.

 

Objectives: The objective of this article was to assess the impact of an inclusive education intervention led by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on the educational attainment of girls with disabilities in the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya.

 

Method: A quasi-experimental design was employed, where the literacy and numeracy educational attainment of the intervention and control groups was compared over two time points a year apart (Time 1 and Time 2; total matched N = 353). During this period, activities pertaining to six core components of a holistic inclusive education model were implemented.

 

Results: Relative to the control group, girls with disabilities in the intervention group reported a greater increase in literacy and numeracy attainment, adjusted for grade and level of functional difficulty.

 

Conclusion: Findings suggest that the intervention was successful in engendering additional improvements in the educational attainment of girls with disabilities from the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya. Results highlight both the applicability of NGO-led interventions in settings, where national implementation of inclusive education is constrained, and the potential of taking such interventions to scale.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Key issues on promoting employment of persons with disabilities

FREMLIN, Peter Torres
English
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

“Disability Is Not Weakness” Discrimination and barriers facing women and girls with disabilities in Afghanistan

GOSSMAN, Patricia
English
April 2020

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Everyday barriers that Afghan women and girls with disabilities face are described.  Decades of conflict have decimated government institutions and development efforts have failed to reach many communities most in need. Obtaining access to health care, education, and employment, along with other basic rights, is particularly difficult for Afghan women and girls with disabilities, who face both gender discrimination and stigma and barriers associated with their disability.

 

This report is based primarily on research by Human Rights Watch researchers from April 2018 through January 2020 in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat, Afghanistan. 23 interviews with women with disabilities and 3 interviews with family members of women and girls with disabilities were conducted. 14 healthcare and education professionals were interviewed, including representatives from the United Nations and international and local nongovernmental organizations providing services to persons with disabilities in Afghanistan

Disability, urban health equity, and the coronavirus pandemic: Promoting cities for all

SANTIAGO PINEDA, Victor
CORBURN, Jason
English
April 2020

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Recommendations to ensure persons with disabilities living in cities are not disproportionately harmed during the COVID-19 crisis are given. It is suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic be viewed as an opportunity for significant urban health reforms.

 

J Urban Health (2020) 97:336–341

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-020-00437-7

Opening the GATE: systems thinking from the global assistive technology alliance

LAYTON, Natasha
BELL, Diane
BUNING, Mary Ellen
CHEN, Shih-Ching
CONTEPOMI, Silvana
RAMOS, Vinicius Delgado
HOOGERWERF, Evert-Jan
INOUE, Takenobu
MOON, Inhyuk
SEYMOUR, Nicky
SMITH, Roger O
DE WITTE, Luc
English
2020

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Purpose: 

This paper describes international actions to collaborate in the assistive technology (AT) arena and provides an update of programmes supporting AT globally.

 

Methods: 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) identifies the severe global uneven distribution of resources, expertise and extensive unmet need for AT, as well the optimistic substantial capability for innovations and developments in appropriate and sustainable AT design, development and delivery. Systems thinking and market shaping are identified as means to address these challenges and leverage the ingenuity and expertise of AT stakeholders.

 

Results: 

This paper is a ‘call to action’, showcasing emerging AT networks as exemplars of a distributed, but integrated mechanism for addressing AT needs globally, and describing the Global Alliance of Assistive Technology Organisations (GAATO) as a vehicle to facilitate this global networking.

 

Conclusion:

 Partners in this Global Alliance aim to advance the field of assistive technology by promoting shared research, policy advocacy, educating people and organisations within and outside the field, teaching, training and knowledge transfer by pulling together broad-based membership organisations.

Disability, mobility and transport in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A thematic review

KETT, Maria
COLE, Ellie
TURNER, Jeff
English
January 2020

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This paper discusses issues affecting the transport and mobility needs of people with disabilities in middle- and low-income countries and how disability intersects with a range of other factors to impact on transport needs, use and engagement. The paper is intended to stimulate discussion and identify areas for further research, and identifies a number of key issues that are salient to discussions around equitable and inclusive transport provision, including patterns of transport use, behaviour and experiences, solutions and policy directions, measuring access and inclusion, policies and intersectionality. The paper also identifies gaps in knowledge and provision, barriers to addressing these gaps, and some possible solutions to overcoming these barriers. These include shifting the focus from access to inclusion, reconceptualising how ‘special’ transport might be provided, and most importantly listening to the voices and experiences of adults and children with disabilities. Despite lack of transport often being cited as a reason for lack of inclusion of people with disabilities, there is surprisingly little evidence which either quantifies this or translates what this lack of access means to people with disabilities in their daily lives in low- and middle-income countries.

 

Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 589

https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020589

Disability at a Glance 2019: Investing in accessibility in Asia and the Pacific — Strategic approaches to achieving disability-inclusive sustainable development

TATA, Srinivas
English
et al
December 2019

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This report lays out foundational concepts and terminologies related to disability and accessibility, and outlines the tools and approaches for successful investment in accessibility. Furthermore, it identifies drivers and added values of investment, and analyses the status of disability-inclusive development and accessibility investment across Asia and the Pacific. Finally, it provides recommendations to governments across key areas of focus to ensure that societies are built to be sustainable and inclusive.

Case studies from Australia, the Republic of Korea and India are presented.

Experiences of primary caregivers of children with cerebral palsy across the trajectory of diagnoses in Ghana

KYEREMATENG, Joana D.A
EDUSEI, Anthony
DOGBE, Joslin A.
OPUKU, Maxwell P.
NKETSIA, William
HAMMOND, Chrales
AFRIYIE, Sally A.
English
September 2019

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Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a non-progressive disorder of posture or movement caused by a lesion to the developing brain that results in functional limitations. The diagnosis of CP can vary from one child to another, causing family stress because of vague and unknown outcomes of the disorder. Although there are negative attitudes in Ghanaian societies towards primary caregivers and children with disabilities, fewer attempts have been made to understand their experiences.

 

Objectives: The main aim of this study was to explore the experiences of primary caregivers across the trajectory of the diagnosis (before, during and after) of CP in the setting of a tertiary hospital.

 

Method: Using Social Capital Theory as framework, 40 primary caregivers of children with CP, who were receiving treatment at a major referral hospital in Ghana, were interviewed about their experiences before, during and after diagnosis.

 

Results: The results that emerged from the thematic analysis were discussed as follows: experiences before diagnosis, experiences during the diagnosis and experiences after the diagnosis. Particularly, participants discussed their inability to access essential services such as education for their children with CP.

 

Conclusion: In light of systemic challenges faced by participants and their children with CP, the need for health policymakers to prioritise the public education about CP, promoting the well-being of caregivers and other implications of the study have been discussed.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Every learner matters: Unpacking the learning crisis for children with disabilities

McCLAIN-NHLAPO, Charlotte
English
et al
June 2019

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This paper was developed by the World Bank in partnership with Leonard Cheshire and Inclusion International. It is an attempt to add knowledge to the current understanding of the importance of learning achievements, with a focus on children with disabilities. While the premise is that inclusive education refers to the inclusion of all children, the focus of this paper is on children with disabilities.

The aim of the paper is to:

  • Provide an evidence-based review of educational participation of children with disabilities.
  • Establish a case for focusing on learning achievements for students with disabilities.
  • Take stock of current mechanisms of measurement of learning outcomes and review their inclusivity.
  • Explore evidence of practice and systems which promote disability-inclusive learning for all. 

Four case studies are provided - from Pakistan, South Africa, Canada and UK.

United Nations Disability Inclusion strategy

UNITED NATIONS
English
June 2019

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The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy provides the foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion through all pillars of the work of the United Nations: peace and security, human rights, and development.
 
The Strategy enables the UN system to support the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other international human rights instruments, as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Agenda for Humanity and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Strategy includes a policy and an accountability framework, with benchmarks to assess progress and accelerate change on disability inclusion. The policy establishes a vision and commitment for the United Nations system on the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

 

The strategy is based on three over-arching approaches to achieve disability inclusion: twin track approach; intersectionality; and coordination

There are four core areas of responsibility: leadership, strategic planning and management; inclusiveness; programming; and organisational culture

Disability in Gaza: policy, barriers to inclusion and a mapping of interventions (Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No.12)

LEE, Harri
ABU ALGHAIB, Ola
LAURICIANO, Rabeca
English
May 2019

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This report presents key findings from a practical ‘know-how’ query, which included a rapid review of key literature as well as a small set of key informant interviews (KIIs) to help fill gaps and supplement online evidence. This query is based on a rapid review of the available literature to provide a brief overview of the barriers people with disabilities face in Gaza in terms of access to basic services, jobs and social inclusion/participation (Section 2), and the policy framework in Gaza in relation to the rights of people with disabilities(Section 3). The main body of this query comprises a mapping of existing interventions for people with disabilities in Gaza and an analysis of the trends and gaps in programming (Section 4)

Final evaluation report project for ASEAN hometown improvement through disability-inclusive communities model

MEKONG INSTITUTE (MI)
English
May 2019

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This report covers the objectives, process, findings and recommendations of final evaluation on APCD Project for ASEAN Hometown Improvement through Disability‐Inclusive Communities Model. The project reached to the end of implementation in its second year and required a final evaluation to assess its achievements and non-achievements in against of its desired objectives from this project. The final evaluation has assessed the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the project. This report provides analysis of its findings from literature review and field visits during the evaluation and provides country-specific as well as overall recommendations for further implementation of this kind project in future. 

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