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Antony Were at Civil Society Policy Forum 2021

HIAIR
March 2021

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Antony Were, who works for Humanity & Inclusion in Kenya, briefly describes his experience as an inclusive teacher in refugee camps and asks panelists how can teachers be better supported to be inclusive teachers, especially during times of crisis like COVID, so that children with disabilities don’t lose out

Considering age and disability in the Rohingya response

ASSESSMENT CAPACITIES PROJECT (ACAPS)
February 2021

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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.  

Using the Service-Learning approach to bridge the gap between theory and practice in teacher education

RESCH, K
SCHRITTESSER, I
2021

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Service-Learning stands out as a teaching approach that connects theory and practice by giving students the opportunity both to participate in a service that meets community needs and to reflect on the experience in class in order to gain a deeper understanding of the course content and an enhanced sense of civic engagement. The advantages of Service-Learning for inclusive education have recently been underpinned by studies, in which pre-service teachers are exposed to diverse population groups in schools or communities. Our study explores how Service-Learning is applied in teacher education in Austria. It is based on a series of semi-structured interviews with 13 teacher educators who apply this form of teaching in cooperative projects with schools. Our findings suggest that teacher educators distinguish between five orientations in Service-Learning (connecting theory and practice, engagement, community needs, job-related skills, learning outside the classroom), take on distinct expert and support roles, and see multiple benefits in Service-Learning. Our study underlines the importance of Service-Learning for inclusive education and the value of preparing pre-service teachers for dealing with diverse groups of pupils by allowing them to experience the real-world problems that confront schools.

Bullying among primary school-aged students: which factors could strengthen their tendency towards resilience?

GANOTZ, Tanja
SCHWAB, Susanne
LEHOFER, Mike
2021

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Resilience is the capacity to cope successfully with various threats. This paper aims to adapt the Resilience-Scale of Schumacher et al. (2004. Die Resilienzskala – ein Fragebogen zur Erfassung der psychischen Widerstandsfähigkeit als Personmerkmal. [The Resilience Scale – A Questionnaire to Measure Mental Resilience as a Personal Characteristic]. Zentrum für Klinische Psychologie, Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie) to measure the tendency of being resilient even before a threat occurs. Since primary school students are exposed to various threats at school, 535 4th grade students of Austrian primary schools were surveyed for the study. The reliability of the short-scale was found to be acceptable (Cronbach’s α = .66), and the tendency towards resilience can be explained by the students’ perception of their social inclusion in class (F (1,252) = 15.11, p<.05) and the relationship with their mothers (F (2, 251) = 10, 02, p<.05). The stability of the students’ tendency of being resilient was only moderate. A similar correlation between resilience and school-wellbeing for victims and non-victims of bullying can be reported. Future studies should focus more on primary school students’ resilience and related protective factors.

Social classroom climate and personalised instruction as predictors of students’ social participation

ZURBRIGGEN, Carmen L A
HOFMANN, Verena
LEHOFER, Mike
SCHWAB, Susanne
2021

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Previous research has repeatedly confirmed that students with special educational needs (SEN) are generally less accepted by their peers. Although inclusive teaching strategies and classroom characteristics are frequently hypothesised to improve students’ social participation, empirical evidence is scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate classroom characteristics and teaching practices that can help foster social participation, in general, and reduce the effect of lower social participation among students with SEN, in particular. The sample includes 518 students in 31 Grade 4 and 7 classes from Austria, of whom 99 are students with SEN. The results show that students with SEN receive fewer peer nominations and perceive their social participation to be lower compared to their peers without SEN. However, the association between SEN and self-perceived social participation is moderated by the social classroom climate, i.e. the difference becomes smaller when the social classroom climate is more positive. Furthermore, the higher the personalised instruction was rated by a student, the higher was his or her social status. The results suggest that interventions should focus not only on the improvement of individual students (with SEN) but also on changing the whole classroom environment.

The invisible minority: why do textbook authors avoid people with disabilities in their books?

JENSEN, Magne Skibsted
HERREBRØDEN, Marte
ANDREASSEN, Ulf Rune
2021

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Representation of disability in school textbooks may influence pupils’ knowledge and perceptions of people with disabilities. The aim of this study was to investigate representation of people with disabilities in school textbooks. The study employed a mixed-methods approach. Quantitative frequency analysis was used to investigate the extent of representation of disabilities in texts and pictures in 78 Norwegian textbooks for Grades 5–10. Regarding texts, the results showed that people with disabilities were represented in less than half of these textbooks (49%). Concerning pictures, people with disabilities were even less represented, appearing in only 29% of the textbooks. These quantitative findings were supplemented by a qualitative survey of textbook authors, who were asked to explain the marked absence of disability references in their own books and in school textbooks in general. The two most frequent explanations were that textbook authors had either overlooked people with disabilities, or that the Norwegian National Curriculum (Kunnskapsdepartementet 2006. Lærerplanverket for Kunnskapsløftet (LK06) [The Norwegian National Curriculum]. https://www.udir.no/lk20/overordnet-del/) did not explicitly mention this minority. We discuss these explanations as expressions of conscious considerations rather than unconscious omissions.

Disabled children and work: An overview of a neglected topic with a specific focus on Ghana

WICKENDEN, Mary
February 2021

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This paper provides an overview of issues related to disabled children and work.

This is a very unexplored topic and the literature is scant, so the paper first provides an overview of some key relevant background information on: disability globally and in Ghana, disability and employment, disabled children and relevant human rights approaches – the UNCRC and UNCRPD. Next examples of research on disabled children and work are presented and lastly some suggested hypotheses and possible research questions are proposed

 

ACHA Working Paper 7
DOI: 10.19088/ACHA.2021.002

The impact of COVID-19 measures on children with disabilities and their families in Uganda

MBAZZI, Femke Bannink
NALUGYA, Ruth
KAWESA, Elizabeth
NIMUSIIMA, Claire
KING, Rachel
VAN HOVE, Geert
SEELEY, Janet
2021

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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.

Let’s not go back to ‘normal’! lessons from COVID-19 for professionals working in childhood disability

ROSENBAUM, Peter L
SILVA, Mindy
CAMDEN, Chantal
January 2021

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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.

“It’s not a simple answer.” A qualitative studyto explore how healthcare providers can bestsupport families with a child with autism spectrumdisorder and overweight or obesity

MCPHERSON, Amy C
PEREZ, Arnaldo
BUCHHOLZ, Annick
FORHAN, Mary
BALL, Geoff D C
January 2021

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Purpose: This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of parents supporting their child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and overweight or obesity (OW/OB), including their weight management support needs.

 

Methods: Interview transcripts were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Nine parents (n = 9 mothers) of ten children with ASD (7 males, 3 females) participated in individual semi-structured interviews.

 

Results: The three themes developed were: (1) Our journey to obtain weight management support; (2) I need real-world solutions; and (3) The what, who and how of our weight management needs. Parents reported being proactive in seeking weight management support for their child but were disappointed with the services offered. Resources were not tailored to the child’s complex nutrition and behavioural issues or their abilities and functioning. A multidisciplinary approach that integrated both disability and weight management expertise was desired, but not experienced. A range of formal and informal programs were recommended.

 

Conclusion: This study provides a call to action for supports that ensure children with ASD and OW/OB receive integrated, individualised support to maximise their health and wellness.

Education, girl, disability: an equation to solve. Ensuring the right to education for girls with disabilities in the Sahel

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
January 2021

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Most girls with disabilities do not have the opportunity to access education and to thrive in school. They are exposed to multiple  discrimination owing to their identity as girls and as children with disabilities. Comprehensive measures are needed to ensure their right to inclusive and quality education.

The factsheet builds on the findings of a research conducted by Humanity & Inclusion in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger and conveys messages and recommendations aiming to inspire action and thus improve educational opportunities for girls with disabilities.

Key recommendations so that girls with disabilities are not left behind are made to governments, donors and civil society organisations

Cognitive behaviour therapy-based early intervention and prevention programme for anxiety in South African children with visual impairments

VISAGIE, Lisa
LOXTON, Helene
SWARTZ, Leslie
STALLARD, Paul
2021

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Background: Anxiety is the most common psychological difficulty reported by youth worldwide and may also be a significant problem for children with visual impairments. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) interventions have proven to be successful in treating childhood anxiety; however, mostly these are not suitable for children with visual impairments, as the materials used are not sufficiently accessible to this population.

 

Objectives: The present study was motivated by the dearth of research on this topic and aimed to examine the effects of a specifically tailored, group-based, universally delivered, CBT intervention for anxiety in children with visual impairments and to examine the influence of three predictor variables (i.e. age, gender and level of visual impairment) on prevention effects.

 

Method: A randomised wait-list control group design with pre-, post- and follow-up intervention measures was employed. The final sample of 52 children (aged 9–14) with varying degrees of visual impairment received the anxiety intervention. Participants were followed over a course of 10 months during which their anxiety symptoms were assessed quantitatively at four time points (T1–T4).

 

Results: The results indicated that the anxiety intervention did not significantly decrease symptoms of anxiety within the intervention groups. However, the intervention appeared beneficial for girls, younger children and legally blind participants.

 

Conclusion: This study demonstrated how CBT interventions can be adapted for use in children with visual impairments. Results obtained provide a foundation upon which future updated anxiety intervention programmes can be built, meeting the need for further research in this area.

Insisting on inclusion: Institutionalisation and barriers to education for children with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan

MILLS, Laura
December 2020

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Since 2012, the Kyrgyz government has pledged to close 17 residential institutions for children, including three for children with disabilities. But 3,000 children with disabilities remain in institutions.

This report is based on in-person visits to six institutions for children with disabilities and 111 interviews with children with disabilities, their parents, institution staff, and experts in four regions of Kyrgyzstan. It describes abuses in state care as well as barriers to education that often lead to a child’s segregation in a residential institution or special school, or their isolation at home.

 

 

Children with disabilities. Ensuring their inclusion in COVID-19 response strategies and evidence generation

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
December 2020

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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.

Effectiveness of Community-Based Rehabilitation on the lives of Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Mixed Method Study in Karnataka, India

Bokalial, Doly
Hossain, Forhad Md
Kumar, Senthil N S
Bajracharya, Shristi
2020

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Purpose: The study aimed to identify the effects of the CBR programme on parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, living in Karnataka State, India. It also tried to find the challenges and improvements needed to make the CBR programme more effective.

 

Method: A cross-sectional, descriptive study design was used to collect a sample of 100 parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, with GMFCS levels IV and V. The sample was drawn from various communities in Bangalore, Davanagere and Bijapur, where the services of The Association of People with Disability are available. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with the study subjects. Data was analysed by SPSS using descriptive and inferential statistics.

 

Results: It was observed that the CBR programme had a positive effect on parents’ health, knowledge, social lives and empowerment. A binary logistic regression was done to find the relationship between health, knowledge, social lives and assistive devices use. A strong association was found between all the areas (p=.001) except GMFCS and assistive devices use (p=.004) at 95% CI. The odds ratios between them were greater than 1 and showed the strong positive effect of the CBR programme on parents.

 

Conclusion: The CBR programme not only has a positive effect on children with Cerebral Palsy, but also plays an important role in parents’ lives. It contributes in a positive way to parents’ overall activity.

Children with disabilities have a right to quality education

ORSANDER, Martina
December 2020

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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.

Accessible to All: Creating learning materials for children with disabilities in Cambodia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tajikistan

EducationLinks
December 2020

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Examples are outlined of how good practices in the provision of accessible learning materials are being put into practice by USAID in partnership with organisations addressing the education needs of students with disabilities:

  • Expanding access through Universal Design for Learning in Cambodia: All Children Reading
  • Applying a user-centered design approach in Kenya: eKitabu and Deaf-led Sign Language Video Stories
  • Promoting sustainable accessible standards in Rwanda: Soma Umenye
  • Supporting underserved languages in accessible formats: The Global Digital Library
  • Fostering parental involvement in Tajikistan: USAID Read with Me

 

Postural asymmetries, pain, and ability to change position of children with cerebral palsy in sitting and supine: a cross-sectional study

CASEY, Jackie
ROSENBLAD, Andreas
RODBY-BOUSQUET, Elisabet
2020

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Purpose: To examine any associations between postural asymmetries, postural ability, and pain for chil- dren with cerebral palsy in sitting and supine positions.

 

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 2,735 children with cerebral palsy, 0-18years old, reported into the Swedish CPUP registry. Postural asymmetries, postural ability, the gross motor function classification sys- tem levels I–V, sex, age and report of pain were used to determine any relationship between these variables.

 

Results: Over half the children had postural asymmetries in sitting (n1⁄41,646; 60.2%) or supine (n1⁄41,467; 53.6%). These increased with age and as motor function decreased. Children were twice as likely to have pain if they had an asymmetric posture (OR 2.1–2.7), regardless of age, sex and motor func- tion. Children unable to maintain or change position independently were at higher risk for postural asym- metries in both supine (OR 2.6–7.8) and sitting positions (OR 1.5–4.2).

 

Conclusions: An association was found between having an asymmetric posture and ability to change position in sitting and/or lying; and with pain. The results indicate the need to assess posture and provide interventions to address asymmetric posture and pain.

Let’s break silos now! Achieving disability-inclusive education in a post-COVID world

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
November 2020

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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

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