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Making themselves heard: deaf people in India during the global COVID-19 pandemic

GULYANI, Ritika
2021

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The onset of the sudden and global pandemic, COVID-19, has forced all of us to change our ways of living and interacting with the outside world. Additionally, a lot of restrictions on movement mandated by governments have also been issued in the past few months. In the context of India, a nationwide lockdown was in place from midmarch till the end of May. These lock-downs have had serious consequences for various segments of the population across the country, especially, those on the margins, who are vulnerable and/or in a minority. One such segment has been the disabled population. This paper, with the help of narratives, addresses the challenges faced by the deaf population during the COVID crisis and the ways in which they have negotiated these. There has been a big void in the dissemination of information to the deaf, owing to the fact that the majority of information from official sources has not been translated into sign language. More so, in times when information is the key to maintaining proper health care, this is a big lacuna. Additionally, the paper will also talk about the role of technology as well as of deaf groups in the lives of deaf people, and how it has proved to be very helpful to not just spread proper awareness about the pandemic, but also in trying to build up a movement in trying to recognise Indian Sign Language as the 23rd Official Language of India. 

Patients’ and communication partners’ experiences of communicative changes in Parkinson’s disease

JOHANSSON, Inga-Lena
SAMUELSSON, Christina
MULLER, Nicole
February 2021

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Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the experiences of people with Parkinson’s disease and their close communication partners regarding disease-related communicative changes and participation in everyday conversations.

 

Materials and methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with six dyads consisting of a person with Parkinson’s disease and a close communication partner. The interview material was analysed through thematic analysis.

 

Results: The main theme was the experiences of barriers and facilitators for participation in conversations. Subthemes were experiences related to changes in voice and articulation, language and cognition, body language and facial expressions, fatigue, self-image, communicative initiative, and familiarity with conversation partner. The results show individual variation. A change observed in almost all dyads was the person with Parkinson’s disease participating less in conversations.

 

Conclusions: Assessment and interventions should be based on a broad perspective on communication, and individuals’ priorities should be foregrounded in intervention planning. Both the person with Parkinson’s disease and communication partners need to make adjustments for communication to work. Therefore, close communication partners should be included in assessment and intervention of communication in Parkinson’s disease from an early stage.

The mobile disability gap report 2020

ARANDA-JAN, Clara
December 2020

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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

The essential checklist for disability-confident recruiters

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
2020

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This document translates disability-confident principles into a practical checklist for HR and recruitment specialists. The checklist works to best-practice principles. Much of this guidance goes beyond compliance with any disability discrimination legislation.

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
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

Breaking down the barriers for people with disabilities through innovation in Africa

GSMA
September 2020

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During this interactive session, hosted by GSMA’s Assistive Tech team, we shared insights on the mobile disability gap, including findings from our gender and disability research, and lessons learnt from the innovation landscape. We also heard from several leading assistive tech innovators supporting the digital inclusion of people with disabilities, both visible or unseen across emerging markets

Covid-19 tip sheets & book of flip charts

ENABLEMENT
August 2020

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In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Enablement developed tip sheets on four main topics for Light for the World:


- Eating and drinking
- Epilepsy, Nodding Syndrome and medication
- Active lifestyle
- Communication


These are meant to support those working with and/or caring for children and adults with disabilities. The tip sheets include visuals and some supporting text.

The book of flip charts carries the same content as the tip sheets, with visuals on one side for the caregivers of people with disabilities to see, and slightly more elaborate text on the other page for the fieldworker.

Radical Accessibility: Research and Recommendations. A deep dive into how accessible charities are during Covid-19 and beyond

REASON DIGITAL
July 2020

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Insights are shared into the world of digital accessibility in the charity sector: the attitudes and behaviours of beneficiaries, the accessibility needs of those accessing charity websites, the impact of coronavirus and, what should be done by charities. The authors build on knowledge gained from 12 years in the digital charity sector, their annual research into digital charity trends, a new (2020), bespoke and nationally representative survey of the general public, and insights from some of the industry’s leading minds in making charities accessible. A list of evidenced and sector-specific recommendations is provided.

 

The research and report were part of a virtual event, Radical Accessibility, hosted by Reason Digital, Microsoft UK and Charity Digital on July 9th 2020

Let’s Talk about COVID-19 and disability. An interactive radio campaign on the livelihoods of people with disabilities in Uganda

LIGHT FOR THE WORLD
July 2020

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In April 2020, Light for the World teamed up with NGO TRAC FM to find out how COVID-19 has affected people with disabilities in Uganda. Through free SMS, basic mobile phone technology and radio talk shows, TRAC FM reaches out to the most remote and excluded people – including people with disabilities. It enables the most marginalised to debate about policies that concern them directly.

From 22nd of April to 19th of May 2020, they worked with TRAC FM to air four polls on Let’s Talk, a specially created radio show. Broadcast on five local stations across the country, the show asked listeners how they were faring under Uganda’s lockdown. An average of just under 13,000 people responded to each poll question, giving rise to reflections captured in this report that should have wider resonance beyond Uganda.

Findings presented include:

  • Concerns during the COVID-19 lockdown
  • Knowledge and awareness on coronavirus
  • Effect of the lockdown on mental health
  • Effect of the lockdown on livelihoods 

The digital lives of refugees and Kenyans with disabilities in Nairobi: A human-centred design approach to identifying mobile-enabled opportunities

HAMILTON, Zoe
CASSWELL, Jenny
ALONSO, Aline
July 2020

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This research focuses on disability, using human-centred design methods to better understand how refugees and Kenyans with visual and hearing impairments in Nairobi use mobile technology and potential opportunities that it could provide.

The target populations for the project were urban refugees and host communities with visual or hearing impairments in Nairobi, Kenya. 

 

This report is divided into four main sections, following an introduction, the second section focuses on insights learned from the hearing impaired, the third on the visually impaired and the fourth highlighting issues that were cross-cutting insights across both groups. Sections two and three include insights related to mobile, health and financial services. The fourth section includes insights related to humanitarian and disability support services

 

‘Education for All’ under lockdown: the path ahead for inclusion of children with disabilities

NATH, Seema
June 2020

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools around the world experience extraordinary times and as education moves online, those who have historically faced marginalisation find themselves facing new challenges to access education. The situation is disproportionately affecting those within marginalised communities in India and across the globe. In education, these disadvantages are amplified for learners with disabilities belonging to low socio-economic backgrounds. Lessons to be learned from schools that are incorporating the principles of inclusion and social justice while approaching these challenges are highlighted.

Accountability, feedback & complaints mechanisms in humanitarian responses to migration

KAHN, Clea
June 2020

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This guidance aims to give humanitarian actors a guidance for developing their accountability mechanisms in the context of mixed migration, with a focus on complaints and feedback mechanisms. Excellent guidance already exists on how to implement feedback and complaint mechanisms in humanitarian contexts, and this is not intended to replace or duplicate those. It should be read as a supplement, to provide additional reflection for humanitarian actors working in migration contexts.

The development of this guidance was based on a review of existing literature, including research studies, guidelines and training materials. More than 30 interviews were conducted with representatives of more than 20 organisations working in Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe. Particular support was received from Start Network’s MERF member organisations.

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.

Protection analysis: impact of COVID-19 measures on PSNs in refugee communities in Uganda

PERSONS WITH SPECIFIC NEEDS SUB-WORKING GROUP, UGANDA
May 2020

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The Persons with Specific Needs (PSN) sub working group is a collective of over 20 organisations including UN agencies, NGOs, Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs), and Government (Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Office of the Prime Minister) which regularly meets within the Uganda refugee coordination model to discuss issues relevant to refugees with specific needs, with a particular focus on persons with disabilities and older persons.

 

April 2020 the PSN SWG members started to collect evidence from a range of sources on the specific impact of the COVID-19 crisis and containment measures on PSNs within refugee communities in Uganda.

Overview on accessibility of video conferencing apps and services

STAKEHOLDER GROUP OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
May 2020

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The purpose of this document is for United Nations staff and partners to make their video conferences as inclusive as possible for all persons with disabilities. The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities gathered the following information from representative organizations of persons with disabilities, in particular from the International Disability Alliance and its members, and from additional research. This list is by no means exhaustive, but rather attempts to provide an accessibility overview. 

Somalia Disability Inclusive COVID-19 WASH tip sheet

Humanity & Inclusion
April 2020

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This tip sheet provides an overview of the factors that may put persons with disabilities at heightened risk in the COVID-19 pandemic and response in humanitarian settings; and proposes actions to address these risks within the COVID WASH response.

Somalia Disability Inclusive COVID-19 health tip sheet

Humanity & Inclusion
April 2020

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This tip sheet provides an overview of the factors that may put persons with disabilities at heightened risk in the COVID-19 pandemic and response in humanitarian settings; and recommends actions to address these risks within your COVID health response. This note draws on actionable and evidenced recommendations from the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, health chapter applying these to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO guidance for Disability inclusion in COVID-19 response, SODEN Statement on how COVID-19 is affecting persons with disabilities in Somalia and the practical field experience of HI and collaborating partners in Somalia.

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

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