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A Global Agenda for Inclusive Recovery: Ensuring People with Intellectual Disabilities and Families are Included in a Post-COVID World

Inclusion International
June 2021

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This report documents the experience of exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences reveal pre-existing structural inequalities that affected the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families before COVID-19, during the pandemic, and beyond, and this report raises up the voices of those most excluded in a time of global crisis and demands an inclusive COVID-19 recovery.

 

This report includes the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and families across eight different issue areas. Across these themes, we examined how and why people with intellectual disabilities were left out and excluded in pandemic responses, what pre-existing conditions and inequalities contributed to their vulnerability and exclusion, and how future policy structures could begin to address both this immediate and systemic exclusion.

 

Together, these experiences and policy solutions form our global agenda for inclusive COVID-19 recovery, an action plan to ensure that government efforts to ‘build back better’ are inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Emergent Disability voices on Social Media during COVID -19 times

MEHROTRA, Nilika
2021

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Persons with disabilities are invisible and almost silent in the Indian media. This paper examines the emergence of articulate expressions of persons with disabilities (pwd) in the social media over the months March to June 2020 during COVID Lockdown. While technology has been seen as a great leveller for persons with disabilities, the digital divide, however, remains very real for masses of disabled persons, whereby it is largely the educated middle class who have access to internet facilities and presence on social media. This paper draws from observation and analysis of posts on Facebook by different categories of persons with disabilities. There appear to be a number of discourses emerging and imageries running almost parallel. Accessibility and support appear to be very important issues especially in terms of access to domestic workers, regular medical checkups, and procuring daily provisions as well as access to online teaching. On the other hand, little concern is being paid to the huge humanitarian crisis of returnee workers from cities to villages. Interestingly, disabled persons appeared more connected, participating in discussions and Webinars and voicing out their experiences with greater clarity and also analysing the COVID situation through Disability Studies (DS) perspectives.

Social media and disability advocacy organizations: caught between hopes and realities

GELFGREN, Stefan
INELAND, Jens
COCQ, Coppélie
2021

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This article examines the role of advocacy organizations and their use of social media within the field of disability in Sweden. How do the organizations negotiate digital media, and what are the (intentional or unintentional) consequences related to the use of social media? With focus on the representatives of advocacy organizations, we study how they reflect and act in order to balance various motives, and what challenges and ambiguities that arise. On one hand, there is a perceived need to be online and communicate with members and the surrounding society. On the other hand, digital communication induces a divide between those who have the resources to take part in such communication, and those who do not – in terms of digital competence, economy, age, cognitive abilities, technical equipment and digital connection. The heterogeneity of resources and target groups inevitably challenges both the ideals of inclusion and intentions of advocacy organizations.

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

A basic guide to accessible communications

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
November 2020

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This document provides a guide to improving accessible communications in the workplace. Demonstrating you don’t need to be an expert in digital accessibility – the basic principles are easy to understand and apply.

The association between tactile, motor and cognitive capacities and braille reading performance: a scoping review of primary evidence to advance research on braille and aging

MARTINIELLO, Natalina
WITTICH, Walter
2020

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PURPOSE

As the prevalence of age-related visual impairment increases, a greater understanding of the physiological and cognitive capacities that are recruited during braille reading and the potential implications of age-related declines is required.

 

METHODS

This scoping review aimed to identify and describe primary studies exploring the relationship between tactile, motor and cognitive capacities and braille reading performance, the instruments used to measure these capacities, and the extent to which age is considered within these investigations. English peer-reviewed articles exploring the relationship between these capacities and braille reading performance were included. Articles were screened by two researchers, and 91% agreement was achieved (kappa = 0.84 [0.81, 0.87], p < 0.01).

 

RESULTS

 2405 articles were considered of which 36 met the inclusion criteria. Fifteen investigated the relationship between tactile capacities and braille reading performance, 25 explored motor capacities, and 5 considered cognitive capacities. Nineteen instruments were used to measure tactile capacity, 4 for motor dexterity, and 7 for cognitive capacity. These studies focus on younger participants and on those who learned braille early in life.

 

CONCLUSIONS

  • Although this overview underscores the importance of tactile perception and bimanual reading, future research is needed to explore the unique needs of older adults who learn braille later in life.
  • The studies in this review underscore the importance of developing both haptic tactile perception and efficient hand reading patterns early in the braille learning process.
  • Practitioners should consider whether specific pre-braille readiness activities can be used to address the unique needs of older adults who may experience tactile, motor or cognitive declines.
  • Most of the studies in this review require replication before they should serve as reliable clinical guidelines; however, braille reading (like print) is a complex process that draws on multiple capacities that should be developed in unison.
  • The studies in this review focus heavily on younger participants and on those who learned braille early in life, and highlight the need for future research on braille and aging.

The disability-confident employers' toolkit

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
November 2020

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Here you can find all documents in one zipfile that relate to the disability-confident employers’ toolkit: a unique portfolio of practical guides, checklists, case studies and resources that make it easier for any business to be disability confident.

Product Narrative: Digital Assistive Technology. A market landscape and strategic approach to increasing access to digital assistive technology in low- and middle- income countries

SAVAGE, Margaret
LIAO, Cynthia
CHAUDRON, Matilde
BOYER, Jeffrey
BHATNAGAR, Tigmanshu
LAURENTIUS, Dennis
TORRENS, George
PERRY, Katherine
MORJARIA, Priya
BARAJAS, Felipe Ramos
GOEDDE, Barbara
November 2020

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This document is the final in a series of in-depth analyses that identify key barriers and promising market interventions. The previous four documents focused on wheelchairs, hearings aids, prostheses, and eyeglasses.

The report provides market landscapes of 3 areas of digital AT: mobile phones; screen readers; and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices.

A common set of recommendations focused on improving access emerged from the individual product landscapes:

  • Develop and adopt policies, including legislation, regulations, minimum product standards, and guidelines to support accessibility and uptake of digital AT at the global and country levels.
  • Support governments of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to increase awareness of digital AT by including digital assistive products such as smartphones and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices on national assistive product lists.
  • Support innovative financing schemes or negotiate pricing agreements to reduce the cost of digital AT to end users.
  • Increase availability of training programmes for users, suppliers, and service providers on the availability of digital AT and digital literacy skills.

Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action, Delivering on 7 accessibility commitments

AL JUBEH, Kathy
DARD, Benjamin
ZAYED, Yana
November 2020

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The World Blind Union (WBU) and CBM Global Disability Inclusion have developed Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action. The guide provides practical support on how to deliver a wholistic organisational approach towards accessibility. It describes how to progressively achieve seven core accessibility commitments across built environments, information and communications, procurement of goods and services, training and capacity development, programmes, meetings and events, recruitment, and human resource (HR) management. The guide offers pathways to progressively realise accessibility in various contexts and organisations; recognising that users of the guide will be diverse.

The impact of Covid-19 on people with disabilities – emerging findings

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
THOMPSON, Stephen
WICKENDEN, Mary
WAKOKO, Eric
AKTER, Fatema
NJUNGI, Josephine
CHUBA-UZO, Shadrach
September 2020

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Emerging evidence suggests that people with disabilities are amongst the groups most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in all aspects of their lives. In order to provide more systematic evidence, narrative interviews were conducted with a diverse group of 40 jobseekers with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda who are involved with the Inclusion Works programme. The first round of interviews were conducted in July and August 2020. Initial key findings are given.

 

The impact of COVID-19 on disabled people in Northern Ireland

FITZSIMONS, Sean
O'NEILL, Emma
CRAWFORD, Alison
September 2020

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Key findings and recommendations are reported from an online survey published in April 2020 to gather the experiences of disabled people, their families and carers during the COVID-19 outbreak in Northern Ireland. The survey went live on April 1st 2020 and closed on April 30th 2020.  Over 400 survey responses were received, including over 1300 written statements. 

Key findings are reported in the areas of: social care; physical health; mental health and emotional wellbeing; carers; accessing food and medicine; accessing information; employment and training; social security benefits and community support

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

Breaking down barriers, one mask at a time

LIGHT FOR THE WORLD
August 2020

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Reports on the production of facemasks for COVID-19 which have clear plastic rectangular patches that allow lip reading and more visible facial expressions in a training centre for girls with intellectual disabilities in Kenya

Human-centred design in humanitarian settings: Methodologies for inclusivity

HAMILTON, Zoe
CASSWELL, Jenny
ALONSO, Aline
July 2020

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This report documents the human-centred design process used in a project conducted in 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya. It includes research tools that can be used in other contexts, as well as the adaptations that were made to research tools to ensure they were inclusive. These tools are followed by the main lessons learned, and recommendations for others who want to implement a similar process.

The goal of this project was to better understand how people living with disabilities in humanitarian contexts use mobile technology, the barriers they face in accessing mobile services, and the opportunities that mobile might present to increase access to basic services in their daily lives. The target population for this project was urban refugees living with visual or hearing impairments in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The human-centred design tools used included: Location Mapping, User Journeys, Communication Mapping, Future Me and Daily Diaries. 

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

 

Microsoft at #DisabilityAdvantage: 2020 Disability:IN Annual Conference

NADELLA, Satya
LAY-FLURRIE, Jenny
July 2020

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The CEO of Microsoft talks about the cultural embedding of accessibility in the company. Topics covered include: building accessibility into technology products; remote working and schooling (particularly in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic); skilling and jobs for people with disabilities; the growth of captioning; the US Americans with Disability Act (ADA); intersectionality; inclusivity; and the future of AI products.

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