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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.

 

COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts: no excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind! Evidence from HI's operations in humanitarian settings

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2020

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This collection and review of evidence aims to illustrate how the COVID-19 crisis triggers disproportionate risks and barriers for men, women, boys and girls with disabilities living in humanitarian settings. It highlights recommendations for humanitarian actors, to enhance inclusive action, aligned with existing guidance and learnings on disability inclusion. It is based on evidence, including testimonies, collected by HI programs in 19 countries of intervention. Special efforts were made to reflect the voices of persons with different types of disabilities, genders and ages, residing in different geographical areas and living circumstances, including refugee and internally displaced persons’ settlements and host communities.

 

Evidence has been collected through primary data collection among HI teams and partners, working in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in April/May 2020. Data was extracted from assessments conducted by HI and partners in Bangladesh, Egypt, Haïti, Indonesia, Philippines, Jordan, Lebanon, Somaliland and Togo. Testimonies from affected communities, staff and partners were collected in Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Somaliland, South Sudan, Rwanda, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.

 

Guidance Note 4, TV and Radio Learning

McGEOWN, Julia
BOISSEAU, Sandra
BOHAN-JACQUOT, Sandrine
June 2020

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This guidance is part of a series to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis. The guidance notes include #1- Inclusive Digital learning #2 - Teacher resources and #3 Home support. #4 TV and Radio Learning #5Return to school.

 

A pictorial based summary of the top 10 tips is provided followed by explanation of the resources and more information about top tips, with hyperlinks of relevant resources.

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.

Does the criminal justice system treat disabled people fairly? Inclusive justice: a system designed for all

EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
April 2020

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The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission launched an inquiry to understand the experiences of disabled defendants and accused people in the criminal justice system. They looked at:

  • whether their needs are properly identified
  • the types of adjustments being made to accomodate their needs, and
  • whether they can fully participate in court processes and understand the charges they face.

Based on their findings, recommendations are made to UK Governments.

 

The use of video hearings was rapidly expanded in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In April 2020, interim findings from this inquiry were released to help mitigate the risks that this technology poses to disabled people in the criminal justice system.

COVID19 Resource Key advocacy messages, questions to ask on inclusion and signpost to resources to learn more

Dr. Werner-Freybergstr
March 2020

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The COVID pandemic continues to escalate across the world, this document has been prepared to;

  • Provide some top-line advocacy messages that can be used for advocacy and communications,
  • Give a few questions example that you can ask yourself/or other stakeholders to check how people with disabilities are being included,
  • Provide key resources for further reading. We recognise the importance of safe, evidence-based messages, and stand by the advice of the World Health Organisation on health-related issues, of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on international coordination, and of the International Disability Alliance on inclusion of people with disabilities in the COVID-19 response. 

Towards ambitious transposition of Audiovisual Media Services Directive

European Disability Forum
February 2020

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On February 6th 2020, the European Disability Forum (EDF) organised a webinar about the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). The AVMSD is a directive which sets out the rules for audiovisual media services and adapts them to the new media consumption realities and affects all market players (TV broadcasters, video on-demand platforms and video sharing platforms) in the European Union. The AVMSD entered into force on 19th December 2018 and its transposition period will end on 19th September 2020.

This webinar was conducted by Marie Denninghaus, EDF Policy Coordinator and was supported by Raquel Riaza, Events and Administration Officer and by other colleagues from EDF‘s office. The webinar was accessible for persons with disabilities providing live captioning and sign language interpretation. It was recorded and it will be available on EDF’s website.

The first speaker was Lara Orlandi, from the European Commission, who is Policy Officer in DG CONNECT. She gave a broad overview about the main AVMSD objectives and provisions as she was part of the team which prepared and negotiated this legislation. The second speaker was Alejandro Moledo. He is Policy Coordinator at EDF. He spoke about the provisions of the AVMSD with reference to accessibility for persons with disabilities and how to make use of this legislation to advance on media accessibility. He also mentioned some recommendations to bring out the best of the provisions of the directive which are detailed in the EDF toolkit about this legislation. 

Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No: 17 : Mobile phone technology for disability-inclusive agricultural development: findings from an evidence review and webinar

AHLENBÄCK, Veronica
LEE, Harri
COE, Sue
February 2020

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Summaries on the findings from the following queries:

A rapid evidence review on best practice in addressing disability and including people with disabilities in agricultural development programming, including mobile agriculture.

An online webinar bringing together practitioners in the mobile agriculture and disability inclusion space highlighting barriers, emerging practice and gaps.

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.

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

TATA, Srinivas
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.

Introduction of Indian Sign Language in Inclusive Education

GOSWAMI, SP
GGR, Anita Ravindra
SHARMA, Kanchan
2019

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Purpose:  The predominant mode of human communication is speech, and whenever it is hindered, humans resort to the tactile-kinaesthetic mode.  Use of sign language by persons with speech-hearing impairments is a classic example of such adaptation. The Demonstration School at the Regional Institute of Education in Mysuru, South India, undertook training of typically-developing students in Indian Sign Language (ISL), so as to facilitate communication and instruction of students with hearing impairment who are in mainstream learning environments. 

 

Method: Training in ISL was imparted to140 typically-developing students in higher primary classes. Twenty-four 40-minute sessions were conducted over a month. After theoretical orientation in logical bases of manual communication, practical training commenced with elementary manual alphabets, progressed through essential daily-life vocabulary necessary to construct simple sentences and carry out general conversations, and culminated in signing the Indian National Anthem.

 

Results: Typically-developing students gained primary benefits such as improved awareness about non-verbal communication modes, mastery of basic skills in ISL, and positive attitudes towards sign languages.

 

Conclusion: The UNCRPD 2006 authorises sign language as the linguistic identity of the Deaf, and encourages the use of sign language in learning environments. Future research should add to the findings on secondary benefits in the form of scholastic and sociometric advantages derived by students with hearing impairments who receive instructions in sign language in mainstream learning environments.

 

A conceptual framework for designing Ambient assisted living services for individuals with disabilities in Uganda and South Africa

KYAZZE, Michael
WESSON, Janet
NAUDE, Kevin
August 2019

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Background: Individuals with disabilities experience difficulty in using various everyday technologies such as computers and smartphones.

 

Objectives: To propose a conceptual framework that will lead to the development of practical and user friendly assistive technology.

 

Method: A literature review of challenges faced by individuals with physical disabilities was carried out. Interviews with adults with physical disabilities in Kampala, Uganda, and Port Elizabeth, South Africa, identified three main challenges with regard to using technology: using a mobile phone, controlling an electronic environment and using a computer.

 

Results: The challenges identified can be solved by taking into consideration the needs of individuals with disabilities. However, the design of new technologies and interaction techniques, such as natural hand gestures and voice, as input mechanisms has able-bodied individuals in mind. Individuals with disabilities are considered as an afterthought. The main reason for this is that individuals with a disability are a minority and hence it may not make economic sense for technology innovators to cater for their unique needs. A lack of practical guidelines on how to design for individuals with disabilities is another reason why designing for individuals with disabilities is often an afterthought.

 

Conclusion: This article proposes a conceptual framework that can be used by researchers and technology designers in order to design products that could cater for the unique needs of individuals with disabilities. The article also emphasises the importance of exploring alternative interaction techniques, as they could enable individuals with disabilities to fully utilise technologies such as smart phones, computers and smart home electronics.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Multilingualism and augmentative and alternative communication in South Africa – Exploring the views of persons with complex communication needs

TONSING, Kerstin M.
Van NIEKERK, Karin
SCHLUNZ, Georg
WILKEN, Ilana
2019

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Background: Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can assist persons with complex communication needs to communicate competently with a variety of communication partners in a variety of contexts. However, AAC systems and intervention often do not take multilingual aspects into consideration.

 

Objective: This small-scale exploratory study had three aims, namely: (1) to describe the self-reported language skills of multilingual South African adults using AAC, (2) to describe the languages and communication modalities they used in interaction and (3) to obtain their views regarding access to various languages.

 

Methods: Twenty-seven adults using AAC were recruited via an empowerment programme, as well as an email list for persons interested in AAC, and provided responses to a questionnaire. To compensate for access and written language challenges, the questionnaire was administered with help and/or as a face-to-face interview where needed. Responses were analysed using mostly descriptive statistics.

 

Results: Participants generally could not express themselves in all the languages they understood and were regularly exposed to. Speech-generating devices specifically gave access almost exclusively to English. Participants expressed a desire to increase their expressive language repertoire, and mentioned both limitations of communication technology as well as their own literacy skills as barriers to overcome in this regard.

 

Conclusion: In order for multilingual South African adults using AAC to express themselves in multiple languages, appropriate AAC systems and interventions as well as literacy learning opportunities need to be developed and provided.

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Deaf people in Pacific Island countries. A design for the Pacific deaf strenthening program

JENKIN, Elena
WATERS, Philip
SEN, Krishneer
ADAM, Robert
2019

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Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) is committed to advancing the rights of people with disabilities living in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Developing an evidence base to understand more about deaf children and adults’ experiences and priorities will better assist communities, DPOs, organisations and governments to plan inclusive communities, policy and programs.

 

The development of the design was deliberately planned to be highly collaborative and the team met with 161 people who shared their views. This provided opportunities for deaf people and DPOs to contribute to the design, along with representatives from government, non-government and regional organisations. This collaboration occurred in three countries in the Pacific, namely Solomon Islands, Samoa and Fiji. Within Fiji, the design team met with deaf and DPO representatives of other PIC’s along with regional multi-lateral organisations such as UNICEF and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS). Consultations also occurred remotely with supporting organisations and development workers that are focused on disability inclusion in the Pacific. The design undertook a desk review to learn what is known about deaf children and adults in the Pacific region. Participatory methods ensured the process was highly respectful of the views of deaf people. DPOs, other organisations and governments will be asked to identify to what extent deaf children, adults and their families are participating in services, programs and establishments, and to identify potential supports required to increase deaf people’s participation.  A capacity building element has been carefully built into the design. The report is divided into three parts. Part A rationalizes the design, with background information and a brief desk review to collect evidence from and about deaf children and adults in the Pacific. Part B describes the design development process and reports findings. Part C details the design for the situation analysis.  

Online collective identities for autism: The perspective of Brazilian parents

ANTUNES, Debora
DHOEST, Alexander
2018

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The importance of online communities for parents of people with disabilities has been discussed by many scholars in the fields of Digital and Disability Studies, showing, for instance, the importance of social support and the formation of social ties. In order to contribute to this scholarship, this paper explores how collective identity models are built and circulated by parents of autistic people in one of the biggest Brazilian online communities about the subject, ‘Sou autista… conheça o meu mundo’ (I am autistic…get to know my world). The results were obtained through a digital ethnography, based on participant observation and an exchange of information with the members of the community studied. Based on the data collected, the study concludes that the collective identity models that circulate in this community can be grouped into legitimising, resistant, and project identities, as postulated by Castells (2010). The different views reflect how parents see autism and represent the ways it is treated in Brazilian society.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018 Vol.5, No. 1

New sign language new(S): the globalization of sign language in the smartphone era

TANNENBAUM-BARUCHI, Caroline
FEDER-BUBIS, Paula
October 2017

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"Languages are dynamic and change over the years. Changes in sign languages have been usually initiated to accommodate the needs of the local Deaf community. With the increase in smartphone use, sign languages are influenced not only by the local Deaf community, but also by foreign Deaf people on the other side of the screen, regardless of their location. Smartphones influence the sign language itself and the Deaf community by connecting different communities of Deaf people through messages, shared information and experiences, and news delivery. The popularity of this technology among Deaf communities is a social phenomenon emerging from Deaf people themselves. Smartphones may promote the globalization of sign language, shortening distances between Deaf communities around the world"

Disability & Society, Volume 33, 2018 - Issue 2

WFD’s position paper on the language rights of deaf children

WORLD FEDERATION OF THE DEAF
September 2016

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Early exposure to sign language and multilingualism, combined with strong family support for sign languages, best prepares deaf children for their future effective participation in society. This position paper covers language acquisition for deaf children, the benefits of multilingualism, multilingual education and interpreting UN CPRD Article 24 in support of sign bilingual education. 

Each section of the paper has International sign videos available.

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